Earlier this year, we were delighted to welcome legendary broadcaster – and first-ever King of the Jungle, Tony Blackburn, as our official brand ambassador. Now, he’s putting his skills to use by meeting with some past projects customers to share their experiences of multigenerational living. With Tony originally coming to iHus for his own bespoke annexe solution, there was certainly a lot to discuss when it came to meeting the Haughtons recently.
Jenny Haughton sought our help in constructing an annexe for her mother Sandi – and the whole family have found it works perfectly for them since. From sharing energy bills to combating loneliness during the festive season and all year-round, here’s some of the stand-out perks of multigenerational living we learned from their recent meeting…
1) Additional Living Space
When talking with the Haughtons, Tony Blackburn discovered how they plan to reuse their annexe as a space for guests this festive season. “My uncle is coming from Australia, and the great thing about having this house is that we’re going to use it as an annexe for them” Jenny reveals. “My mum’s moving back in with us, and my uncle and his friend are moving in here for two weeks. It’s like an airbnb – we can host, without hosting.”
This is one of the many multigenerational living perks provided by annexe construction. Not only can this space house additional family members at Christmas, it can also be used for a host of other reasons. Whether you’re renting to a lodger, using it as an affordable first step on the property ladder – or just wanting to add additional market value to your dwelling, an annexe benefits you now, and in the future. After all, iHus is for life – not just for Christmas.
2) Sharing Bills
Amid the current cost of living crisis – and record-breaking rises to the cost of energy bills and mortgage rates, people are having to be more careful with their budgeting than ever before. One of the perks of intergenerational living is that both the main house – and the accessory dwelling unit, make use of the same power, gas and water lines. As such, both parties benefit financially from the annexe, as the burden of bills is shared between them.
The Haughtons are taking a slightly less conventional approach, with Jenny revealing: “We’re charging Mum for babysitting duties. Childcare is very expensive nowadays – probably more expensive than our gas and electric bill.”
However, despite not receiving extra financial support, the Haughtons haven’t seen much change in their spending. Jenny continues: “I’ve not noticed a massive increase in our power usage. It stays warm – and you’ve got the heating on as and when you need it. But, in terms of being able to share resources, we’re only using one set of ovens for shared meals.”
3) Living Independently
In our experience, the vast majority of people considering annexe construction are doing so to house an ageing relative. With assisted living facilities and in-home care solutions coming at such a high price, many individuals seek out cost-effective care home alternatives. Not only does an annexe provide cheaper care – as loved ones are always on hand to offer assistance, a well-designed garden home also allows elderly residents to live independently, for longer.
It’s something the Haughtons have noticed too, with Sandi highlighting: “When I came here, I realised I could clean the whole place in an hour – and it’s fantastic. The garden is lovely. We’ve been helping the landscaper and it’s a really good place to be. Everything’s on one level, so there are no steps to climb – apart from the couple of stairs out there, it’s brilliant!”
4) Tackling Loneliness with multigenerational living
Loneliness among the elderly is an ever-pressing concern, however it’s one made all the more important during the festive season. In fact – according to statistics from AgeUK, Christmas is the loneliest time of year for over 1.5 million older people, with those who have been recently widowed feeling it the most.
One of the benefits of multigenerational living is that it tackles this issue directly. Whether it’s at Christmas – or any other time of year, elderly residents benefit from having loved ones, quite literally, on their front doorstep. In this sense, an annexe works perfectly at keeping ageing relatives connected and bringing families together during the festive period.
It’s a perk the Haughtons have certainly noticed. “Before, I would have to travel down and then maybe leave” confesses Sandi. “It was always really hard to do that, whereas now I’m just here. I can nip in to help do the gravy, get the turkey in the oven and be with the grandchildren – it’s just lovely!”
Make iHus a Home this Christmas
At iHus, we take pride in delivering bespoke, self-contained garden homes for you and your multigenerational family to enjoy. Whether you’re investing as a care home alternative – or part of your retirement budget planning, we’re here to help with all your annexe needs.
From concept and design, to gaining successful planning results or putting up that final shelf on move-in day, we can help with it all. If you’d like to discuss your granny flat ideas, get in touch with our friendly and devoted team, today.