Preparing Your Home For Multiple-Generational Living

Construction & Contractors Articles

For a number of reasons, multi-generational households are becoming more common in the United States. Some families are doing it for economic reasons. For example, many sons and daughters are returning home after graduating college because they either can't find a job or are unable to secure one that pays enough for them to live on their own. While other households have had to find room for elderly parents who can no longer live on their own. Whatever the reason, more than 51 million families in the United States now live in a house with at least two generations of adults.

Many believe that this number is only going to grow. If you believe that you will soon be welcoming another generation under your roof, here are a few steps you may want to take so that your home can better accommodate all these people:

Get a Better Water Heater

Very few people enjoy waking up to discover that they have no hot water for their shower before work. If your house already runs out of hot water with the number of people you currently have in your household and are now inviting more people to live under your roof, it may be time to pick up a new water heater. To help you determine what size water heater you should purchase, you have to determine your home's first hour rating or FHR by: 

  • Decide the number of people that will probably be using hot water during the most popular time period of the day and then add one. For example, will there be five people all trying to shower before going to work in the morning, then your number should be six. 
  • Multiply that number times 12 gallons, which is the average number each person will use during a shower. 
  • Use the resulting number to determine your FHR. So if you have 12 gallons times 6 people, your FHR will be a minimum of 72. That is the minimum FHR you should look for on a water heater. 

Improve Your Driveway

Typically, the more generations you have living in your home, the more parking spaces you will need. In some areas, that may mean you will need to reconfigure or improve your current driveway. The following are three ways that can make parking multiple vehicles in front of your home easier on everyone:

  • Consider adding a circular asphalt driveway. If your property has the room, a big circular driveway will give you plenty of space to park multiple vehicles and should also alleviate the need to move vehicles around whenever a person needs to leave. 
  • Add a branched driveway. By adding a branched driveway, cars can be parked on either side of your garage or driveway, which can also minimize the number of times family members will need to move their cars. 
  • Widen your current asphalt driveway. You can either simply widen the entire length of your driveway or add a parking space off of your current one. 

Check out sites like to find contractors in your area to assist you.

Rethink Unused Spaces

If your home has a formal living room that is never used, you may want to convert it into an office area or another family room. It's important that your multi-generational home has several areas where family members can gather separately. Otherwise, nerves may fray as young adults quarrel with seniors about what shows to watch on television or where guests can be entertained.   

Having several generations living under one roof can be a real blessing for the entire family. The younger generation can learn from their elders, while seniors can get help with the things they can no longer do on their own. Preparing your home in advance to accommodate everyone will make the transition go more smoothly.


20 October 2014

Adding a Man Cave to Your Home: Tips

I have always loved baseball, and when the world series arrives each year, I enjoy inviting my friends over to watch the games. As our family grew, it became difficult for all of our guests to fit in our living room. We decided that we needed a dedicated "man cave" in our home, but we didn't have an extra room to build it in. We thought long and hard about how we could add it, but we finally decided to turn our garage into the man cave and have a carport built onto our home to park our cars under. I have always been interested in learning more handy-work, so I enjoyed watching the contractors build both the man cave and car port. I thought I would start a blog to share what I learned during the building process to help other homeowners!