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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Family Apartments




No city will prevent a home addition if the design meets other regulations such as open space, setbacks, and height. Some limit total home size as well. Private developments often exclude ADUs from their communities, but will permit additions if other regulations are met. An addition with one or two bedrooms, a living suite, and one or two bathrooms can be added to a home by finishing an attic or a basement or by attaching a new addition to the rear or the side of an existing home. The kitchen is the design element that most often differentiates an ADU from an ordinary addition. Generally, zoning regulations will permit a second kitchen with everything you normally find in a kitchen except for the range and the oven. A sink and countertop, a refrigerator, and cabinets for storage are all normally allowed. Sometimes the regulations prevent the use of a separate outside door to enter the addition, but will usually allow a sliding glass door for patio access. You can see how you can achieve most of what you want in an ADU by making it part of the house. If the space is for aging parents or relatives, they may take meals with the family anyway.

An addition can be connected to an existing home through the use of a small connector room that may simply be an entry foyer and short stair to reconcile the levels of the home and the addition. A chair lift or elevator can then be added to this short stair if needed.

A preplanned addition that looks for the entire world like an Accessory Dwelling Unit can then be attached to the connector space. We are testing this concept in several Colorado cities and have no reason to believe that there will be any problem.


This home has a spacious rear yard making the addition of an Accessory Suite a relatively simple task. A two-story module contains a first floor family room for the use by all residents in the home plus a master suite on the second floor. The one-story module is the family Apartment for Uncle Paul.

posted by Custom Blogs @ 2:51 PM 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Accessory Living: Granny and the kids all move in


On April 6, 2010 I posted the results of the Pew Research Center’s analysis of the census data regarding Multiple Generation Households dated March 18, 2010 on my blog for the first time. Recent developments in this demographic group led me to re-visit that report and others.

According to Pew Research, Multiple Generation Households have rebounded to a new popularity with 49, million, 16% of all Americans, living in households with adults of other generations in 2008. Over the course of the 20th century the percentage of Americans living in multi-generation households steadily declined from 24.7 % in 1940 to a low of 12% in 1980. Since then the trend reversed itself and increased to 16.1% in 2008. Since 1980 this population segment totaled 12,628,000 new individuals for 451,000 people per year on average.

AARP, however, issued their analysis of the same census data, Builder Magazine reported on April 22, 2011. AARP’s numbers are lower than Pew’s since they did not include households where an adult parent lived with an adult child 25 years old or older. This more restrictive definition of what constitutes a multiple generation home led to the following conclusions: In 2000 there were 5 million multi-generation households in America for 4.8% of total households in the country. By 2008 that number grew to 6.2 million households or 5.3% of the nation’s total. In 2010, 7.1 million households in the country or 6.1 % of total households were multi-generation.

Since there are approximately 3 people in each household, in 2000 there were 15 million people in multi-generation households and 21 million people in 2010, a growth of 6 million people in 10 years or an average of 600,000 people each year. Whether you use Pew Research’s numbers or the ones from AARP the conclusion for the market is the same, one half of one million people move into multi-generation households each year. That’s a housing market worth paying attention to.

posted by Custom Blogs @ 5:16 PM 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Individual Choices hurt others


Individual Choices hurt others

The family that chooses to buy a home in a location requiring a long commute to work, often do so because the home costs less than buying one in town near work. That simple decision, Multiplied by the thousands of similar decisions, has unintended consequences that negatively affect the rest of us. This is sprawl! The road building and maintenance needed to serve all these commuters requires additional taxes to fund the costs, gobbles up additional land and resources, and wastes the fuels consumed commuting. The empty nester couple that finally realizes their lifelong dream of owning a second home in a vacation setting in the mountains chips away at the very wilderness they love and we all treasure. That second home, combined with the original home, uses twice the number of trees, and double the quantities of minerals to build. If only people could be aware of the impact on others their decisions have when they make purchase decisions.

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posted by Custom Blogs @ 3:01 PM 




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