In the grand scheme of human history, retirement communities and nursing homes are a recent trend. Once they hit adulthood, kids left their parents’ homes for good, and once they aged, they went to live with their children. Throughout time, it was common practice to send children away then bring parents and aging relatives into the home. America’s independent spirit and financial stability have given people the chance to live on their own,but many families are returning to the old way of doing things. The costs of elderly care centers have grown exponentially, and many young adults have found the job market no longer supports them. Homes are becoming multi-generational, once again. Empty nesters aren’t staying empty for long, which is why building a residential addition makes sense.

Homes used to come standard with at least a guest room if not a full guesthouse. Some places continue to call them mother-in-law homes, because it was understood that, eventually, the wife’s mother would come to live there. Today, those standalone apartments are uncommon, and when families have to bring a parent or older child back into their house, it can feel crowded enough to cause tremendous stress. A residential addition relieves that tension, giving both homeowners and their parents or children enough space to be independent and peaceful. With the job market still troublesome and millions of Baby Boomers about to retire, households will probably just continue to expand. Making room with a residential addition may soon prove to be the norm once again.