Multi-generation family households are relatively uncommon in Australia but they are gradually increasing in popularity, as reported by the Australian Institute of Family Studies in a recent report.
This increase in popularity is partly a result of immigration, as some cultural groups are more likely to live in multi-generation households. But it is also likely to be driven by the increasing costs of housing, and the continual financial pressure from the rising cost of living.
More and more families are living together across generations which has many benefits. That’s why builders like Kurmond Homes have several multi-generation living options including dual living, duplex and separate granny flat.
What’s good about multi-generation living
Multi-generation living that typically includes two or three generations of the same family cohabiting, has many benefits including:
Allows for changing needs
A well-designed multi-generation dwelling allows for the changing needs of the family group. For example, you might currently have ageing parents who could be accommodated in a separate part of your home, but in the future, this same space might be utilised by your children when they reach young adulthood. It might also be a great place to live when you reach old age, and your children and grandchildren could occupy the larger part of the home.
Social interaction across the generations
By living in the same location, family members can regularly interact with each other, without living on top of each other. Many studies have demonstrated that social contact is an essential component for living a long healthy life.
Care for elders
Multi-generation living is an ideal way for families to care for their elders. Instead of elderly family members moving to a retirement village or nursing home, they can stay with their families who can provide care. This type of living arrangement also allows different generations to interact with each other regularly.
Care for young children
Different family members are also on hand to help care for young children in multi-generation households. This saves money on expensive childcare services, but also ensures that children interact with different people enhancing their social skills and appreciation of others.
Saving money and spending power
Families can pool their budgets to build a home that they couldn’t otherwise afford. The elders of the family might have a large block of land in an established suburb but a small house that’s unsuitable for multi-generation living. The family can pool their resources and build a new home to accommodate everyone’s needs.
How should you approach multi-generation living
Like any living arrangement, there can also be problems and issues that can arise. However, with the right approach, most families can work together to overcome any problems. Here are a few tips on how to approach it:
Communication is paramount
Before you decide whether multi-generation living will work for your family, talk about it. Ask any family members that will be involved what they want to gain from the potential arrangement, and air any issues long before you start building.
Finding the right multi-generation dwelling
There are many options for multi-generation living and every family situation is different. You need to find the right one for you. Here are a few things that might work for your family.
Building your own dual living, duplex or separate granny flat home
Building a new home that will accommodate your family may be the best option. You could consider a knockdown rebuild of your existing family home, or acquiring a new property that is suitable to be demolished and rebuilt.
If your existing home could still be viable for your family but you need more space you could consider building a separate granny flat like Kurmond’s Carlton, which could accommodate one generation. To build a granny flat you’ll need sufficient space on your current block, and meet any council building requirements.
You could also consider a dual living home which refers to a single building on a block of land with two separate living spaces. Typically there is a large family home with an adjoining separate ‘flat’ that includes bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, living & dining, and even an alfresco area.
Building a duplex home is also another option that your family might consider. This is two similar-sized dwellings joined together that could be occupied by different family members. If in the future family members do not wish to live there, it can become an investment property that is rented for extra income.
How to find a builder for your multi-generation home
Not all builders understand how to build an efficient and cost-effective dual living home so choose one that has experience and existing designs.
Kurmond Homes has years of experience building multi-generation homes which we call ‘Dual Living’. On our website, you’ll find seven Dual Living designs with many façade and layout options. And if these don’t suit you and your family we’ll help you design your ideal multi-generation home to fit your current family structure and help you ensure it meets any changing requirements.