Multigenerational Living  – Benefits and Home-Building Tips

Share this

Multigenerational living is on the rise – with an estimated 20% of Australians living in a household with several generations of family. Driven by the cost of living, increased life expectancy and changing needs, this style of living will inevitably become more common in the years to come.

Many Australian families are embracing the practical, social and financial advantages of having three to four generations – grandparents, adult children, grandchildren and sometimes great-grandchildren under one roof.

What are the benefits of a multigenerational home?

  1. Elderly family members can be cared for by family members which is more cost-efficient than an aged care facility.
  2. Grandparents can share the load of childcare, taking the burden off full-time working parents.
  3. Young graduates and young families can save on rental costs and enjoy the comfort of living in their family home while planning for a home of their own.
  4. Working adults can share costs and pool resources for daily essentials, food and utilities.
  5. Household chores and maintenance can be shared between young and able family members.
  6. Working parents can travel or work abroad without a mortgage burden or security concerns as someone will care for the home.

How should I get started with building a multigenerational home?

A functional and well-designed multigenerational home fosters closer relationships and a greater bond between generations without neglecting individual privacy. 

While most traits of a common Australian home remain the same, such as a living space, dining area, kitchen, multiple bedrooms and places to study or work, a multigenerational home takes into account the needs of multiple generations under the same roof.

Here are some tips to build the best multigenerational home for you and your family:

  • Open/Living Spaces:
    • Multiple living spaces upstairs and downstairs will enable large families to entertain guests simultaneously.
    • Consider a main living room downstairs for grandparents/working parents to host their family and friends.
    • Meanwhile, young adults or teenagers can relax and invite friends over for drinks in an outdoor alfresco living area (upstairs or downstairs).
    • Children and teenagers can play video games/board games with their friends upstairs in a separate living area.
  • Bedrooms:
    • While a traditional home may feature one master bedroom – multigenerational homes often have two master bedrooms, one upstairs and one downstairs.
    • Having an ensuite bathroom will make all the difference for elderly grandparents who will not have to make the trip upstairs, and for working parents or adult children who value their privacy.
    • As you grow with the home, having a master suite downstairs will be one of the best decisions you will ever make in terms of functionality and longevity.
  • Bathrooms:
    • It is worth equipping most, if not all rooms with ensuite bathrooms as your children grow with the home.
    • If you plan to grow your family or have guests over regularly, be sure to plan for additional upstairs and downstairs powder rooms.

  • Kitchen:
    • Mealtimes are non-negotiable – so definitely consider investing in more counter space and ample dining areas to accommodate the various needs of the household.
    • Dual ovens, multiple stoves and larger refrigerators/pantries may also serve a great purpose in a multigenerational home, allowing for bigger amounts of food preparation at one go.
  • Private areas and storage:
    • Do your family members have various interests and needs – be it sports, gardening, computer games, music, or a place to study/work?
    • If so, having this in mind will help you plan and allocate space wisely.
    • Also, ample storage is a lifesaver in growing homes, so do not forget to add it to your multigenerational home master plan!

What is a dual occupancy home?

For families who prefer to have even greater privacy – a dual occupancy home ensures that you can still have your own space, front door, garage and key while occupying the same land as your elderly grandparents’ / working children’s home.

The bottom line is, while there are certainly many social, practical and economic advantages, the best reason to build a multigenerational home is how it allows us to keep our loved ones close in today’s hectic world.

At HouseSpec Builders, we are a small business run by a passionate and friendly team with a combined experience of over 60 years of experience in homebuilding, including many multigenerational homes. We are 5-star rated on Google as a trusted, reliable home builder in Melbourne and we pride ourselves on delivering personal service to meet your home building needs.

Get in touch with us today!