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Multigeneration home designs - why more Australian's are living with family members across three generations


Multigenerational living arrangements — where several generations of a family live under one roof — have been popular in countries worldwide for millennia. It's only in recent times that the lifestyle has been gaining traction among Aussie households.

In 2019, Metricon built more than 5,000 homes across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Of those, at least 30 per cent were for Australian families needing to accommodate intergenerational households, including grandparents, parents and grandkids living together.

Due to housing affordability and changing family values, demand for this way of living has risen significantly over the last five years. It's becoming more and more common for adult children to stay in their family home for longer and for people to want elderly family members living at home rather than in an aged care facility. We often see three generations or more living under one roof.

Much of Australia's migrant population also embraces multigenerational households, which are often the norm in their country of origin.

This type of living helps to alleviate financial pressure given there are additional adults in the home. You have more people to help with childcare, share the load of cooking or shopping, and sometimes it allows people to afford a larger or upgraded home if they're pooling resources.

Of course, it's not all about the bottom line either. Another reason for the growth in popularity is our desire to keep our loved ones close in today's busy world.

Certain designs have two master bedrooms — one at each end of the home — both with their own ensuite.
Certain designs have two master bedrooms — one at each end of the home — both with their own ensuite.

Designing homes for multigenerational families

So, what exactly does it take to accommodate multiple generations in one larger home?

These days, about 70 per cent of Metricon's home designs can be tailored to suit this popular way of life, so it's safe to say we have a decent idea of what big families need.

One of the major concerns people have about multigenerational homes is living on top of each other. However, that's not the case at all.

Metricon's designers take space, privacy and amenities into consideration when designing our homes. Our most popular multi-gen homes are those where most bedrooms, if not all, have their own ensuite and several distinct living areas.

Opt for homes with multiple living areas so everyone has a space to call their own.
Opt for homes with multiple living areas so everyone has a space to call their own.

Features of a multigenerational home

  • Multiple living rooms and sitting areas
  • Dual ovens and butler's pantries
  • Plenty of bathrooms, powder rooms, and ensuites for all adult bedrooms
  • Multiple master suites
  • Ground floor rooms for older family members
  • DualOcc properties (side by side or at rear dwellings)
  • Nooks and quiet corners to read or study

Tips to building a multigenerational home

The most common mistake that people tend to make when building a multigenerational home is not allocating enough space for everyone living there and not allowing for further family growth.

Before building a new multigenerational home, it is essential to consider which option is right for you. Whether it's one big family home or a duplex design, there are plenty of options available across our Freedom, Designer, Signature and DualOcc ranges.

Single-storey homes such as the Langdon have two master suites, one opposite a living space, making it easy to segment or make private from the rest of the home. Double-storey homes like the Glendale and the Savannah have up to four living spaces so that there's room for everyone to retreat and relax.

Choosing dual occupancy allows you to stay close to your family without sharing the same spaces.
Choosing dual occupancy allows you to stay close to your family without sharing the same spaces.

Dual occupancy homes are a great option, too - separate homes on the same block, so you get your own private space, but your family is right next door. Or, you can ask us about building a granny flat with its ensuite and spacious bedroom - like a miniature version of your own home.

And for homeowners who shudder at the idea of living with their parents again, it can never hurt to at least factor your extended family into your new home.

You never know how circumstances might change, and having family move in with you is a great way to cater for unexpected situations. Even if you opt for an additional bedroom or ensure enough bathrooms for growth – you don't have to change your plans altogether.

The Langdon 32 in Werribee, Victoria – an example of a multi-generational home with two master bedrooms.

Three golden rules of multigenerational living:

  1. Ensure there is a main bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor, so elderly family members do not have to travel up and down the stairs.
  2. Choose floorplans with at least two living spaces. That way, you aren't living on top of each other in the one living space, and there's less fighting over the television!
  3. You don't necessarily have to be in the same home – you can opt for a dual occupancy home so that you're on the same land but still have your own space, garage and front door.

To find the perfect multigenerational home design for your family, browse Metricon's home designs and floorplans here.

Alternatively, find a display home near you so you can tour our open plan living spaces in person.

Metricon builds new homes in Australian cities Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, and in regional hubs across VIC, NSW, QLD and SA.