Building a duplex can be an excellent investment or a great multi-generation home, but you need to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding whether it’s the right option for you and your family.
Many people ask – What is a duplex house?
So we’re all on the same page: duplex construction usually refers to two homes built on one block of land with a common wall. At Kurmond Homes and most other building companies, we use the term duplex when the homes are of equal size and often a mirror of each other.
On the other hand, dual occupancy refers to two homes on one block of land that can be attached or not and can vary in size, like our dual-living homes. We often use the term dual occupancy when describing a duplex home that has been subdivided so it has two land titles, meaning the houses can be sold separately.
The pros of duplex homes
There are plenty of benefits or pros of building a duplex on your existing block of land or even buying specifically to build. These include increased investment potential, multi-generation living opportunities, lower construction costs for two homes, and having only one close neighbour.
Here are our favourite benefits of building a duplex:
Maximising investment potential with a duplex investment
The biggest plus of building a duplex is the ability to build two homes on one suburban block of land, and by doubling your accommodation, you maximise your investment potential. By living
in one side of the duplex property and renting the other, you have an investment property that you can keep a close eye on.
Regarding building costs, it is also a very economical way to build two homes. If you were to build two separate dwellings on one block of land, the costs would be significantly higher.
Duplex houses are ideal for multi-gen living
As property prices continue to rise in Sydney, there’s a strong trend towards multi-generational living, particularly in Greater Western Sydney. Often, multi-generation living keeps older generations close, but it can also involve young people staying home longer. It allows families to stay close, but not too close.
Less regulations for duplex home designs
The Low Rise Housing Diversity Code implemented by the NSW Government in 2020 makes it much easier than it once was to build a duplex in NSW. The code allows for dual occupancies, provided they meet all relevant requirements, to be fast-tracked through the complying development code (CDC), meaning approval can be sought through a private certifier and issued faster. Learn more in our previous blog post, ‘Can I build a duplex on my block?’.
Knock down and rebuild a duplex home
By purchasing an older rundown house on a block of land, you can undertake a knock down rebuild duplex project and end up with two new homes. You can also take your existing family home that you’ve occupied for many years and build two new dwellings.
You get to stay in the neighbourhood you know and love but gain two new homes with all the benefits of a brand new houses.
Only one neighbour with a duplex
Unlike apartment living, you have only one close neighbour rather than many, so you can live near one other household for increased security but still have plenty of space and privacy.
The cons of duplex living
While there are many benefits of building a duplex, there are a few detractions that you need to be aware of before committing to build.
Here are a few issues you need to consider:
Larger footprint with duplex home plans
The new building will take up more space because you’re building two homes on one block. That means you’ll have less room for a garden and may need to compromise on other things like parking, swimming pools, alfresco areas, and additional buildings like sheds.
Individual duplexes are not as big as one home
In many cases, your two new individual homes will not be as large as one big home on the same block of land. This may not be an issue for your requirements, but you must ensure your home will suit you and your family now and in the future.
Less privacy than detached house
Living in a duplex home means living closer to your neighbours because they share a common central wall. You will not have the same level of privacy you had with a traditional free-standing home.
Dual occupancy homes means dealing with tenants
If you choose to rent one of the dwellings to tenants, you will need to handle any issues that arise, and living right next door can add an extra layer of complication or difficulty.
You can choose your tenants, but there’s still no guarantee that you’ll get along, so you need to lay ground rules early in the relationship.
The other potential issue you need to factor into your budgeting is times when your investment property next door does not have tenants. It often takes time to find the right tenants, and when they leave, you need to find a suitable replacement, which can also take time.
Duplex house design can mean more complex approvals
In some cases, approvals for building a duplex can be more complicated than a standard dwelling. At Kurmond, we assist our clients with this process, but sometimes unforeseen issues arise.
Higher maintenance costs for two dwellings
Having two dwellings, even when they are one building, means higher maintenance costs because there are more bathrooms, two kitchens, and other aspects of a home that may require ongoing repair.
Contact us to learn more about building a single-storey or double-storey duplex
As builders specialising in duplex homes, we have a range of duplex home designs and can also create a custom duplex home to suit your property.
As duplex home builders, Kurmond Homes provides everything you need to create your dream home. Our expert team provides advice from initial design ideas to completion.
To discover more about building with Kurmond Homes, please contact us today or visit one of our display homes.