What is a multigenerational home?

Multigenerational homes (sometimes called multi-gen homes, homes with a mother in law suite, or apartment within a home) are designed for families to live together within one single home family dwelling that has an extended guest suite intended for long term stays.

Multigenerational homes are one of the most common reasons why homebuyers choose to build a custom home.

New Home Builder Apex NC

Multi-gen homes can spread out the cost of living so that the combined living space is more affordable than having two separate homes.

Site costs for one home are less expensive than site costs for two homes, with one clearing, one footing, one septic system, and one foundation.

The size of the footprint impacts build costs, so multi-gen homes built with living space on additional floors are typically more cost effective than homes with everyone on one level.

Some multigenerational homes have a kitchenette in the secondary living quarters, for increased independence.

Other families choose to design a larger kitchen around expanded usage, with elements such as dual ovens, a huge island or even two islands for more prep space, and special arrangements such as a microwave below the counter for easier use and aging-in-place future accessibility. Learn more about making changes to your floor plan, here.

White and Black Farmhouse Kitchen | Mebane NC New Homes

Dual master suites give equal prominence to two large bedroom suites with ensuite private bathrooms, big closets and occasionally other private amenities such as a personal sitting area or attached office or laundry room.

The location of dual master suites can vary, with the most common arrangements being one on the main floor and one on the second floor, one in the basement, or both on the main floor. Get floor plans with dual master bedrooms, here.

Chatham County NC Custom Homes | Vaulted Ceiling Master Bedroom

Because schedules and lifestyles can vary within shared living arrangements, building in special features that add to privacy is a very good reason to build a custom home, so that you have the opportunity to include features such as sound dampening between walls or from one floor to another. Solid core door options can also lessen sound travel.

A private entrance so you can come and go without interrupting the main flow of the house is another way to increase that feeling of having your own space.

Depending on the plan and your homesite, you may include an exterior door with a small stoop or porch or another door from the garage to your private hallway.


Travars Built Homes can be built in custom home neighborhoods or countryside locations within about an hour of Chapel Hill. We work closely with you to:

Consider choices for cost effective floor plans that fit your lifestyle and budget

Modify your layout to add multi-gen, accessible or other custom changes

Build your new home with high quality materials, craftsmanship and passion for home building

Offer a wide array of selections, options and upgrades

Modern Farmhouse | Chatham County New Homes

How to Modify a Floor Plan

Looking for a builder who can change your floor plan

See 3 examples of how Travars Built Homes can modify the Blufton Way, a floor plan by Frank Betz, with some popular floor plan characteristics. Ask us for more information about design-build custom homes in Durham, NC.

Option 1: Looking for ways to open your floor plan? Create a vaulted ceiling in the family room.

How to Modify a Floor Plan | Custom Homes Durham NC
The Bluffton Way floor plan by Frank Betz.

The Bluffton Way is an open floor plan with 2669 sq ft, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a main floor master, huge kitchen, and open family room.

The modification you see in the rendition above indicates the possibility of going from a flat 12′ ceiling to a vaulted 18′ ceiling with a open rail overlook.

Adding ceiling beams to the family room vault ceiling can provide even more eye appeal and personality.

Chatham County New Homes | Beam Ceiling

Option 2: Need another garage stall for a shop, hobby area, or third car – but don’t want to change the front exterior of your floor plan? Consider a carriage garage.

How to Modify a Floor Plan | Custom Homes Durham NC

The Bluffton Way floor plan by Frank Betz.

What is a Carriage Garage?

A carriage style garage floor plan has a third stall set to the side, apart from the main garage. (Attaching a traditional third stall to the existing garage would push the front elevation out another 10-14 feet.)

Option 3: Need a spacious place to gather? Add a cost effective bonus room, game room, theater, kids playroom, homeschool, or flex room.

How to Modify a Floor Plan | Custom Homes Durham NC
The Bluffton Way floor plan by Frank Betz.

One of the most cost effective ways to add square footage to your floor plan is to eliminate the 2 story great room and add a huge bonus room above it. The ceiling in the great room can still feel spacious – simply add a few steps into the bonus room to keep your 11’+ ceiling height.

Chapel Hill Modern Farmhouse | Bonus Room

Get information about building a custom home with Travars Built Homes – including more ways to modify your plan in Durham, NC.

How to Choose a Floor Plan for Your NC New Home

Ready to choose a floor plan? Make a list of everything you think you want. Divide your list into wants versus needs. For example: Do you need the master bedroom on the first floor? Would you like a large island in the kitchen? Is a multi-gen or first floor guest bedroom with a private bathroom a requirement? No matter what your “must haves/ like to haves” are, we can help you find a plan – and then modify it if you need something different.

There are a lot of online sources for architectural designs and custom floor plans. One of our favorites is Architectural Designs. Here’s an example:

How to Choose a Floor Plan | NC New Homes

Where to Find Floor Plans: The Search

Architectural Designs makes it easy to search on their site, with handy check boxes and filters on the right hand side of the page, so you can quickly focus on elements you need. They also have lots of photos of completed homes, so you can get a better idea of what the finished product can look like – and get ideas for your own custom choices. Take a look at some end results based on their floor plans at their Client Builds tab. Or you can look at what plans they say are trending to see what what other people are building right now.

River Bluff - Plan 740005LAH

How to Pick a Floor Plan: Choices

This custom floor plan site and others offer plans from lots of architects – you can find just about anything on their sites. Once you have your search narrowed down, you can do pros and cons for your favorites.

We’ll help fill in the details, such as what the plan will cost to build on your lot, and why some plans are more cost effective than others.

How to Modify a Floor Plan: Design/Build

Do you really like the layout of one floor plan – and the exterior of another? Travars Built Homes can modify almost anything.

What do homebuyers change most often? Adding a big master shower in place of a tub. Tucking in more pantry space. Adding windows. Expanding the kitchen island. Figuring out where they want to put their mother-in-law. The redlines you see below are changes we made to add more privacy to a guest suite by expanding the bathroom and adding a powder room for everyone else.

Get in touch with the team at Travars Built Homes to learn more about how to modify a floor plan. Request floor plans here. Or start your search by browsing floor plan ideas, here:

Top 4 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal of Your New Home

Love the layout, hate the exterior of the custom floor plan you want to build? Change it! Here are 4 ways to increase curb appeal in the Chapel Hill area by considering different exterior materials for the build of your new home, with pros and cons.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #1: Vinyl Siding

If you want to save money, vinyl is an exterior material worth considering. Be sure to take your time with your color selection, and take a look at all the options.

Pros: Want a more custom look? You can dress things up with shutters, gable vents, corbels or column wraps. Vinyl can be cleaned with power washing and typically would not be repainted at a later date.

Cons: Some communities do not allow vinyl exteriors. Vinyl siding may fade – with darker colors absorbing more sunlight than lighter colors. It can also expand and shrink with temperatures.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #2: Vinyl Siding and Veneer

A small amount of stone veneer and picture frame details around the windows can make a big difference. The stone water table provides another texture for this home, and won’t break the bank if the amount of stone is kept to just enough for a water table and column base. If you are doing exterior selections, consider picking the stone first. Then choose roofing with a similar color scheme, such as Drift Wood or Weathered Wood shingles.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #3: Fiber Cement Siding With Stone Accents

The curb appeal of this fiber cement and stone home does a very nice job of blending multiple texture types and materials. The medium blue shakes seen on the face of the garage wall break the patterned straight lines. They also pull the color right out of the stone veneer below. The light blue lap siding on the sides and rear of home and complementing white picture frames around the windows, gable vents and gutters combine to make a well balanced exterior. The Mackenzie seen just below follows this formula and also looks great!

Pros: The mix of materials and colors make this home feel custom and comfortable. Adding stone to the front but keeping the other 3 sides of the home in fiber cement saves on cost.

Cons: Fiber cement costs more than vinyl. Stone veneer costs more than fiber cement.

Custom Home Exterior Material Example #4: All Brick and Stone

NC Custom Home Photo Tours

The classic look of full brick veneer creates curb appeal so compelling that some entire communities require it. This full brick home is even more interesting due to the brick color choice and the stone front accent on the garage face.

Pros: Bricks are sturdy and durable, typically requiring almost no maintenance other than occasional power washing.

Cons: That low maintenance and solid look comes with a higher price tag than most exterior materials.

Get information about building a custom home with Travars Built Homes – including more ways to create a cost effective new home in North Carolina.