Space is final frontier of open-plan living
It’s important to think through all your family’s needs when adapting and expanding your home, because doing the wrong home improvements can be an expensive mistake.
Open-plan living space is what most families want because it’s great for entertaining and enables everyone to be together, but doing different things if they want.
The key to a successful open-plan space is to divide it into different ‘zones’, so you have clearly defined areas for cooking, dining, sitting, studying, etc. Open-plan kitchen-diners/family rooms are often achieved by knocking two or more rooms into one and adding a ground-floor extension, which isn’t cheap but can be a lifesaver in busy multi-generational homes.
Separating living space, such as a more formal sitting room away from the hustle and bustle of family life, can also be ideal for some family members.
If you have three or more generations living under one roof, dividing up the house horizontally for sleeping is often the best solution.
Having mum and dad in a loft conversion with an en suite, the kids on the first floor with the family bathroom, and the grandparents on the ground floor with a bathroom, shower room or wet room, is a great arrangement, if there’s enough space.
Loft conversions can be done successfully in all sorts of homes, but finding space for a ground-floor bedroom and bathroom, shower room or wet room can be more of a challenge.
A downstairs cloakroom is a must in family homes and sometimes even a small cloakroom can be turned into a shower room or wet room for elderly family members who struggle to get up the stairs.
Many homes have a separate loo and bathroom.
This is a dated layout, but can work better in multi-generational homes than knocking the two rooms together, because a separate loo can still be used when someone’s in the bathroom.
Adapting a house for three generations