By Jesse Morado
Multigenerational living in America has been on the rise and the recession has driven more and more extended families to come together under one roof.  Multiple generations of the same family are finding themselves living under one roof, as twentysomething’s take longer to leave home, grandparents become care givers for grandchildren and adult children help care for aging parents.
Since 1980 this trend has increased due to a variety of economic factors, which affected many over the last decade. According to the Pew Research Centers analysis of Census Data, as of 2008 a record 49 million Americans, or 16.1 percent of the total U.S. population, lived in a family household that contained at least two adult generations living under one roof. Remodeling trends to accommodate this new life style are the focus now for many remodeling contractors and homebuilders.
If you are considering bringing additional family members into your home you may want to consider a renovation to meet your needs. Carving out separate spaces from areas within the home that see little utilization is a good place to start such as a first floor living room which can be converted into an in-law suite.
Generating a first floor master suite works well for aging parents and facilitates access in and out of the home. An unfinished basement can also be renovated to create a separate rental apartment for additional rental income or to accommodate a returning twenty something family member. If you are considering this please check with your local zoning ordinances before moving forward.
Separate entrances for any additional spaces generated are great for reducing traffic through other areas of the home and to create more privacy. Consider designing any new space for each generation to enhance a blended household.
Other areas of the home that may be renovated to accommodate additional family members are:

  • Attic areas above a garage or accessing space from an extra bay.
  • An addition to an existing garage is another way to gain extra space.
  • A large attic area in your home – can be accessed with a new stair case to carve out a bedroom, bath, and sitting area.
  • Lower level areas within a split level home can easily be converted into an in-law suite by simply adding a small kitchen.
  • Space from a rear deck or porch to create a separate suite.

The rising wave in home consolidation is a reality due to a variety of economic pressures and many builders and remodelers are beginning to understand the value of generating designs that work to accommodate expanded family living. As always, plan properly and secure the assistance of a design professional to work through the details. A well planned project will meet your families needs, increase the value of your and maintain its marketability.
Jesse Morado is CEO of Renovation Coach, Inc. a consulting firm providing pre-construction guidance and risk management for homeowners and business coaching of best practices for contractors .renovationcoach.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.