Launch Slideshow

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Gen X: All in the Family

Gen X: All in the Family

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    Yours, Mine, and Ours Clever, handsome design that meets the diverse needs of an active, multigenerational family is no mean feat, but the Gen X house does all that and more.

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    James F. Wilson

    Open House The main living area of the Gen X home has a living room, dining room, and kitchen that open into each other, with wide views and easy access to a generous amount of outdoor living space that’s equipped with a fireplace (check out the TV above it), cooking area, pool, and hot tub.

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    Bright and Airy

    1. At the top of the stairs is a hangout area, so kids have a designated den and terrace for visiting with friends, complete with ample space to sprawl on the couch and gab, play video games, or watch movies.
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    2. With two stories, this house can accommodate lots of windows, and the rear elevation shows just how to take full advantage of sunny days and lovely views.
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    3. At nearly 400 square feet—and that’s not counting outdoor space—the sunny “granny suite” rivals many big-city apartments. Accessible by both an exterior stairway and interior elevator, the apartment has a kitchenette with a dishwasher and microwave. The bathroom has an elevator tub that can be raised or lowered for easier access. There’s even a balcony terrace with plenty of space for outdoor furniture. (Depending on local zoning laws, this second-floor suite could also be used as a rental property that could generate extra income.)
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    4. With good closet space, a window seat, and a laundry room steps away, the kids’ rooms in this house are as deluxe as the grownups’ spaces.
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Launch Slideshow

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Gen X: Products

Gen X: Products

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    2. Store It

    The owners of the Gen X house will have ample space in the garage thanks to the extensive storage system from Gladiator GarageWorks. Components include a Modular GearBox, a GearWall, GearDrawers, shelves, a workbench, and floor tiles, among other pieces. www.gladiatorgarageworks.com.
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    3. Dreaming of Genie

    Wayne-Dalton’s Genie ReliaG 1500 opener powers each garage door on the Gen B house. The ¾-horsepower screw drive unit uses a 140-volt DC motor that operates at a maximum lift speed of 12 inches per second. An integrated motion detector adds security. www.wayne-dalton.com.
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    4. Wood Looking

    A Smooth-Star door from Therma-Tru graces the front entry of the Gen X home. Made from compression-molded fiberglass, it resists dents and corrosion. www.thermatru.com.
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    5. Walk This Way

    The Gen X house features a Montello wood floor from Mohawk Flooring. Specified in Poplar Buckeye, the engineered product can be glued, nailed, or installed as a floating floor. Measuring 4 inches, it comes with an aluminum oxide finish, and an eased edge. www.mohawkflooring.com.
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    6. Inner Tubing

    All three homes are outfitted with Uponor’s AquaPEX cross-linked polyethylene tubing that is flexible, durable, and kink resistant. It does not corrode, pit, or promote scale build up, and is highly resistant to leaks behind the walls. www.uponorpro.com.
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    7. Fireworks

    A Heat & Glo RED 40 see-through fireplace by Hearth & Home Technologies occupies prime real estate in the home. The modern unit has a 40-inch viewing area and a linear viewing window. It can be fitted with a variety of media, such as glass, granite, or onyx pebbles. www.heatnglo.com.
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    8. On the Surface

    In the Gen X house, a low-maintenance, heat-resistant Zodiaq quartz countertop from DuPont will ensure that spills and accidents are easy to clean up. Made from 93 percent quartz, the surface is easy to maintain, durable, nonporous, and chemical-resistant. It requires no sealants or waxes to retain its gloss. www.dupont.com.
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    9. Propane Game

    The Gen B and Gen X homes feature propane fuel for appliances and fireplaces thanks to an underground tank from the Propane Education & Research Council. Produced from both natural gas processing and crude oil refining, propane is nontoxic, colorless, and virtually odorless. It is an approved, clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act. The propane is used to fuel the tankless water heater and cooktop in the Gen B home and the fireplaces and range in the Gen X house. www.propanecouncil.org.
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    10. Heavy Load

    Eaton Cutler-Hammer load centers in all three homes will ensure that electricity is delivered without surges and other technical problems. The panels offer a commercial-grade main breaker, one-piece copper bus, single keyhole mounting, and an extra 1½-inch knockout for bundling. www.eaton.com.
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    11. Elevator Tub

    Ideal for anyone with a physical challenge, the Kohler Elevance tub in the Gen X home is an alternative to institutional-style products. An extra wide opening, a chair-height seat, and an integrated grab bar make it easy for bathers to enter and exit from a standing, chair, or wheelchair position. It measures 60 inches long. www.kohler.com.
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    12. Screen Saver

    Retractable panels from Phantom Screens will prevent insects and pests from entering the outdoor living spaces. The screens are installed with a motor that lowers and retracts at the touch of a button. www.phantomscreens.com.

2012 Concept Home Coverage

 
 

Architect Tony Weremeichik’s mission was to build a home that took full advantage of its pretty surroundings while speaking to an increasingly common living situation: multiple generations under one roof. With this in mind, Builder asked Weremeichik to pair a storyteller’s outlook with his architect’s mindset and imagine who the family might be that would live here. The architect imagined a couple who are moving up in the world and ready for a bigger house than the one they’re in now. Both have demanding jobs. The kids are still at home. Perhaps the family is a blended one, with a high school–aged child from a first marriage and one or two younger kids from the current marriage. In this scenario, one or both grandparents live with the family.

Weremeichik nailed it. In this house, a variety of open and private spaces work in concert to encourage together time while providing ample room for all. “Although buyers want to be close to loved ones and share their lives, they also value their independence,” says Pete Osterman, vice president of operations for Centerline Homes, the builder that oversaw the entire Gen XYB project.

Check out the media room on the right as you enter the house. While the kids are texting friends or checking Facebook updates, mom and dad can be emailing colleagues or talking on the phone. Walk on in, and you’ll come to an open plan kitchen with a large center island. Here’s the perfect place for homework while dinner’s on the stove. At the top of the staircase is a big hangout area where kids can gather with friends to watch movies. Separate laundry rooms ensure that there’s no pileup when soccer uniforms, school clothes, and table linens all need to be done at the same time (and, with luck, might encourage kids to do their own laundry).

In this multigenerational setup, grandparents (or an aunt and uncle or adult sibling) have a place of their own: a full apartment upstairs equipped with its own entrance, private bathroom (this one has a tub that can be raised and lowered for easier access), kitchenette, balcony, and plenty of privacy. The “granny suite” is also accessible by elevator.

With all that activity, mom and dad need quiet time. The master suite is on the first floor, away from the kids’ rooms with sliding doors that face east for morning light and views of the golf course. There’s also a private entrance to the hot tub area for late-night unwinding after a hectic day.



Plan X The first floor of the house has a rotunda entry that’s two stories high, with clear views straight through the house to the back. The open plan includes plenty of family space: an office where everyone can work on their computers together, as well as an open kitchen, dining area, and living room. But mom and dad also get quiet time—the master suite is tucked away on the other side of the entry, with its own separate entrance to the pool out back. On the second floor, the kids each have a room of their own plus a shared hangout space. The “grandma suite” is on the second floor, too, accessible by both elevator and stairway.