The concept of multiple generations living under one roof is not a new one, but in order to meet the modern family’s needs, the idea is becoming increasingly popular in Northern Virginia custom home design and building.
One of today’s most frequent requests is a layout that accommodates a multi-generational lifestyle. The contemporary family dynamic is a diverse one. Whether it’s older in-laws living with their children, recent graduates coming back to live with mom and dad, or the newly married saving up to build their own home, there are many ways to build a custom home that will keep everyone comfortable – and afford a certain level of privacy.
Multi-Generational Living is Back
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 61 million Americans live in a home with at least two adult generations. That’s almost 20% of the entire population. Part of this has to do with the “Sandwich Generation” – Baby Boomers who have children still at home as well as elderly parents. Another driving force are the so-called “boomerangs,” or kids who move back home because they’re unable to afford a place of their own. Finally, many families see it as smart economics to make it possible for the older generation to stay at home, rather than live in an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Comfort and Privacy
There are multiple ways to design and build a custom home for multi-generational living. One of the most popular layouts is one that incorporates a first-floor bedroom with attached full bath and, perhaps, a sitting area. A first floor suite that includes aging in place features is the perfect way to offer older family members easy access and privacy in a still-busy household. Other popular choices include removing some physically challenging aspects, such as stairs, from certain floorplans. Bathrooms can also be designed to accommodate special needs, with doorless showers with zero-entry curbs leading the requested features.
How to Make Multi-Generational Living Work
Just because it’s multi-generational doesn’t mean a custom home can’t be on the cutting edge of design. Multi-generational floorplans often include apartment-like living areas with a bedroom, full bathroom, separate entrance, and sometimes a laundry room or kitchenette. Other homeowners choose to build detached or semi-attached guest quarters for extended families. At Foley, we believe the ideal solution is the one that best serves your unique family needs. No matter which options you choose, you probably want to make sure everyone feels comfortable and at home. Here are some tips to help you design a custom home that does just that.
- Encourage open communication and take the time to talk with your entire family about the design. Topics for discussion may include the use of space, boundaries, individual and group responsibilities, and how expenses will be handled.
- Establish boundaries and expectations early on in the process so that all family members know what to expect.
- Incorporate personal space in the design so that all family members have an area where they can spend some “alone time.” One of the greatest benefits of multi-generational living is family game or movie night, but having a place to go for some quiet reflection is important for making it work.
- Think about your building options. Is there space on your lot for a guest house? Do you want separate entrances? Many decisions come down to personal preference, so gather the family and come up with solutions that make everyone happy and comfortable.
Design the Perfect Multi-Generation Home in Fairfax County
At Foley, we make it our top priority to provide homeowners with quality craftsmanship, dedicated customer service, and unmatched design build expertise. Our custom home process is designed to help you make the best decisions for your family’s unique needs. Schedule a conversation with us today to learn more about building a multi-generational home that provides your family with flexibility, convenience, and financial benefits that will last a lifetime.