An “unusually big” corner terrace allowed homeowner Ben Goh to extend his house sideways and add on a full-sized bedroom for his parents, as well as a small study for his dad on the first level of the double-storey unit.
“At 3,800 sq ft of land, it’s almost the size of a semi-detached and it’s odd-shaped, not a traditional rectangular plot so I had a lot of space at the side of the house,” says Ben, a 48-year-old medical doctor in a government hospital.
His parents, both in their 70s, are “still fairly healthy and independent but I don't think they like climbing up and down,” observes the eldest of two siblings and only son.
The extension also multiplied the number of rooms on the second storey from three to five.
“I knocked down one wall between the two smaller rooms in the front and made it into my master bedroom. Two extra bedrooms for the kids were created as a result of the extension, and I have a little man cave at the back,” shares Ben.
The family of seven moved into the Kembangan property in 2010 following a renovation that cost “probably half a million”. His kids are aged 7, almost-4 and almost-2. “We didn’t plan for the third so I might have to give up my man cave in a few years,” he jokes.
When planning for the renovation, Ben did not fancy the idea of constructing a 4-storey monstrosity to accommodate his spatial needs at the expense of ruining the neat, uniform roofline of the estate so one of the pre-requisites was that “the new design had to still maintain the same roofline as all the corner terraces along the stretch,” says the thoughtful neighbour.
How has this living arrangement worked out for the family for the past seven years?
“Having three generations living together has its potential drawbacks and pitfalls. The most common of which is that the in-laws might not get along. Before moving in, I did speak with my wife about the need to be accommodating and thankfully, things are fine,” notes Ben.
“There are perks to living in a three-generation household: I think there’s a lot of benefits for the kids to be with the grandparents all the time, and we can all sit down and have dinner together almost everyday. It’s not something that happens all the time with every household so I appreciate that. And thankfully, there’s enough space so we’re not in each others’ faces every day; if we need to get together, we can get together easily and if we need space, we can have that space as well,” adds the family man.