Sharing A Multi-Generational Home with your Kids or Parents
With major disruptions and job losses as a result of the current COVID pandemic, many younger and older people struggled to keep up with the rent. As a result, it has largely fallen on the shoulders of working age people to house their adult children and their parents. With the phenomenon of multi-generational living here to stay, it is now more popular than ever for the extended family to live on one site or in one home. Sometimes family members are staying in the spare bedroom and other times a renovation is being undertaken. However, living together in close quarters, especially with family, has pros and cons and can result in relationships becoming strained if space isn’t properly managed. With the old tactic of simply adding an extra bedroom with an ensuite not really suitable to the current housing situation, homeowners are facing a number of challenges to make multi-generational living work for the whole family.
My ageing parents require accommodation, but we need our own space and don’t want to feel out of place in our own home?
Whether housing your older or younger family members and relatives, there are some guiding principles which should be followed. As older family members will most likely be spending a large amount of their time at home, it makes sense to provide them with their own private lounge or even a courtyard where they can get some sun and you can get some privacy. It’s important to note that when considering a renovation or home upgrade for an older family member, their mobility or other special needs should be taken into account. For example, do your parents require shower rails or handrails on stairs and a wider entrance for wheelchair access? With the health concerns that inevitably beset us as we age, thought should also be given to making sure you’re not too far away from older residents so you can keep an eye on them as well.
There are another lot of considerations for younger family members or your kids who have returned home or not yet left. Oftentimes, they will be living at home for an extended period to save money for a deposit on their own place. While this is a great idea and can really help them off to a great start in life, the arrangement has to work for you as well. To help keep everyone happy, it may be a good idea to make sure their bedroom is large enough for their needs with an ensuite and walk-in robe. Additionally, building an extra study, media room or gaming room can provide a space for your kids to learn, unwind or use for entertainment. This ensures a smooth flow within your home and gives everyone their own private space to go about their usual activities as required.
I’m not sure whether to go down the path of renovating and extending my home or building a granny flat.
This age-old question has been faced by families for many years and has only become more pertinent recently with the rise in multi-generational living and the current property market. Whilst each option has its own advantages and drawbacks, it’s largely a matter of personal preference. If you do choose to renovate or build an extension onto your home, we would definitely recommend having a separate entrance. This is especially important when young people are living at home who may come home early in the morning or late at night. Without adequate acoustic insulation, such as Gyprock SoundChek plasterboard or something similar, noise transference through the home could disturb other residents and become an issue. With proper planning however, accommodating everyone under the one roof can work and provides easy access to common amenities such as the kitchen and living room for the whole family.
Whilst some people do like to have their family close by in the same dwelling, many people nowadays are opting to build a standalone granny flat or even base their site on pavilion-style designs. Granny flats also offer many benefits such as increased privacy and less noise problems which are important considerations for most families. Also, a separate building on your property may also be able to be rented out in future and bring in extra income. Whichever solution you choose, it’s important to work with a quality builder such as Optam to ensure everything is planned perfectly and constructed with the highest quality workmanship.
I don’t understand Council building regulations.
You’re not alone in feeling lost when trying to decipher the local Council building regulations. In our experience a granny flat and extension or renovation may be viewed in a similar way, either as a CDC (Complying Development) or DA (Development Application). However, it can get a little tricky with Council when the building’s purpose or intended use is not completely clear. Although that may be the case, working with a professional builder with over 3 decades’ experience like Optam goes a long to smoothly navigating the regulatory minefield.
The Nitty Gritty
Whist it’s all good and well to design and build the perfect space for your children or parents, it’s also imperative to have some serious discussions if it looks like the arrangement may be a long term one. Discussions around paying for utilities and food as well as who’ll complete chores are best had early on to establish personal boundaries and ensure your family continues to grow and love each other more and more each day.
Build With Optam
If you’re in a position where you’re thinking about building a granny flat or undertaking a major renovation, please contact Optam Building Group on (07) 5443 3780 or email email@example.com for your complimentary discovery consultation. With over 30 years in the building game and a team of expert trades, your next project will be in great hands with us.