Multi-generational living, where at least three generations of the same family are living in the same home, offers many unique benefits as well as a few challenges.
Having more than one generation under the same roof can make childcare easier and also helps family members save on some of their resources. One of the good things about multi-generational homes is that you have a lot of home style options available. Let's take a look at some.
A duplex offers the benefits of both privacy and convenient proximity to the rest of the family. Families that have parents or grandparents living with them find this a good solution because they can maintain their schedule and lifestyle. The whole household will also have access to outdoor areas, making the arrangement even more worthwhile.
2. Private Rooms or Suites
A more secluded bedroom with attached bath or an extra suite can give family greater privacy without being very far from everyone else. Some home styles with a finished downstairs area or a loft make this type of living arrangement even more accessible for everyone.
Regardless of whether the arrangement is more about grandparents pitching in to watch grandchildren or keeping older parents nearby to attend to their health needs, rooms or suites with added privacy will help keep everyone content.
3. Separate Homes on the Same Lot
The tiny house trend has expanded to many areas, including larger metro areas like Calgary. If this would be a practical choice for your family's needs, consider giving it a try. Garage apartments are also good options for parents or in-laws who want to be accessible but have extra privacy, or for young adults testing out independent living.
4. Nearby Homes in the Same Neighbourhood
One of the best things about Calgary is that many of its communities are growing fast, which means there's always a wide selection of homes to choose from. Whether you want to buy a brand new home, a new custom build or a quick possession home you'll be able to find something to suit your needs. Having a family living in nearby homes in the same neighbourhood might be an ideal solution as you'll be living close to each other, and you'll have the benefit of shared outdoor amenities, like parks.
5. Custom-Built Home Designed for Intergenerational Living
Another option worth considering is having a home custom-built with your family's multi-generational living needs in mind. You can pick out the floor plan to even allow for extras like separate entrances. This is a perfect solution if your family members keep a different schedule from you. An ideal floor plan choice will allow the whole family to gather without depriving anyone of privacy.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Multi-Generational Living
Several advantages come with an intergenerational living arrangement, as well as disadvantages. Both the advantages and disadvantages need to be carefully weighed out when making a decision. Advantages include:
- Splitting up household bills. Even in families with a healthy income level, being able to share bill-paying responsibilities eases the burden on everyone. In households with teens or young adults present, sharing the bills helps encourage greater responsibility.
- Sharing chores among more people - it's often said that many hands make light work, and this is especially true in a household setting. This arrangement is especially helpful if some members of your family prefer yard work or housework, and vice versa.
- Retirees at hand for babysitting - Grandparents naturally make ideal babysitters and having everyone live in the same house or nearby makes childcare easier. Even in houses where extended family members have a separate suite, kids will enjoy the sleepover party atmosphere.
The minor disadvantages that come with these arrangements are usually quite easy to overcome. These disadvantages include less privacy and possible overcrowding.
One way to help family members overcome less privacy is to have another, smaller room, such as a den, set aside as a second living area. If you have parents with very different TV preferences or a young adult who needs a dedicated space for studying, this is a good solution. Alternately, you can have designated times when family members use certain parts of the house without interference.
Crowding usually isn't a problem in extended family situations, except when you have several overnight guests. Being creative about where you situate your guests, such as using a great room or bonus room as temporary sleeping quarters, can help accommodate everyone very comfortably. Also, consider putting meals out buffet-style to minimize crowding around your kitchen or dining room tables.
Our custom home plans are perfect for anyone who wants the full benefit of multi-generational living. There are enough communities in Calgary where you can find or build the perfect home to suit the entire family.