Waking Up Your Home

Have you noticed that sometimes your home simply gets “tired”? Things wear out; things become dated. Your home design just doesn’t cut it anymore.

It doesn’t mean you have to start checking out the market for a new house. Over the past few years, we’ve noticed people are tending to just stay where they are and do terrific home improvements rather than move. They say it’s the perfect opportunity to get exactly what they need.

We’ve also noticed a trend towards renovation for multi-generational living, which also seems to go hand-in-hand with staying in place.

There are different ways to approach the idea of staying in place. One is not to do much with your home except basic upkeep. Another is to make small changes. Another is to hire an Ottawa contractor (such as Lagois Design-Build-Renovate) to do substantial renovations. 

It’s the “substantial” option that seems to be happening most often, particularly with older homeowners. 

Baby Boomers are the biggest demographic influencer. With financial aspects to consider, such as moving-related expenses, they have an incentive to stay where they are. There are other incentives, too: enjoying their neighbours and neighbourhood, for example. When they have larger properties with mature trees and landscaping, or proximity to family and amenities, or a fear of crowded living in a pandemic era – it’s easy to understand why staying in place seems like a good idea. And then, of course, there is the modern concept of agricultural design for “aging in place”.

Whatever the reason, new staying-in-place home designs should be holistic. 

This can mean simple things, like wider doorways, seamless one-level flooring, accessible showers, curbless showers, stairs that can accommodate future lifts. It can even be home improvement considerations for future elevators or a flex design where you can just live on the main level if need be. 

Local organizations like ROSSS (Rural Ottawa South Support services – rosss.ca) offer transportation, meal services, even services like Uber Eats that make living in place more manageable if mobility becomes challenged.

You know, maybe it’s not a new trend. Multigenerational living began to decline at the end of the 19th century. But then, according to Statistics Canada, multigenerational living grew 45 per cent in the past 20 years. As of 2021, seven per cent of all homes in Canada are multigenerational. 

Cultural preferences, housing markets, economics (including health care) are the main drivers for multigenerational living. And from our experience, caring for an aging parent or parents tops the list. 

Here are some tips if you are considering multi-generational home design

  1. Your designer must listen to, understand and respect everyone’s needs. Even furnishing a space can have vast differences of opinion. An experienced architectural designer can help.
    • If you research the beautiful work that we do at Lagois Design-Build-Renovate, and if you ask our clients, you’ll discover one of our best strengths is our commitment to understanding and respecting your needs.
  2. Not only is practical home design important (noise and temperature are just two examples), but emotional boundaries are important too – it’s important to have any difficult conversations up front and to establish ground rules for decision making.
    • We understand that. We encourage you to take your time and ask those questions from the start.
  3. Multi-generational living can take on a lot of different forms – for example, carriage homes or garden suites; garage conversions; lofts above garages; basement renovations; main or second level accommodations. A qualified architect/designer RenoMark® remodeler can help guide you if you are considering multigenerational living or staying in place.
    • You probably know that Lagois Design-Build-Renovate is a proud supporter of RenoMark®. We’re fully qualified to help you with all the decisions you need to make, and all the forms or paths those decisions might take.

Whether you choose a renovation to stay in place or to be part of multigenerational living, we can guide you through plenty of good options for loving where you live.