Today, about 1 in 5 Americans live in Multi-Generational households.
By definition, multi-generational households have at least two adult generations living under the same roof. Traditionally, in-law suites were the design solution - in a pinch, mom and/or dad moved into a secondary bedroom. A secondary bedroom with direct bathroom access is preferable, but better for achieving both independence and togetherness is a home designed with two owner's suites. Buyers who wish for a little more independence may also prefer a "Casita" layout or their own level of the house. With private access, bedroom suite, laundry, kitchen, and entertaining area, mom can have the ladies over without having to "schedule" the primary entertaining space.
Dual Owner's Suites. Aging parents...children returning home...widowed siblings...even lifelong friends looking to share a home...American households are changing. This is often out of economic necessity, such as a suddenly single widow(er) or even older couples wanting to split housing costs.
An important consideration for older homeowners, is a no-step entry as well as interior passage doors at least 32" wide, ensuring this home can welcome visitors of all abilities. You may want to consider zoned heating and cooling for everyone's comfort. And, while tile continues to be the preferred flooring choice in bathrooms, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury among seniors. Selecting slip-resistant tile flooring just makes sense.
Though the scenarios vary, all involve bringing people together. Beyond the home design aspects, there are lifestyle, social, and financial considerations to work through before choosing such a home. A widower may be looking forward to spending lots of time with his adult daughter, but she is already stretched between her job and family. Your college grad moves back and then you remember how loud those video games are. Your sister doesn't drive, and all those doctor appointments will make it hard to commit to classes you want to take. The joys of being together can be wonderful, but you'll want to have discussed and agreed upon certain ground rules for dealing with such issues before they arise.
Note: Design Basics offers more than 350 plans with the option of a no-step entry.