In today’s society, not all families are the same. What was once considered a typical American family – Mom, Dad, two kids and a dog – is no longer as common as it once was. Additionally, life expectancy has increased. Because of these reasons, Multi-Generational House Plans are growing in popularity throughout the United States and Canada.
What is a multi-generational house plan? It is one home structure designed for multiple generations with separate living units. This arrangement provides privacy and independence for two or more generations all under one roof. With multi-generational house plans, the exterior looks like all the other houses in any neighborhood; it looks like a single-family home. The separate living units are not noticeable on the outside like they are with duplexes, townhouses and other multi-family designs. Instead, multi-generational house plans incorporate a separate living unit into the floor plan that provides private spaces for independent living while still being connected to the main house. Most of these units feature a private entry kitchenette, small living area, bedroom and bath. The laundry area and garage may be shared with the main house or they may be separate. While most multi-generational house plans incorporate the separate living unit on the main level of the home, it is important to note that sometimes the separate unit is located above the garage or in the basement of the home.
Who would benefit from a multi-generational house? Now days, no two families look the same. Instead of downsizing, some baby-boomers are trading up for larger homes that will allow their aging parents or other elderly relatives to live with them, as well as, their adult children who have recently graduated from college and need a place to get on their feet while they begin their careers. Adult children and grandchildren are moving back home with to live with parents and grandparents due to financial situations. In other cases, grandparents are raising their grandkids. No matter what combination of multiple generations live under one roof, it is easy to understand how a multi-generational house plan can provide the living space everyone needs.
Are multi-generational house plans practical? Yes! They are practical for countless reasons. Consider the following examples, and you’ll see that a multi-generational house certainly has its advantages.
- Multi-generational house plans are cost effective in areas with a high cost of living such as California. In this situation, parents and their adult children can pool their incomes and finances to go farther. It provides an opportunity for the adults to live independently but together when they might otherwise be scraping up pennies to pay the rent or live in a lower income area or less desirable neighborhood. In cases like this, a multi-generational home is a financial solution.
- For baby boomers, a multi-generational house plan allows home owners to keep an eye on aging parents/relatives who are able to live independently, but sometimes need a little extra assistance. It offers peace of mind and a little extra security.
- In other instances, multi-generational houses plans deliver a great alternative to paying monthly fees charged by assisted living facilities. As more and more families try to figure out how add on to their homes to make room for Grandma or Grandpa or how to make ends meet while paying for assisted living for a loved one, the option of building a multi-generational house becomes a more feasible and affordable idea.
- Sometimes two-parent and single-parent families need assistance from Grandma and Grandpa when it comes to child care. Again, a multi-generational house is a viable solution. The grandparents can take care of the grandkids while the parent(s) are at work. In the evening and on weekends, the grandparents can retreat to their private suite. Additionally, the grandparents are able to participate in their grandchildren’s lives on a daily basis. They won’t miss birthdays, ball games, etc. This arrangement can develop a stronger bond between grandparents and grandchildren that might not otherwise be possible if the grandparents were living across town, in another city, etc.
- Some multi-generational house plans offer a separate living unit in the basement of the home or a small apartment above the garage. These units are ideal for college students and recent graduates who are trying to save money for their own home but need to get their careers started. Every now and then, the young adult might need guidance from parents or grandparents, but for the most part, he or she wants to live independently.
- Multi-generational houses are great for resale. As the “family unit” continues to evolve, more and more Americans will find themselves in a multi-generational household. When the time comes to down-size, your multi-generational house is sure to appeal to another multi-generational family.
For those currently living in a home with multiple generations of family members, a multi-generational house plan can change your life and your lifestyle. Allowing each generation of the family unit to have its own space will minimize friction, promote positive family experiences, and help to curb financial stress.
Country house plans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most have a few common and recognizable features. Consider the features of these country home designs.
Covered porch with rail – One of the most easily recognizable features of a country house plan is a welcoming covered front porch lined with a decorative porch rail like the one that dresses up the exterior of plan 047H-0016. A covered porch offers a relaxing space for conversation, sipping lemonade with neighbors, and a peaceful place to sit in your rocker and watch the sun set.
Metal roof – Nothing says country like a metal roof. Take a look at plan 063H-0208. A metal roof takes you back in time, while giving your country home plenty of character and charm.
Wrap-around porch – For those who enjoy outdoor living, a country-style wrap-around porch provides plenty of outdoor space to read, visit with friends and neighbors and watch the kids play in the yard. A wrap-round porch extends the living areas outdoors and gives everyone room to relax. Just imagine your very own porch swing! Check out the wrap-around porch on plan 054H-0010.
Roofline parallel to the road – Many country house plans feature a roofline that runs parallel to the road. Design 021H-0134 offers a perfect example.
Country kitchen – Country home plans are known for their country kitchens or eat-in kitchens. When the dining space is situated within or adjoining to the kitchen, it easy to serve an entire family with little effort. Consider the step-saver layout of plan 006H-0074.
Farmhouse style – Speaking of going back in time, some country home plans exude farmhouse styling. While reminiscent of yesteryear, farmhouses deliver modern floor plans with many of today’s most requested features. Consider farmhouse plan 059H-0039.
Victorian house plans are commonly recognized for their elaborately detailed exteriors. They showcase elements of craftsmanship that aren’t always found among other architectural styles. Some of their most notable features include:
- Turrets and towers
- Covered, wrap-around porches
- Turned posts
- Gingerbread detailing
- Detailed scrollwork
- Fish-scale siding
- Miscellaneous ornamental decorations
Beyond their striking exteriors, Victorian home plans generally feature an asymmetrical floor plan and casual gathering spaces. While elegantly graceful on the outside, most are comfortable and family friendly on the inside. View our collection of Victorian house plans to find the design that is right for your family!
Though Colonial styling originated in Europe in the 1600s, it sprang to life in the 1700s when colonists began settling the land that is now America’s Eastern Seaboard. Colonial houses started as two-story homes with one room on each floor. Today’s designs are far from the originals, but they still showcase some features that were prevalent when colonists first settled the New World. Today’s Colonial home plans are known for the following:
- Distinct rectangular or square shape
- Typically designed at two-story homes
- Featured a strong use of symmetry
- Front door is centrally located and flanked with windows on either side
- Doors are accented with flattened columns on each side
- Stairway is located directly behind the entry/front door
- Incorporate heavy wooded or wood-paneled doors
- Offer a pair of chimneys (one on either side/end of the home) or one chimney on one end of the home
- A hallway/foyer bisects each floor into left and right sides
- Pitched roofs have a minimal overhang
- Exterior is finished with clapboard siding (or siding that looks like clapboard)
- Dormer windows are sometimes included in the second floor
- Some or all rooms showcase hardwood floors
- Exterior decoration is kept to a minimum
If you’ve dreamed about living by the sea, you might have envisioned oceanfront property with waves crashing on the beach. Or maybe you prefer living by a picturesque river. Either way, coastal house plans are well suited for living at the water’s edge. These homes can be one or more levels and can range in size from a simple vacation house to luxurious beach home. Below is a list of some of the typical characteristics of coastal house plans. If you’d like to build near the ocean, along a river or canal, next to some other body of water, you’ll want to look for house plans that offer most or all of these features:
- Coastal home plans are often built on piers or pilings raising the main living areas above the ground by one level and positioning the parking area below the home. This arrangement accommodates rising tides or flood waters and prevents flooding inside the home. The water is able to flow underneath the home without any risk to the structure or damage to the personal belongings and furnishings inside it.
- Coastal house plans often enjoy an open floor plan with the living areas coming together as one. This allows gentle breezes circulate and flow throughout the home.
- Floor plans of coastal homes generally incorporate large windows which are strategically placed to maximize the beach our shoreline view.
- One or more large decks and/or porches deliver outdoor living spaces further enhancing the livability of coastal homes. They provide another opportunity to enjoy the view of the surrounding landscape and waterscape while delivering a relaxing place to entertain guests, dine outdoors and soak up the sights and sounds of nature.
- Coastal house plans often incorporate specialized materials, construction practices and design elements necessary to meet local building codes and specifications related to regional climates, geographic factors and/or marine environments.
Take some time to browse or collection of coastal home plans. For more possibilities, check out our waterfront homes, too!