Adapting Your Home for Multi-Generational Living

Do you share your home with a parent, adult child or other relative? If so, you’re not alone. Between 2000 and 2009, multi-generational households increased by 30%. Since then, the percentage has continued to rise as longer life spans increase the number of elderly parents living with children and adult children move home in a tough job market. 

We’ve certainly seen more requests in the past few years for additional and renovations to adapt homes for an again parent or adult child returning home after college, a job loss or divorce. When adapting a home for multi-generational living, we focus on providing:

Privacy with Proximity – Successful multi-generational living requires a fine balance between private and communal spaces. Separate entrances, morning bars or kitchenettes in bedroom suites, and sitting rooms provide much-needed privacy. A large, open kitchen/eating/living area is ideal when the family comes together.

Flexible Spaces – Flexible spaces can be easily transformed to function for different purposes and ages. For example, an underused living room and sunroom may transition into a home office, then an in-law suite, then a space for an adult child who moves home, then an entertainment area.

Universal Design -- Universal design works hand-in-hand with flexible spaces to create environments that are usable by all people. Hallways that are wide enough to accommodate a wheel chair and zero entry thresholds are classic examples of universal design features.

Sometimes an addition is necessary to create additional living space, but we always look first at how existing space can be repurposed. For example, a basement can become a walk-out apartment or an attic can become an extra bedroom. By creating multi-purpose spaces within your home’s existing footprint, your house can expand and contract to meet your changing needs.


We can help you decide whether renovating or adding on to your home makes sense. Contact us to arrange an appointment!