Cohousehold design is determined by the residents, including:
- Space use - what is shared, what is private.
- Governance - legal structure, how decisions are made, who pays the bills, etc.
- Architecture - for those remodeled or built by their co-owners.
- Cohouseholds have both common and private spaces. Each person/couple has private space and other spaces are shared.
- Private spaces are for the use of one or more individual residents.
Examples: bedrooms, private bathrooms, and offices.
- Common space is available to all members of the household.
Examples: kitchen, dining and living rooms, laundry, and shared baths.
- Any specific room can be private or shared - and this may change over time.
- Cohouseholders determine the legal structures used to purchase, own, and operate the property.
- Decisions are made equitably, using consensus or similar methods.
- Cohouseholds try to resolve conflicts
- Most shared households make use of existing dwellings, without modifications.
- Some have been remodeled to better meet the needs of a cohousehold.
- A few have been designed and built specifically for use as a cohousehold.