More and more Americans are adopting the multigenerational family model, but multi-family homes are a time-honored tradition for many Hawaiians. Not only does this living arrangement allow for parents, grandparents, and children to all foster meaningful relationships, it can provide a higher and more affordable standard of living for everyone involved.
From allowing elderly family members to age in place, to saving on housing costs in Hawaii’s notoriously competitive market, multigenerational living continues to be a highly sustainable option for many families. But creating the perfect multigenerational household takes some careful planning. Here’s our tips for building a home the whole family will love.
Accessibility for All
Multigenerational homes serve a wide range of ages and abilities, so accessibility is the primary focus for most multi-family spaces. And since family members of all ages need to access and enjoy most areas of the house easily, an open-concept floor plan is a great place to start.
Keeping the floor plan open gives everyone enough space to enjoy each other’s company without feeling crowded, while the lack of walls, entrances, and stairways allow everyone to navigate through the home safely.
When doorways or steps are necessary, make sure they are wide enough to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs, and that handrails are installed at every stairway. And whenever possible, keep the main bedrooms and at least one bathroom on the main level of the home so no one is forced to use the stairs.
Multiple Options for Multiple Generations
In homes that include multiple adult generations, creating duplicate versions of the same space is ideal. Yes, creating separate entrances to the home is a great start, but most multigenerational homes need more than just additional entry points.
Depending on your budget, duplicate spaces may include adding two main bedrooms with en suite bathrooms to the design plan, or even creating a separate bedroom, bathroom, and living room apart from the main area of the home.
On a smaller scale, it might entail separate cooking spaces in the kitchen, such as a sink at the counter and in the island, or two stovetops on either end of the kitchen. Whatever you decide, the more opportunities you create for successful cohabitation, the more likely you’ll be able to sustain a multigenerational lifestyle within your home.
Create specific-use spaces
One of the benefits of multigenerational living is the opportunity for family members to spend lots of quality time together, which is why creating functional communal spaces is so important. But even the happiest of families need some space.
That’s why specific-use spaces are also crucial for a multigenerational home. Whether it’s a quiet adults-only den used for reading and relaxing or a playroom where kids can let loose without disturbing other family members, try and create separate spaces for each generation to enjoy. Even if it’s just a small bar space in the kitchen for homework, carving out these spaces is a great way to balance communal and independent living.
Ready to bring the family together in a new multigenerational home? We’re here for you every step of the way. From creating your design plan to finding the right builders, we can connect you with the best professionals for your project. Contact us today for more info, and make sure to get started on your budget with our free online estimator.