A Guide to Duplex Homes

Duplex Homes

If you want the look and feel of a house when renting, consider a duplex apartment.

A duplex, as the name suggests, is a multi-family home comprising two units in one building. These units can be side-by-side or stacked atop each other. They are joined at the center by a party wall but effectively treated as two separate dwellings. In the majority of the cases, each dwelling is an individual property.

A duplex cannot just be built on any patch of residential land. The rules and town planning regulations although vary for different states and local government areas, they are to be strictly abided by.

Duplexes offer many benefits of a standard residential home including a yard, garage and privacy. But of course, you still have a neighbor living on the other side of your wall.

Therefore, before jumping into reckless investments, it must be ensured that both parties are respectful of noise levels and care for the shared common spaces. Duplexes are owned by s single person and both units are typically rented out.

Types of Duplex Houses

A duplex can have a single story or two stories. However, the number of stories cannot be greater than two, else it will be called a multiplex. In the case of stacked residential units (i.e., a two-story apartment), the floors are connected by a staircase.

Generally, duplex houses in the following 3 types:

  • Single Story Duplex

A single-story duplex has two residential units on the same floor connected by a party wall. There is no provision of stairs in such type of duplex.

A single-story duplex

  • Double Story/ Side-by-Side Duplex

In this type, the residential units are present adjunct to each other. However, each unit has a double story.

A double-story, side-by-side duplex

  • Double Story/ Up-and-Down Duplex

The double-story duplex has two units of living with one stacked on top of the other. As a consequence, the residents might have to share a common entrance. However, such a provision depends on the design of the building.

Factors Affecting the Architectural Design of Duplex Houses

  • The number of rooms in a duplex house and their sizes depend upon the location of the house. If the house is located in the heart of a metropolitan, it is usually smaller in size. However, moving towards a city’s outskirts, one can clearly see large and amazing duplex homes.
  • The architectural design of a duplex is also dictated by the client’s requirement of wanting a single-story house or a two-story residence.

 Pros of a Duplex House

  • With a duplex house, the owner ends up getting two independent living units. Therefore, when selling the house, the individual cost of the units gives a cumulative value greater than a single residential property constructed on the owned land. The owner ends up making a profit out of such a two-unit residence. This margin can be quite lucrative and therefore, duplex houses are garnering the attention of builders and developers in large metropolitan areas.
  • The modern building codes of practice focus on an upgraded living standard. For instance, the provision of rainwater collection and cloistered plumbing and electrification systems, which were amiss in the old free-standing homes, is ensured in the contemporary duplex houses. Therefore, buyers in the modern-day world prefer going for such a standardized living.
  • Duplexes are ideal for investors who wish to sell one unit to reduce the debt on the one they are keeping.
  • They are advantageous when it comes to accommodating large-sized families or joint families.
  • Duplexes provided more liberty of customizing the architectural design of a residential area.
  • They are more affordable to rent than single-family homes.

Cons of a Duplex House

  • Owing to a common party wall, there are chances of noise intrusion and interference from the adjacent unit. However, with effective insulation against noise, this problem can be offset.
  • The maintenance cost of a duplex home is generally more than a single house of the same size. This may include regular cleaning and occasional repairs.
  • When the pros of investing in an apartment are gauged with respect to those of a duplex, it is often touted that apartments are a safer option to go with. However, duplexes offer more benefits including enhanced privacy and more space.

What to Consider Before Buying a Duplex?

If you deem that with two separate dwellings in one house, your privacy is prone to disturbance, try not to invest in a duplex unless you consider utilizing two separate units for your personal living. However, even if that is the case, investing in a duplex is not the smartest choice because of added maintenance; try buying a free-standing single-family home.

If you have no problem with sharing a wall with another family, a duplex will be a good choice to invest in. This is because with one house, you will get the opportunity to live and earn rental money simultaneously.

A third case might be that you rent out both the units to two separate families and in this case, you will end up with more money as rent than that from a single house with the same spatial features.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are duplexes worth the monetary investment?

The preference for such an investment is subjective because of the taxes and other deductions which may come into play. Therefore, before investing in buying a duplex property, one must consult an accountant and put up the proposition.

Should one invest in buying old duplexes?

Old duplexes tend to go to even lower prices, therefore, buying them will prove advantageous on the economic front. However, it is imperative to go for a building and safety inspection. If there is any major structural concern, one must timely walk away from such an investment. However, in the absence of any structural defect, one may consider buying one.

What is the difference between twin homes and a duplex?

Twin houses are constructed side-by-side but on separate plots. However, the duplex is a two-unit residence on a single plot.

Why should a duplex be preferred over an apartment?

A duplex offers luxury, comfort and privacy to the residents in a relatively spacious indoor. There is generally less interference and large families can easily accommodate themselves.

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