Homes for all ages: Multigenerational house construction on the rise

 

It’s becoming more and more popular for two and three generations of families to living together under one roof, and one local building company is catching onto the trend.

Schuyler Builders, a 13-year-old Saratoga Springs-based company, identified the resurgence of multigenerational living when customers when the company noticed an influx of inquiries in recent years from people in a few different situations keeping more than one generation in the same household.

 In certain ethnicities, some which are growing in the Capital Region, it is common for three to four generations to live together.

Many adults are opening their homes to their elderly parents rather than having them live alone or sending them to an assisted living facility.

Some families are purposely inviting grandparents to live with them for convenient in-home child care.

Schuyler Builders receives many calls to build in-law suites, for parents who visit for extended stays, or snowbirds who go South for the winter and only spend the summer months in upstate New York.

Also, children who have grown and moved out of their parents home are often returning, sometimes with partners and children. In some cases, this is because of college debt accrued in their time out on their own.

The result of these varying scenarios is that an antiquated, once necessary, housing option is redefined by a forward-thinking conscious choice to share lives.

One major upside to multigenerational living is sharing expenses. “There’s the savings scenario that’s coming to play,” said Schuyler Builders operating manager Anthony Vaccarielli, an Albany native.

Schuyler’s multigenerational homes are living spaces that provide an atmosphere for parents, grandparents and children to grow older together by incorporating a custom, private suite design for extra family to visit or stay.

Less expensive than a more traditional duplex home, these multigenerational homes are split into two levels.

Schuyler Builders’ goal is to create a space for generations to coexist.

This living together trend isn’t so much a new one, but a resurging concept in housing and homeownership.

Families living under one roof was once the norm in America. Then, after World War II the U.S. economy fully transitioned from agrarian to industrial manufacturing. Returning service men and women moved to the cities to take advantage of education provided by the G.I. Bill and jobs created by the manufacturing economy. Pent up demand for consumer goods after the Great Depression and the war along with greater prosperity made owning single-family homes possible.

Also, life expectancy then was not what it is today. Today, people live longer and stay healthier decades longer than their ancestors.

Additionally, the economic reality is that the dollar does not go nearly as far as it once did. In these times, two and three generations living together sharing lives and expenses under one roof is practical and affordable. “We’ve designed these homes to encourage family bonding in the 21st century,” said Vaccarielli in a press release. “There is plenty of space so that no one is crowded or crowding out other family members, which is another benefit.”

Separate entrances, lounging areas and kitchens allow both parties an independent lifestyle, even while residing under the same roof.

Schuyler Builders’ meticulously built multi-generational homes measure from 2,100 to 3,800 square feet, with four to five bedrooms, open kitchen and optional second kitchen suite, two family rooms, an optional office, three full bathrooms, a garage, upper and lower covered decks, hardwood floors, tile baths, high efficiency heating, quality insulation and advanced air sealing.

A first of its kind model of a multigenerational home by Schuyler Builders is located at 250 Taurus Rd. in Niskayuna, nearby the Mohawk Commons shopping plaza. Now nearly finished and on the housing market at $279,900, this raised ranch is the first one that Schuyler Builders constructed. “We’re using this as kind of a test pilot,” said Vaccarielli, who hopes that it’s one of many to come.

If built from scratch for a customer with added upgrades a multigenerational home from Schuyler Builders would cost between $330,000 and $339,000.

“This is a new endeavor,” Vaccarielli said. “It has flexibility.”

One of the first few prospects looking at the prospective buyers looking at the Niskayuna home wanted to use the downstairs area as a “mancave” bar area.

The Niskayuna house is equipped with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full kitchen upstairs, a galley kitchen downstairs, living room spaces on both levels and two covered porches (one on each level) overlooking the backyard. Special features include LED lighting, bamboo flooring, bullnose trim and granite.

Schuyler Builders currently has numerous lots located in Albany, Saratoga and Warren Counties, where the company may build more multigenerational homes to keep up with the growing trend.

Lauren Halligan may be reached at 290-1443.