Make Way for Multigenerational Housing: Home Designs for Combined Living

While many families try to figure out how to accommodate a multigenerational household, few homes are actually designed for this type of living arrangement. These home designs address the imbalance

By Larry W. Garnett, FAIBD, House Review Lead Designer | March 5, 2020
front elevation of Wellington Duplex multigenerational housing design by GMD Design Group
Modern farmhouse meets multigenerational living in the Wellington Duplex, designed by GMD Design Group.

Statistics vary, but it’s safe to say that about 40% of homebuyers are considering the possibility of accommodating an older parent, adult child, or grandchild in their homes—a trend that will substantially alter the future of U.S. housing design. For economic and social reasons, many families are now trying to figure out how to manage a multigenerational household, but very few homes are truly designed to allow combined living spaces and maintain a reasonable amount of privacy for family members. Considering the sizable market for multi-gen product, our design team presents concepts and completed homes here that address these new living arrangements.

 

Advertisement

 

Wellington Duplex

DESIGNERS: GMD Design Group, Scott Gardner, AIA, scott@gmddesigngroup.com, 919.320.3022

Donnie McGrath, donnie@gmddesigngroup.com, 770.375.7351

DIMENSIONS: Width: 66 feet, Depth: 74 feet, Living area: 2,324 sf

 

This duplex (shown, above) is designed to provide a somewhat higher density solution for two extended families. The owner’s suite and multigenerational suite are both on the main floor, which is very desirable for many buyers.

In addition to the generous first floor, there is a large loft on the second floor to provide additional space-use flexibility.

 

first floor plan of the Wellington Duplex multigenerational home design by GMD Design Group

 

plan key for the Wellington Duplex multigenerational home design by GMD Design Group

 

second floor plan for the Wellington Duplex multigenerational home design by GMD Design Group

 

 

RELATED: Design Trends in Multi-Generational Housing

 

 

The Union

DESIGNER: DTJ Design, Seth Hart, shart@dtjdesign.com, 303.443.7533

DIMENSIONS: Width: 55 feet, Depth: 70 feet, Living area: 3,740 sf

 

This multigenerational house plan maximizes function while also focusing on flexibility. The multi-gen suite has direct access from the main home, the garage, and a private front porch, which allows access to the unit without disturbing the rest of the home. The common wall between the multi-gen suite and the main home is designed as a double wall with additional sound insulation to provide enhanced privacy for occupants on either side.

The key to this plan, however, is its flexibility in function. The two plan options address how, when there is no longer a need for multi-gen living, the suite could be repurposed into either an accessory dwelling unit or a main floor master for someone to age in place. The additional plan variations could also be offered direct from the builder as one floor plan with various options to appeal to a broader buyer segment.

 

front elevation of The Union multigenerational house design by DTJ Design

 

multi-gen suite plan of The Union multigenerational house design by DTJ Design

 

p[lan key for The Union multigenerational house design by DTJ Designmain floor master option for The Union multigenerational house design by DTJ Design

 

accessory dwelling unit plan for The Union multigenerational house design by DTJ Design

 

Plan 1

ARCHITECT: Dahlin Group Architecture | Planning, marketing@dahlingroup.com, 925.251.7200

DIMENSIONS: Width: 70 feet, Depth: 114 feet, Living area: 2,939 sf

 

This plan offers single-story living with flexibility to fit a number of multigenerational family and co-living arrangements. In keeping with buyer preferences, the common living spaces are spacious and open. The multi-gen option replaces a one-car garage and guest bedroom.

Hidden Ridge is a neighborhood of 22 single-family detached homes nestled within an established neighborhood that was once a citrus orchard. It offers a 15-mile commute to CSU Sacramento and to the jobs, shopping, entertainment, and cultural activities of downtown Sacramento. | Photos: Douglas Sterling Photography

 

front elevation of Plan 1 multigenerational home design by Dahlin Group Architecture Planning

 

floor plan of Plan 1 multigenerational home design by Dahlin Group Architecture Planning

 

plan key for Plan 1 multigenerational home design by Dahlin Group Architecture Planning

 

kitchen in Plan 1 multigenerational home design by Dahlin Group Architecture Planning

 

interior living room in Plan 1 multigenerational home design by Dahlin Group Architecture Planning

 

 

 

Topaz Plan 4

ARCHITECT: Kevin L. Crook Architect, Kevin Crook, kcrook@klcarch.com, 949.660.1587

DIMENSIONS: Width: 50 feet, Depth: 77 feet, 6 inches, Living area: 4.100 sf

 

This multigenerational home provides a lock-off single-level multi-gen suite, creating a home within a home. A dedicated single-car garage and breezeway entrance ensure privacy, while a secondary interior entrance allows direct access when needed. 

Essentially a one-bedroom home with a study and open-concept living, dining, and kitchenette, this multi-gen design offers secluded living spaces for all.

 

Topaz Plan 4 home design front elevation by Kevin Crook architect

 

Topaz Plan 4 home design first floor plan by Kevin Crook architect

 

Topaz Plan 4 plan key for multigenerational home design by Kevin Crook architect

 

 

Topaz Plan 4 home design second floor plan by Kevin Crook architect

 

Access a PDF of this article in Pro Builder's March 2020 digital edition

 

Comments

Related Categories

expand_less