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5 Best House Designs For Extended Families

Extended families are part of the Philippine culture. Even in today’s modern living, it is still common to have relatives within three different generations living together under the same roof. As a Filipino, you are most likely someone who is still living with your parents, siblings, grandparents, and other relatives. Or, at least you lived with them before as a child. 

Most Filipinos with families of their own still let their parents or siblings live with them. They always think beyond the needs of their immediate family. If you are one of them, you might want to design a house that’s able to comfortably accommodate you and your loved ones.

Finding Your Right Home Design

If you’ve already decided to build a home for you and your extended family to live in together, there are other considerations to think about. 

For instance, if you want a Western-style home, adapting the wide spaces and high-ceilings into your design is good but you don’t really need a chimney to burn fire since we don’t have winter here. Culture, climate, environment, plus your budget and lifestyle dictates how to choose a design that fits your needs.

Here are the 5 best house designs that you can choose from. Let us get into each of these designs. Then decide which among them will best be suited for your beloved extended family.


1. Tropical House Design

Most architects will tell you that the traditional bahay-kubo is the perfect example of a tropical house design. Adapted to modern Filipino taste, a tropical style home still has the essential elements of the old nipa hut like open plan layouts, external shades and natural ventilation systems, and insulating materials that minimize heat absorption. 

Photo credit: Pexel

It’s nice to build this type of house in the outskirts and provinces where air is still fresh, but it is impractical to build a tropical home if you live in a crowded metropolitan location where security is a common concern. There are many ways to adapt this concept in the metro by working with an architect. 

Pros: Typical tropical homes have passive cooling and windows oriented into the sun for energy efficiency during the day.

Cons: Building materials have fire safety and durability issues.

Recommended for: Nature-lovers and families who live outside the metro.


2. Bungalow House Design

The best-known description of bungalows is its one-story house design. It gained popularity in the country from the 1950’s up to the ’80s. The design can be made wider and bigger but the one-story feature remains. 

Photo credit: Pexel

Pros: Elderly relatives will appreciate the fact that they don’t need stairs to access different house locations.

Cons: The one-story feature requires a large space to comfortably accommodate each of the family members.

Recommended for: People who can allot large lots. Highly recommended for first-time homeowners as bungalow designs are open plan and cheaper to build.

3. Minimalist Modern House Design

This style embraces the “less-is-more philosophy” and is starting to grow as a trend. The design is sophisticated with clean space due to the removal of unnecessary home accessories. Minimalism is more of a discipline than a style. 

Photo credit: Pexel

Pros: Flexibility in construction materials and layout. Spaces are properly lit with natural light due to high ceilings and glass windows.

Cons: Expensive construction cost.

Recommended for: Families with a substantial budget for building construction and where each family member agreed to live a minimalist lifestyle. 


4. Small House Design

Small house designs include compact apartments and limited-space condo units. For an extended family, building a shelter with a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, and comfortable beds for each member requires creativity to make every inch of space count.  


Photo credit: Pexel

Pros: Require small space and cheaper to build.

Cons: It can be a challenge to provide ample spaces for an extremely huge family. Higher headcounts mean lesser possibilities.

Recommend for: Extended families not more than five members with no choice but to live together within a limited space.


5. All-Wood House Design

The wooden house reflects the typical homes for everyday Filipino families. Wooden materials have a warm color and rich texture that complement our tropical climate. With scarce resources from diminishing supplies and strict logging bans, the kindest act you can do for the environment is to search for reclaimed or recycled woods.

Photo credit: Pexel

Pros: Wooden material properties fit other designs like tropical, traditional, and modern styles.

Cons: Reclaimed or recycled wood are hard to find and require additional treatment against insects and environmental elements.

Recommended for: People who have access to wooden materials and basically know how to choose from narra, molave, kamagong, tanguile, and yakal.


Beautiful Homes Beyond Designs

Living with your extended family can be a comforting idea, depending on who you ask. Yet, having a multi-generational living arrangement can also cause conflicts at times. 

For example, strains and difficulties could arise from you and your in-laws’ contradicting opinions about parenting and financial management. 

Photo credit: Pexel

Here are the few pointers that might help you save your relationship and maintain your loving connection with your extended family.


Set boundaries

Discuss things together before moving in. Set-up boundaries with regards to finances, childcare arrangements, house cleaning, and other important factors. From time-to-time, it is good to change the boundaries as family members grow with a different set of needs.

Respect privacy

Access to shared spaces is what gives you a harmonious relationship. Creating dividing rooms or bathroom rotation routines is also part of maintaining harmony.

Set expectations

Together, all the family members can come out of a to-do list with agreed designations. Healthy family traditions bloom if everyone is happy to contribute.

Photo credit: Pexel

Honest communication

Having enough transparent conversation frees you up of possible build-up resentments. With the right timing done respectfully, everyone can open up their feelings. This will allow each family member to feel validated while deeply getting-to-know each other more.

Dual Occupancy

The last four pointers are compulsory, but this one is optional. It was even impossible for a small house design. Living with in-laws and not on top of each other might build a healthy boundary. 

Photo credit: Pexel

A young adult might want a sense of independence while still longing a close emotional tie to the home. In dual occupancy homes, it is possible to have proper emotional connections while taking a healthy dose of limited access to one another.

Choosing your preferred house design is one thing, building a beautiful home is another. Living with extended families that care for each other is one of the ways to build a beautiful home. 


Looking for a new home? I am Glenn Dineros, a licensed Real Estate Broker with PRC License # 5171. Reach me +63 977 852 3852 or +63 939 588 9352. You may also send your email at in new tab) so I can help you locate yours.

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