When people start thinking about building a luxury home in the Texas Hill Country these days, many of them consider a factor that might not have crossed their minds just a few years ago. There’s a good possibility that they might not be the only members of their family living in the home they’re planning to build.
Recently, builderonline.com reported that, while in some cases the reason for creating a multi-generational home is financial, it’s definitely not the only reason. Increasing numbers of mature adults are opting not to move into retirement communities—preferring to enjoy lives with their families instead.
That, of course, is not an option in just any house. Not every home lends itself to the needs of multi-generational families—particularly since the home has to accommodate the lifestyles of both aging parents and a younger generation. Beyond creating a home that will be comfortable and convenient for older parents, many homeowners are thinking about their own needs down the road. They want a home where they will feel comfortable and secure for years to come.
That highlights one of the significant advantages of building a custom home. As the name implies, you can customize your new home any way you want to your specific needs. So what are the things you need to think about in order to create that kind of home? There’s more to multi-generational homebuilding than simply adding a few grab bars in the shower.
Here’s a quick look at some of the key features you’ll want to consider.
- Hallways: Wider hallways make mobility easier for those who might need the assistance of walkers or a wheelchair.
- Hall Lighting: A nice feature to consider adding (for yourself or for a mature family member) is automatic foot lighting. There are a number of options that automatically turn on subtle lighting at foot level to guide the way down the hall without the need for harsh overhead lighting.
- Outlets: Raising the level of outlets throughout the house (or at least in rooms frequented by older family members) makes it easier to plug in lamps and other devices. Consider the placement of kitchen outlets as well to make them more accessible.
- Easily Accessible Cabinets: While we’re talking about the kitchen, you’ll want to give some thought to kitchen cabinets that provide easy access. Slide out shelving makes it much easier to access cooking utensils and other items stored at the back of a kitchen cabinet. That’s something everyone will appreciate. And you might even think about locating your microwave at a lower level to make it easier to use. Not only is that easier for older family members, it’s also a perk for shorter family members.
- Privacy: Something you’ll really want to consider is how much privacy various family members will want or need. You may want to think about providing a separate entrance for mature family members. And you may want to consider locating a suite for them that’s separate from the activities of the rest of the family in case they want their own peace and quiet.
One of the interesting statistics from the builderonline.com survey is that 73 percent of the owners planning to build a multi-generational home plan to remain in that home even after those features are no longer necessary. That means they are not just building the home to meet the needs of their parents, but they plan to build something they feel at home in as well.
If you’re looking for additional ideas for creating a home you’ll love (whether it’s a multi-generational home or simply a place for your immediate family), you’ll find plenty of helpful information in this free downloadable Building a House, Creating a Home eBook.