Designing a duplex requires a different approach from designing a single-family detached home. Keep costly mistakes at bay by hiring an expert to handle it.
Designing a duplex? This can be an excellent strategy to improve the value of your property, live close to family or generate an income from residential tenants or Airbnb-style guests.
However, designing a duplex can be a bit trickier than bringing together the look and feel of a typical single-family detached home. From the layout considerations to the type of title you should apply for, the whole process can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Fortunately, you can (and should) let an expert take care of designing a duplex for you. A qualified and experienced building designer will cover all your bases so you can avoid costly mistakes, starting with the three things below:
1. The type of layout that best suits your needs
Duplexes can either be built side by side or one on top of the other. The decision will ultimately depend on your specific needs, plus the size of your site.
Before your home designer starts designing a duplex, they’ll typically ask questions such as:
- Is there enough lot space to build two homes side by side?
- Does the client live with very young children or older individuals with mobility issues who might have trouble with stairs?
- Will the property be rented out? Which layout would tenants prefer more?
In addition, your home building designer will help you check with the Council, the Development Control Plan (DCP) and the Local Environmental Plan (LEP), to see if it is permissable to build a two-storey duplex on your land. They need to make sure the development complies with the above to avoid overshadowing neighbouring properties or obstructing views.
2. The kind of design that works best with your chosen site
Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and Newcastle are home a wide range of terrains, which need to be taken into account in designing a duplex that works.
Port Stephens, for instance, has a lot of sloping sites. A duplex design must be able to work around challenging ground angles.
Your duplex design will also take into account the area’s climate conditions. The final design and orientation of the dwellings should take advantage of natural light to be energy efficient and comfortable.
3. The type of title your project requires
There are two main types of property titles in NSW: Torrens and strata. The former deals with single ownership, while the latter allows for multiple parties to own specific parts of a property.
If you’re designing a duplex for personal use, then a Torrens title is ideal, especially if you decide to sell your properties after building or rent them out. Torrens will also give you two separate titles, so each property can be sold separately.
If you’re looking to split the ownership of the property with other parties, on the other hand, a Strata title is what you need.
This type of title clearly defines where one party’s ownership ends and another’s begins. In addition, it outlines how profits and expenses are to be divided among all owners, which is especially useful for properties that are being rented out.
Distinct Building Designs will design your duplex your way
A good home designer with successful projects under their belt will be able to create functional and great-looking designs for your duplex, be it a side-by-side dwelling or a two-storey property.
They will also talk to the relevant Council and arrange a pre-lodgement meeting at Council to ensure your development will be permissible under the current LEP and DCP. This meeting ensures your design will have a higher chance of complying and being approved.
Your designer will guide you every step of the way so you can save time and money, and avoid all sorts of costly mistakes.