Imagine yourself owning a block of land in an exclusive neighbourhood or in a premium suburb, and planning to build your dream home there. What kind of home are you going to build? Have you ever considered building multiple homes on this single block of land? If yes, then duplex homes must be one of your options.
What are duplex homes?
A duplex is a structure with two independent residences sharing a common wall and exists under a single roof. It is built on a single block of land, but each house has its own entrance and driveway. Each house has its own kitchen, dining area, bathroom, living room, bedrooms, garden and other amenities that you’d expect from a freestanding house.
It is very practical because the two homes can share a common land title or have separate titles after subdividing the property.
If the homes have separate titles, each one can be individually owned and sold or rented out.
With a duplex, you can increase your profit and maximise the potential investment on your land.
Building a duplex for investment purposes
Given the skyrocketing prices of real estate properties in all major urban areas in the country, building duplex homes, especially in exclusive neighbourhoods or in premium suburbs, is an excellent investment.
Let’s say you plan to live on one side, then put up the other side for rent. This generates another source of extra income. The house can be rented out for $350-$400 a week, and it’s easy to find tenants when your duplex is in a great neighborhood. The extra income you earn from their rent can be used to pay off your mortgage.
Here’s an example of a duplex we’ve designed to be built in Earlwood NSW. Living in a great suburb in the inner west of Sydney, our client wanted to unlock the hidden equity of their property through building two dwellings:
Like this one, many homeowners with duplexes in the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, and other parts of Sydney put up the second unit for sale or offered for rent. Some of them are retirees who would like to downsize without moving and would like to have a passive source of income.
Building a duplex to house multi-generational families
Building duplex homes are also ideal for multi-generational families who want to live under the same roof without compromising privacy.
You can live in one home and have your parents live next door. With your loved ones in close proximity, you can attend to them quickly and give them the support and company they need. You can help each other out with the chores and cooking. If you’ve got young children, your parents can watch them while you work, shop, or go out to run errands.
Designing duplex homes
The best custom-designed duplex homes maximise the size and dimensions of the block. More than that, it must address the needs and suit the lifestyle of the occupants.
The most popular ones are single and double-storey duplexes, with homes built side by side. This one is ideal for you if you fancy being a landlord. Living next to the rental property, you can see it every day, check for any repairs that need to be made, and ensure your tenants behave properly.
There are duplexes with front and back dwellings too. These are also ideal if you want to put up the other house for rent.
Then, there are top and bottom duplexes. This could be the most ideal design if you want to keep your ageing parents and family members close. You can house them on the ground floor, where they don’t need to worry about climbing up and down the stairs.
There are a lot of factors to consider when designing duplex houses such as configuration, layout, accessibility, daylighting, natural ventilation, aesthetics, soundproofing, and privacy. Having a professional designer from the onset helps steer the project towards the right direction.
Looking inside a duplex
Outside, a duplex must use a similar colour and material palette. Inside, the two houses don't have to be identical in size, shape, and layout.
From the inside, it should look almost like a detached house. Here are a few snapshots of our proposed duplex design in Earlwood NSW: