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10 Examples of Intergenerational Homes

10 Examples of Intergenerational Homes

Interior renovations10 Examples of Intergenerational Homes

A few decades ago, it was expected that several generations from the same family would share the same home. Grandparents, parents, grandchildren, uncles and aunts lived together, as systems like senior housing or daycares were not commonly available.  

As time passed, single-family homes became the norm and the tradition of living between several generations on the same property was lost, at least in the West. However, nowadays, there is a certain upswing in the popularity of intergenerational (or multigenerational) homes. 

There isn't a unique type of intergenerational home. There is something for everyone's preferences. Here are a few examples: 

  • A home with a separate apartment in the basement

  • A yard with two separate homes (both the same size, or a tiny house with a regular house)

  • A yard with two homes that are connected (semi-detached or houses connected by a room or a corridor)

  • A large shared home

  • A duplex/triplex/quadruplex with individual apartments

  • A home extension built on an existing property

Municipal By-Laws Regarding Building Multigenerational Homes

If you decide to undertake a construction or remodelling project on an intergenerational home, it will be important for you to be aware of the rules that are currently in effect. Each city has its own rules and laws, so you shouldn't rely on just any piece of information that you may have found on the Internet. 

Inquire with your municipal authorities and have written proof of all the information that you receive. Normally, architects and contractors with whom you do business should be aware of these rules, but you cannot take this for granted, especially since the rules can change over time! 

10 Examples of Bi-Generational Homes to Inspire You

1- Two single-family homes on a property

Maison intergénérationelle city home 01_Intergenerational home city home 01

Maison intergénérationelle city home 02_Intergenerational home city home 02

Photo: MyMove

The first example that was of interest in this list is a property that hosts two single-family homes. The main home is occupied by the family with children, whilst the smaller home is used as a dwelling for the grandparents. 

There is a disparity between the sizes of the homes, but these perfectly suit the needs of each family. The yard is shared, with a pool, spa and intimate patio for all to enjoy. 

2- A basement apartment for the in-laws

Apartement pour parents au sous-sol 01_in-law suite basement 01

Apartement pour parents au sous-sol 02_in-law suite basement 02

Photo: House and Home

In some cases, a separate suite is built in the basement of the home. This involves having to find a way to create a living space that is welcoming and full of natural light. If you are already a homeowner, you may consider a basement refurbishing project. 

Otherwise, if you decide to work with a real estate agent to buy a new home, having a basement may become conditional. 

3- A bi-generational home with a separate ground-floor apartment

Grande maison interégénérationelle 01_intergenerational home 01

Grande maison interégénérationelle 02_intergenerational home 02

Photo: The Design Files

This house contains two living spaces that can be separated or connected, according to the needs and preferences of the occupants. The property is modern, luminous and built according to eco-friendly principles. 

The building's design also makes it possible to create spaces that foster family moments and other areas that allow the occupants to enjoy their privacy.

4- Shared and private: two connected homes 

Maison de ville partagée 01_shared townhouse 01

Maison de ville partagée 02_shared townhouse 02

Photo: Williamson Williamson

Would you prefer to share a yard while having separate homes? Here is a type of multigenerational home that you may like. The two homes are connected in the middle, but they are still almost completely independent one from the other. 

On a daily basis, the families can live separately. They only meet up when favourable. This is perfect for those who want their autonomy while still being in close proximity if someone needs help. 

5- A multi-family townhouse 

Maisons partagées en famille 01_shared family homes 01

Maisons partagées en famille 02_shared family homes 02

Photo: Ben Rahn / A-Frame Inc.

Here is another example of an intergenerational home that is located in a somewhat dense urban area. Among the other challenges that one may face when choosing to build this type of house in an urban setting, one must also think about the fact that municipal by-laws can be obstacles with which we have to deal or be bypassed in some way or another.  

This is what happened during the building process of this property, and the architects found great compromises that pleased the homeowners whilst still abiding by the law. 

6- Two-in-one family home!

Maison deux en un 01_two in one home 01

Maison deux en un 02_two in one home 02

Photo: TICA architecture

Four generations share this lovely property. Like in several above-shown examples, this building is divided into two dwellings, the difference being that in this case, several areas are shared between the occupants, such as the basement cellar, ground-floor workshop, as well as the exterior terrace.  

The building was also designed to maximize the amount of land available so that the family can fully benefit from the outdoor area. Located on the edge of the water, the house is also very airy and luminous. These are some great characteristics that should please several generations! 

7- A manufactured, intergenerational home

Maison intergénérationelle usinée 01_factory built home multigenerational 01

Maison intergénérationelle usinée 02_factory built home multigenerational 02

Photo: Minicucci architecte

If you're having a hard time finding the ideal multigenerational home, why not buy land and build a new dwelling that will fulfill your needs? You can hire an architect to draw up the plan from scratch or buy a manufactured, pre-designed home, as shown in the example hereabove. 

8- An ultra-modern shared home

Maison bigénération contemporaine 01_multigenerational home contemporary 01

Maison bigénération contemporaine 02_multigenerational home contemporary 02

Photo: Howeler Yoon

Are you a contemporary architecture buff? Here is an intergenerational home that you should like. All the members of this extended family live under the same roof. However, this does not mean that they are stepping on each other's toes! 

The house is big, airy and designed with three parts, which include bedrooms, the living area, and another set of bedrooms. 

9- An eco-friendly, bi-generational home

Maison écologique bigénération 01_eco-friendly intergenerational home 01

Maison écologique bigénération 02_eco-friendly intergenerational home 02

Photo: Ecohabitation - Charles O'Hara photographer

Most of the examples that we have presented in this article are real homes located around the world, but here is a multigenerational home that has been designed and built in Canada. TERGOS architecture + construction is the firm that is behind the conception and development of this impressively-designed home. 

The building is divided into two sections, including a part that is a single-storey section and another that is spread out over two floors. The young family lives in the second part whilst the parents are housed on the ground floor. 

10- A warm and cozy intergenerational home

Maison intergénérationelle accueillante 01_welcoming intergenerational home 01

Maison intergénérationelle accueillante 02_welcoming intergenerational home 02

Photo: Apartment Therapy

When looking to build a multigenerational home in a densely populated area, one needs to be daring and creative. It's even more complicated when you want to integrate green spaces, a true tour de force that has been achieved in this case by the home builders. There are no fewer than four terraces and garden areas surrounding the home. 

These spaces become places of gathering for family members that share the home. The household is split into two sections, including the main area where the young family lives and the separate suite that houses the grandparents. 

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    Last modified 2023-11-07

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