The current mantra in designing homes is “tear down those walls!” Open floorplans are must-haves because they accentuate the casual living environment that consumers crave.
Demand swells for multi-generational housing
In response to the number of families doubling up, builders are introducing new designs that offer independence and privacy as well as togetherness.
Pulte’s grand retreat
The optional grand retreat above the garage offered by Pulte in Florida has been a hot seller with buyers who wish to provide more independence for a family member. The 800-square-foot retreat includes a bedroom, a full bath, a living room, and a kitchenette with a full appliance package.
PulteGroup hasn’t gone so far as to offer a home within a home, but several floor plans have the flexibility to accommodate a multi-generational household. The floor-plan options include a first-floor bedroom suite in lieu of the den; a bedroom and bath carved out of the third garage bay; and a “grand retreat” over the garage that includes a bedroom, full bath, kitchenette, and living room.
“We’ve definitely had more requests for this kind of space in markets across the country,” says Scott Thomas, national VP of product design for the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based builder.
At Mallory Creek in Abacoa, a master-planned community in Jupiter, Fla., the grand retreat is offered in two plans, ranging from 3,470 to 4,040 square feet and base-priced from $600,000 to $617,000. The retreat includes a kitchenette with a full appliance package (refrigerator, microwave oven, dishwasher, electric range/oven, and stackable washer/dryer). This secondary kitchen is permitted as part of the entire home, says Scott Mairn, VP of sales for Pulte’s South Florida division.
About 18 percent of all the homes sold in 2011 at Mallory Creek included the grand retreat, says Mairn. In floor plans where this option was offered, buyers chose it 75 percent of the time. The $80,000 option has been used for various purposes, including a mother-in-law suite, nanny suite, and private quarters for older children returning home.