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Creating comfort in the multi-generational home

More and more families are choosing to live together under one roof. A shortage of suitable properties, high property prices, the need to care for elderly parents, and the need for childcare within the family now means that children, parents, and grandparents are choosing to live in the same multi-generational home.

Sometimes, that even extends to great grandparents.

A multi-generational home also means unique challenges. How do you keep the children AND grandma happy? How much space will be shared space and how much will be private?

So, what are the 6 key things every family needs to do to ensure this arrangement works?

  1.  Give grandparents their own space. This is vital to maintain family harmony and good relationships.

It allows grandparents with health problems to have their independence, too.

A space with a separate entrance would be the best way forward. So look at options for annexes or garage conversions.

  1. No one knows what the future holds, so plan for the worst case scenario. Make sure the house is accessible for all as the years go by.

Ensure doorways are wide enough for wheelchairs, that there is an accessible wet room on the ground floor, and that the garden is also accessible.

  1. Create shared space – Places where all the family can come together, such as a shared lounge or kitchen.

Making something the heart of the home allows people to come together naturally, while still having their own separate spaces to retreat to when they feel like it!

  1. Think about HOW you use your home before you make major changes. Do you need a space for a home office, a craft area, a home gym?

Think about what sort of things all the generations of the family like to do – from cooking to playing games online.

Each of them will need something slightly different. Involve them all in your decision making, and they will all take ownership of their part in the process.

  1. Consider how things will change when your children grow into teenagers. They will want their own space and a sense of privacy, even if they are living at home.

So, think about creating a loft room, basement room, or having an extension built. That helps maintain family harmony and gives the teenagers some much-needed space.

  1. Will your electrics cope as the years go on? Is it time to have an electrical survey and ensure everything is fit for purpose if more people move in? And are the power points accessible for those with mobility challenges?

Make a list of any works which need to be done and consider which changes are likely to become priorities sooner rather than later.

If you need advice on designing a multi-generational home, please get in touch with our Bury St Edmunds office on 01284 386899 or our Cambridge office on 01223 789786.