Options for Independent Living

Options for Independent Living

Live-in Caretaker

Design Basics 56564 Bauer CreekForbes reports that women have a 1 in 7 chance of celebrating their 95th birthday (sorry guys, you only have a 1 in 14 chance of blowing out 95 candles). Today’s longer lifespans, scattered families, and the desire for independence coupled with the fear and high cost of nursing homes has made live-in caretakers a viable option. Similarly, accident victims and wounded veterans may need around-the-clock aides, which, not surprisingly, are often parents moving in. Home plans like Scholz Designs® Bauer Creek plan 56564 are more than dual master suite homes, they really “live” independently for the caretakers with separate garages, entrances, and living spaces, plus direct connections from one side to the other.

Unrelated Adults

Design Basics House Plan 50039The median age of widowhood is 59.4 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011). After a lifetime together, it’s no surprise that many of these “suddenly single” widows (and widowers) desire homeownership AND companionship. They’ve told us they’re looking for separate owner’s suites with shared living spaces. Take Design Basics’ Tucker Terrace plan 50039. The owner’s suite and suite #3 achieve maximum separation for desired privacy, meaning neither individual needs to be annoyed by the other’s loud TV programming. The common entertaining space + sunroom + rear covered porch provide plenty of opportunities for togetherness. While more modest, suite #2 could accommodate a third companion.

Related Adults

Design Basics 50037 ToulouseParticularly due to the aging baby boomer generation, there is a growing number of households with siblings or sometimes cousins moving in together. In addition to the desire to be with family, we often hear this is out of economic necessity, such as a suddenly single widow or even older related couples wanting to split housing costs. Not surprisingly, these are two of the driving forces behind the surging popularity of plans with dual owner’s suites on the main floor such as Design Basics Toulouse plan 50037. Each of that design’s first floor bedrooms is generously sized for a couple. An important consideration for older homeowners, the Toulouse features a zero-threshold front entry, ensuring this home can welcome visitors of all abilities. Similarly, interior passage doors are at least 36″ wide, easily accommodating a walker or wheelchair. And the over-sized flex/hobby space off the garage entry has another welcome amenity – a shower stall; originally en-visioned for pet care, but equally adept as a wheelchair wash-off station.

Design Basics 24297 GarlandSpecial Needs

We recently spoke with a woman with a special needs teenage daughter that will likely be living with her mom for many years to come. This homebuyer wanted a home with an owner’s suite, a separate adjacent suite (so she could hear her daughter), a third bedroom for frequent guests, and a room for her home office – all in less than 1800 square feet. Our search narrowed to the Garland plan 24297, where bedroom #4 was a perfect fit for her and her daughter’s needs, and bedroom #2 being re-purposed as the home office she wanted.

Search more plans with multiple owner’s suites to find the one that fits your lifestyle.

Multi-Generational Living

Multi-Generational Living

By definition, multi-generational households have at least two adult generations living in the home. Today, about 1 in 5 Americans live in multi-generational households. Traditionally, in-law suites were the design solution — in a pinch, mom and/or dad moved into one of the secondary bedrooms. But better for achieving both independence and togetherness is a bedroom suite with its own entertaining area, a private bathroom, and a generous closet. That way mom can have the ladies over without having to “schedule” the primary entertaining space.

Design Basics 42027Design Basics’ McAllister (42027) plan illustrates this arrangement beautifully. With the addition of its own exterior door off the front porch, plus its kitchenette, the in-law suite’s living area is sure to please. Increased natural light levels are paramount as we age and this plan delivers with windows on two sides of both the second suite’s bedroom and living space. With an older family member in that suite, you’ll also want to consider zoned heating and cooling, as older individuals typically need warmer temperatures to be comfortable. 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.

Boomerang

According to PEW Research of U.S. Census data, 45% of college graduates move back in with their parents after graduation. Dubbed by some the “boomerang” generation, 7 in 10 college seniors graduated with student loan debt averaging nearly $30,000 each, as of 2013. At other times, adult children were moving back in with parents following a job loss or divorce.

Design Basics 42302These scenarios have given rise to the popularity of “casitas” – independent living quarters with private access – often found atop or behind the main home’s attached garage. Design Basics’ Petaluma (42290) and Westerly (42302) both exemplify these options.

Accessed from its own entrance/staircase behind the garage, the Petaluma’s casita over the garage presents a sizable living space, kitchen with eating bar and private bedroom suite with oversized shower and walk-in closet. Alternatively, the Westerly’s casita (at left) is positioned behind the garage and main home’s kitchen. Again, there is private access from behind the garage and this ground-level casita layout offers a pocket office, too.

Recently, the McAllister plan was re-designed as the McAllister Knoll OTB (42319) with the addition of a “roomer” off the rear covered porch. Think small studio apartment with private bedroom and bath plus modest living space equipped with kitchenette for your college student or perhaps your separate home office.

No matter what multi-generational living arrangement presents itself, our plan specialists can assist you in finding the right fit for your situation. Search Plans

Separate Owner’s Bedrooms

Separate Owner’s Bedrooms

Design Basics Bryndle OTB mlHaving separate owner’s bedrooms doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t get along. It could be your spouse has a job with frequent “on-call” sleep interruptions, you work different shifts, or a medical condition, sleep apnea/CPAP machine, or even loud snoring.

When you are designing your home is a great time to take this into consideration. We hear all the time, “My husband snores so loudly, he usually sleeps on the sofa,” or “I often sleep in the guest bedroom.” No one gets a good night’s sleep frequenting the sofa. And, wouldn’t it be nice to have a room that is your own and not have to trek to the guest room all the time, making sure it stays nice for guests?

For a myriad of reasons, separate owner’s bedrooms with a shared bathroom is a design concept that works for numerous households. The reasoning is simple:

“We need separate bedrooms but I don’t want to have to clean two bathrooms!”

Our Bryndle (#42320) home plan presents a dual owner’s bedroom “wing” with a common bathroom and closet.

Multiple Owner’s Suites

Multiple Owner’s Suites

For the past few weeks, we have been focusing on homes designed with two owner’s suites and the possible living situations that might warrant dual-suites.  This week we’re going to focus on multiple owner’s suites and why you might consider this design concept. Not only for special living situations, but also for long-term or even resale value.

Take for instance a recent request for a home with not just two suites, but a trio of owner’s suites! Three widowed ladies were looking for a living arrangement that provided companionship and independent living, yet still enjoy the advantages of home ownership. Their request – design a plan with three owner’s suites! Each having their own space, yet being able to gather together for meals, entertaining, and conversation – this was their ideal home design.

Another scenario for multiple owner’s suites is simply wanting family members to have their own space. Wouldn’t it be great if the kids had their own bathrooms? No more arguing on who’s taking too much time in the bathroom. And, a separate powder room for guests means you never have to be embarrassed about a possible mess in the kids’ bathroom when an unexpected visitor stops by! It could also be convenient for frequent overnight guests to have their own suite to feel more at home.

Design Basics’ gorgeous new (Serena plan #42282, above) offers something rarely seen in a moderate-size home – all four bedrooms function as suites!  The main floor illustrates the growing popularity of what can be dual-owners’ suites, each with two sinks, oversize shower and private toilet area.  Some people will build the home as a 2-bedroom ranch and finish additional living space in the basement.

As originally designed, the two second-floor bedrooms serve as suites, offering big windows, walk-in closets, and adjoining baths. Perfectly designed for multi-generational households, bedrooms 3 and 4 are separated by a family lounge area, perfect for cuddling up with the kids/grandkids and for an additional entertaining/homework space when the kiddos get older!

Design Basics Tucker Terrace House Plan 50039 fe

The Tucker Terrace (plan #50039, above) is another unique design for a multiple suite plan, offering three bedroom suites in a 2,709 sq. ft. ranch style home.  The owner’s suite is in close proximity to the second bedroom suite, suitable for a child’s room or aging relative. The third bedroom suite is located off the garage on the opposite side of the home, providing privacy and independence for a live-in relative or college student.

Our designers and plan alterations specialists are ready to work with you to configure your unique bedroom suite combination. View our plans here.

Dual-Owner’s Suites: Boomerang Child, Teen Suite

Dual-Owner’s Suites: Boomerang Child, Teen Suite

Many parents of college students feel that even with student loan repayment, their children should learn the economic realities of housing and rent. If enrolled locally, the bedroom suite can be a less expensive option over dorm life. Or, a recent graduate could move back home, softening the blow of post-graduation costs. A 2010 CNN survey conducted by Twentysomething Inc., found that 85% of college seniors planned to move back home with their parents after graduation! For those parents that have gotten used to being empty-nesters, a dual-suite option may help with the living adjustment.

The Wetherby Mills (plan #42278, above) offers a split dual-suite option that would give a college student or recent grad some privacy and feel of having their own space. Placed strategically on the second level at the top of the stairs, the suite is separated from the owner’s suite and secondary bedrooms by an open flex space that could be used as a family lounge.

For an even more independent living feel, the Centennial A (plan #55285) features an owner’s suite on the main level and an additional suite on the second level. With two additional bedrooms on the second level, one could be converted into an office/study for completing homework or a game room/lounge for entertaining guests.

We offer numerous dual-suite arrangements, and can make custom changes to fit your family’s needs. Search all dual-owner’s suite plans on our website.

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