Steps to Convert Your Home Into a Multi-Generational Property

More Canadians are choosing to cohabitate with family members. In an effort to share housing costs in an increasingly competitive market, many are choosing to communally raise young children and care for aging parents. Transforming your home to accommodate multi-generational living can involve various adjustments to ensure comfort and functionality for all family members. Here are steps to help you get started:

Assess Your Needs

Determine who will be living together and their specific needs. Consider elderly parents, children, or other family members.

Legal and Zoning Considerations

Check local zoning laws and regulations to ensure your property can accommodate multiple generations under one roof. You may need permits or zoning variances.

Create a Budget

Establish a budget for renovations, additions, or modifications. Prioritize essential changes and plan accordingly.

Design a Floor Plan

Consider the layout of your home and how it can be reconfigured to provide separate living spaces or communal areas. Options include: Adding an in-law suite or granny flat. Converting a basement or attic into a living space. Expanding the home with an additional wing or floor. Creating separate entrances or living areas within the existing structure.

Accessibility and Safety

Make your home accessible for elderly family members with mobility issues by installing ramps, wider doorways, grab bars, and non-slip flooring. Implement safety features, such as handrails on staircases and well-lit areas. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers online guides for designing accessible spaces in the home.

Shared Living Spaces

Design common areas, like the kitchen, living room, and dining area, to accommodate large family gatherings and daily activities. Ensure each generation has adequate private spaces, including bedrooms and bathrooms, to maintain independence and privacy. Create a well-equipped kitchen with multiple workspaces and storage. Consider a second kitchenette in the in-law suite for added convenience. Expand or upgrade laundry facilities to accommodate increased usage.

Heating and Cooling

Ensure each living space has its own temperature control to accommodate individual preferences.

Storage Solutions

Optimize storage throughout the home to accommodate the belongings of multiple generations.

Privacy and Soundproofing

Use soundproofing materials and design techniques to minimize noise transfer between living spaces.<

Technology Integration

Plan for technology needs, including Wi-Fi access, entertainment systems, and home automation to make daily living more convenient.

Consult with Professionals

Consult an experienced real estate agent to advise you on resale value. Hire architects, contractors, interior designers, and other professionals to help with the renovation and design process.

Look into Tax Advantages

As of 2023, the federal Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit is available as a refundable credit towards the creation of a secondary unit that a ‘qualifying individual’ will live in, such as a parent, grandparent, sibling or spouse. The credit is applicable on the renovation of, or addition to, an eligible dwelling that a qualifying individual will reside in.

Remember that multi-generational living can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with its challenges. Be flexible, patient, and willing to adapt as needed to create a comfortable and supportive home for everyone involved. Maintain open and honest communication with all family members living in the multi-generational home to address concerns and ensure a harmonious living environment.

Contact an Experienced Agent