March 12th, 2014
You’ve decided that you want to expand your home, or remodel your existing space because you need to have a place for family to move in with you. This can be a tough choice and is actually an increasing trend in the US.
So what do we mean when we talk about multiple generations?
It could be your children graduated from college and boomeranged back home because they don’t have a job or don’t have money to pay first, last, and deposit on a rental, if they could even find one to begin with.
It could be your aging parents need to move in, or just one if a spouse died, and they don’t want to be alone.
It could be your brother got divorced and got custody of the kids and needs to move in with you for awhile.
Or it could be your culture that you expect your parents and children to live with you.
The bottom line is that you need to adjust your current living space so everyone has their own little place to go when they need some quiet time.
Before you look into general contractors or specialists, you should ask yourself three questions:
This is a very important question to ask yourself before taking on a remodeling project of your house because it literally forces you to sit down and think about everything that you want to do and get done. A remodeling project literally can take on a life of its own, but your job should be to keep the excitement to a minimum so as to not get carried away when thinking about other possibilities.
The first step in answering this question, though, is to make a physical list of all the rooms that you have in your house whether you know you want to remodel them or not. After the list is made only then should you go down the list and write down everything that you want to do. You may be surprised, though, as to how many of these remodeling projects that you can do yourself or have a close friend help you out. But if you write down everything that you want done to your house room-by-room then you can quickly gauge how much everything will cost. Furthermore, this list can also be gone over with a professional contractor, who will also be able to quickly gauge and give you an estimate of the costs.
If you need to expand, then find a contractor who has experience in getting the proper permits, and understands how to expand upon your home. Work with a reputable architect especially if you want to expand up.
And ensure that you have extra because there are always unforeseen costs like dry rot and mold that will increase the cost.
There are a number of things you need to look at if an elderly family member is moving in. First, you need to examine where they could fall, and find solutions. For example, if your father has Parkinson’s and is at the stage before a walker but he’s shuffling his feet, you may want to get rid of your carpeting on the main level.
Secondly, if you’re planning on adding a bedroom upstairs, can they climb stairs? Will you need to reinforce the hand railing?
Third, you will need to remodel a bathroom that they can use with hand railings in the tub or shower to prevent falls. If they are in a wheelchair, you’ll need to ensure that they can navigate into the bathroom and that there are railings for the toilet. Also, there are new types of showers that are completely open with no step-in that prevent falls as well.
You may not need these items now, but it’s good to plan ahead especially with the door width and stairs.
If you have a basement, finish it for someone’s private bedroom. Add in a bathroom for a complete living space.
Add in a second entrance for added privacy. Once everyone moves out, you could remodel a little bit to turn the extra bedroom suite into a rental unit for additional income.
Have a second sink in the kitchen to allow for multiple cooks, or multiple people needing water.
Look into adding a mini-kitchen to a second master suite creating a studio apartment in your home to allow for privacy and independence.
And, consider remodeling your own bedroom into a private oasis to relax from the stress of all the people in your house. Family can be wonderful, but there are times when you need to unwind as well.