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Tips on how to accommodate a growing family

1. It's important to think through all your family's needs when adapting your home. Turning a starter home into being a family home when children arrive usually means a loft conversion for another bedroom and a home office in the garden. However, the home office will deprive you of garden space while the house is top heavy, with too many bedrooms for the amount of living space downstairs.

2. Open-plan living space is what most families want due to its flexibility. The key to successful open-plan space is to divide it into different 'zones', so you have clearly defined areas for cooking, dining, sitting, studying, etc. Open-plan kitchen-diners/family rooms are often achieved by knocking two or more rooms into one and adding a ground-floor extension.

3. If you have three or more generations living under one roof, dividing up the house horizontally for sleeping is often the best solution. Having mum and dad in a loft conversion with an en suite, the kids on the first floor with the family bathroom, and the grandparents on the ground floor with a bathroom, shower room or wet room, is a great arrangement.

4. A downstairs cloakroom, comprising a toilet and basin, is a must in family homes, and sometimes even a small cloakroom can be turned into a shower room or wet room for elderly family members who struggle to get up the stairs. When the cloakroom is too tiny for a shower tray, opt for a wet room, where the whole room effectively becomes the shower tray.

5. Many homes have a separate loo and bathroom. Often in multi-generational homes the two rooms are knocked together, however, a separate loo can still be used when someone's in the bathroom. Separate loos rarely have basins, though, so fitting a small one is a really good idea.

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