The concept of multi-generational homes that allows several generations of a family to live together continues to grow in popularity. Graham Builders, a local design+build contractor, has guided hundreds of homeowners through the steps of creating dwellings that allow each family member to flourish.
“Allowing privacy and independence is one of the most fundamental design considerations when multiple generations are brought under one roof,” said Evan Fujimoto, president of Graham Builders and a certified aging-in-place specialist. “Autonomy encompasses more than having a bonus room off the master suite or adding a wet bar. It means blocking the sound of grandpa’s blaring 4 a.m. television show. Through good design and construction, this unwelcomed noise can easily be mitigated.”
Storage is another important design consideration. Adding individual family closets in the laundry, garage and mudrooms can keep the home feeling tidy and prevent the overflow of one person’s items into another’s personal space. Providing each family an area to store their possessions is vital for the well-being of all.
Graham Builders has developed unique concepts that maximize the family’s ability to live harmoniously. For most, the kitchen is the hub of day-to-day living and one of the largest challenges of designing a multigenerational home. Honolulu’s building ordinances limit residential homes to one kitchen and one wet bar per dwelling. However, when three or more nuclear families are living under one roof, a single kitchen is not enough.
Graham Builders has rolled out the ohana kitchen, a new multigenerational home concept as a solution. This is essentially a larger kitchen with multiple prep stations, sinks and duplicate appliances. “Think of this like a kitchen stadium, local-style,” said Fujimoto. “Two or three families can prep, cook and eat in their own section of the ohana kitchen.”
Graham Builders has built a strong reputation as the authority on multigenerational homes over its nearly three decades in business. The company was the first home construction company in Hawaii to have a certified aging-in-place specialist on staff. The company’s experience and certifications led county and state agencies to seek advice from Graham Builders on best practices in home design and construction for the well-being of elders and physically challenged individuals.
Homeowners interested in learning more about the ins and outs of home construction and multigenerational home design can attend Graham Builders’ upcoming “Building Your Home for Life” seminar on Saturday, June 2 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Honolulu Country Club. Seminars are free and reservations are required. To register, visit grahambuilders.com or call 593-2808.