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What is a duplex home?

Duplexes. A fun word to say, and a fun way to live.


A duplex is a dual occupancy home; that is, a combination of two homes in one where each home shares a common wall, making the homes appear as if they are one, when really they are two.

Just like magic, but not magic, just a wall.

Apart from the common magic wall, the homes are completely separate, so you needn't fret about a stranger appearing in the bathroom.


The idea of investing in a duplex and getting extra bang out of your buck is more than a little bit appealing.

By placing two homes on the one lot (you can either share a title or subdivide and have two- this will become important down the line of you wish to sell), duplexes can be a smarter investment than an apartment as you’ll gain the value of the land on which the home is built. Savvy.

Additionally, you don’t need to worry about the hassle of multiple neighbours, as you would in an apartment.

Do I have a personal vendetta against apartments?ABSOLUTELY NOT. Apartments have their own set of perks, of which we will most certainly articulate in a later blog post.

But for now, it’s the duplex’s time to shine.

Other thrills of investing in a duplex include that two people will be paying for the land and if you live in one as an owner/occupier and rent out the other one, you’ll pay off your mortgage at twice the speed (maths).

This way the land value is still there, but two people are paying for it, not one.

There is also something to be said for the street appeal of having a duplex rather than having one house in the front and one in the back, like some other dual occupant residences.

You can alter them in appearance either a little or a lot by having one a little bit set back to create a point of difference, you could alter the roofing slightly for a different appearance again or you can have them be completely identical.


If you live in a retro duplex from ye olden days (turns out I do! Mind blown.), then your duplex may be a little noisy! Three baby neighbours under three will grate on you after a time. Nowadays however, they build duplexes a little more intelligently, ensuring sound gets trapped in the wall rather than bouncing straight on through (science).

You will need a town planning permit to build a duplex and the design will need to meet regulatory standards which can be difficult depending on the area you are buying in and whether or not it possesses a traditional or heritage streetscape that your design will need to adhere to and stylistically mimic.

Frustratingly, approval from town planning can take up to a year or longer and this process is a costly one. You'll alsohave to engage a designer who has the skill to be able to facilitate a successful outcome that will satisfy both town planning and the buyer.

Each block of land will also have it's strengths and weaknesses, which will impact whether or not your land is fit for a duplex.

If you keep your duplex as a rental property, you don’t need separate titles for the homes, however, if you wish to sell them, then you need to get a plan of subdivision and get separate titles.

If you aren't keen on a duplex, or have a block more suited to a traditional detached home, then you can view our range of fabulous designs here!

Victoria, NSW/ACT, Queensland & South Australia.


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