Even before the pandemic, multigenerational households have always been on the rise. In 2018 alone, an analysis conducted by Pew Research accounted for up to 64 million Americans living in multigenerational homes. Due to the loss of income and shelter in place rules, many families decided to live back together under the same roof.
But then, not all houses these days can accommodate different generations. Each generation has its own preferences when it comes to the home design and meaning of comfort. Privacy is another major consideration especially when one has to share the house with more people.
This is one of the reasons why many homeowners are now improving their homes in the middle of the pandemic. They are making the improvements not just because they have time to tackle maintenance and repairs. They are also doing this to fit their family’s new lifestyle and ever-changing needs.
If you too are on a mission to improve your home after welcoming your Baby Boomer parents or your Gen Z kids, here are a few things worth considering.
Find Ways to Expand Your Living Space
More people mean more spatial needs. If you have the financial means, your first priority is to increase your living space to make room for more people and more activities. Remember that what you consider relaxing and fun is not exactly the type of lifestyle your senior parents want or what your Gen Z family members need.
If you have unfinished rooms like the attic or your basement, turn these rooms into dual-purpose rooms. You can use partitions to divide a room into two bedrooms. Remember that is easier to turn bedrooms into another space than vice versa.
Don’t forget about your outdoor living space when improving your home. Everyone could use a bit of fresh air and a taste of nature while quarantining. Consider outdoor projects to entice them to spend more time in the yard.
Opt for affordable landscaping services and dedicate a space where everyone can spend lazy afternoons in the yard. This can be a new deck or an improved patio. Consider the activities each of your family members like to do outdoors and think of ways to accommodate these activities inside your property line.
Consider Separate Entrances and Individual Spaces
If you are living with many people and your schedules often overlap, it won’t hurt to design separate entrances. This will help give everyone the privacy they need as needed. This is especially helpful if some of your new housemates work until late at night and you can’t be bothered to open the door for them.
Separate entrances also give your family better access inside the house. Your aging parents won’t have a hard time navigating the stairs leading to your front door. Night owls can come and go as they wish without disturbing the early birds inside the house.
Giving your family members access to different spaces also helps reduce traffic throughout the day. Some people don’t like others constantly hovering or watching their every move. Since you are now living with more family members, you will learn how to appreciate having your own space even if it meant having a partition you can open and close throughout the day.
Don’t Forget to Improve Your Home With Sustainability in Mind
The best way to improve your home these days is to invest in sustainable upgrades. This will help you lessen your impact on the environment. This will also help you increase your savings which is a big help when you have a bigger family consuming energy, water, and food each day.
So, make sure to invest in sustainable upgrades that everyone can take advantage of. Replace appliances with energy-efficient ones. Teach everyone to adopt the 3Rs and to let go of the things they don’t have any real use for.
When replacing any materials, choose sustainable or used products from local vendors. If you are going to hire an interior designer or any other contractors, choose on from local companies. Choose non-toxic materials and choose to better insulate your home.
It is also a good idea to let more sunshine inside your home. With the sheltering in place, we all could use a little more Vitamin D. This can mean investing in more mirrors, having your windows deep cleaned, or installing bigger windows or even skylights.
Improving a multigenerational home can be tricky. When you’re living with many people, getting stressed out is easy. The trick is to find the right balance between space and privacy. Think of each member’s comfort, accessibility, and privacy. With the right home improvement projects, living in a multigenerational home can be comfortable and convenient.