As the cost of living rises and housing affordability declines, adult children are returning to the nest in greater numbers or are taking longer to spread their own wings. Many who do take the homeownership leap are offsetting costs through income suites or considering co-ownership. Either way, houses are getting fuller.

That can come with plenty of challenges, but privacy and noise can be among the most difficult. Simple strategies can prepare you and your home for shared living arrangements, ensuring it is a pleasant experience for all.

1. Set the ground rules. Boundaries are important––literally and figuratively. Establishing expectations, good lines of communication, and exercising plenty of patience are keys to success.

2. Discuss budgets and responsibilities. Everyone must know very clearly what contributions they are expected to make.

3. Respect and courtesy are critical. Show regard for people, space, privacy and belongings.

4. Consider soundproofing. A sound-absorbent insulation like Roxul Safe ‘n’ Sound will help keep noise at bay and reduce disturbances to a minimum. Use it between floors and in the walls of bedrooms, home theatres, and offices.

5. Ensure safety. Know the fire code in your area and ensure your home and income suite conform. Place smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and in sleeping areas. Test their operation regularly, and replace batteries, as needed.

Depending on your circumstances, a fuller house could bring plenty of benefits. Sharing a home can reduce costs and increase potential savings or help bolster income. In the case of family, a fuller home, whether temporary or not, often means a fuller heart.