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“The grandparents’ suite included universal design elements along with a small kitchenette,” Mr. Melman says. “The concept for this home was that the parents could get help with their kids from the grandparents, while the grandparents benefited by having household maintenance chores and meals taken care of for them.”

Universal design refers to design elements such as lower light switches, shower entrances without steps and lever door handles that increase accessibility for people with mobility issues and yet are attractive and practical for everyone.

Because the showcase home was built all on one level, that resolved the problem faced by some homeowners of creating easy access for elderly residents with limited mobility.

“One option for renovation is to add an elevator, which usually costs $20,000 to $30,000, but also adds value to the home,” Mr. Melman says. “Another option is to develop a first-floor guest suite that can function as a home office for future residents. It always adds value to expand the space of the home, especially if the rooms can have flexible uses.”

As the population ages, Mr. Abbott says, more people are conscious of the value of having rooms accessible without steps.

“A walk-out basement will always add value to a home, no matter how you use it, but if you are turning it into an in-law or au pair suite, it works best when the outside is accessible without steps,” he says. “The key is to make sure any remodeling allows for flexible future use of the space as an office or family room. It is always great to have two master suites.”

Mr. Abbott points out that a potential benefit of creating an in-law suite could be the future ability to rent the space as an apartment.

“A rental unit, even if you don’t choose to rent it out, can be a valuable asset to any home, but you must make sure you follow the rules and regulations of your jurisdiction before you create one,” Mr. Abbott says. “In order to have a legal separate unit in D.C., for example, you need two egresses and certain ceiling heights, and you need to have a business license before you can legally rent it.

“So when someone is opting to remodel their home to accommodate a parent, they may want to look into meeting the requirements for a rental unit at the same time to allow for the potential use of the space in the future as an income-producing unit.”

Mr. Levine says an important consideration when remodeling a home to accommodate another generation is the length of time the family anticipates staying together in the home.

“This is something that can be very hard to talk about, but the family needs to discuss how long they think the relatives will be there, especially if a large investment is needed to remodel the home to accommodate them,” Mr. Levine says. “Everyone needs to think about whether this is the best way to spend their money and to think about the resale value of the home, too.

“Often, the elderly parents will put money into the remodeling project because they would rather live there than spend that money on some type of retirement housing. The homeowners need to think about how wise it is to spend a lot of money remodeling their home for someone who is in poor health, especially if they must give up something they want.”

Mr. Levine says the usual considerations about remodeling also need to be discussed, particularly whether the owners want to stay in the home for the long term.

“When it comes to a question of making a long-term commitment for the good of the family, the owners need to establish their priorities,” Mr. Levine says. “If the priority is to have the relatives living together, then the owners just need to set a budget and work with a remodeling expert to get the most value from that budget and make the project as attractive as possible.”

Whether multigenerational housing will remain a long-term trend remains to be seen, but families considering opening their home to additional generations may find that extra living space enticing to future buyers.