What is a Duplex House?

What is a Duplex House

18 Dec 2020

Introduction: - A duplex house is a type of residential building that consists of two floors. You cannot call a duplex house a double-storey building. There is a single dining room and a single kitchen in the duplex house. Unlike double-storey buildings, it has a common central wall. A nuclear family or joint family can own such types of houses.

It is like a double-story building with lots of common points. Although it has two floors for the convenience and comfort of the residents, it may or may not have two separate entrances.

What is a Duplex?

The duplex has two separate units connected by a common staircase. The residents mainly use the ground floor for the kitchen, dining room, guest room, restroom, and supplies, and they reserve the first floor for bedrooms. A big hall is constructed at the entrance of a duplex house.

What is a Duplex Apartment?

A Duplex apartment is a standalone property that does not share walls with another property. They are widely regarded as the pinnacle of homeownership for most buyers in the UK, where detached homes are the most private dwellings one can buy.

It can be semi-detached, like an end-of-terrace property, and it shares a single sidewall with another home and provides dwellings to multiple families who can share space to save time and money. Some of the benefits of owning or renting a duplex apartment are given below:-

  • It is ideal for big families. In the case of a five-bedroom house, more than four families can stay together lavishly.

  • One can save time commuting to attend family gatherings or celebrate together as all the members stay together; it saves time and money. There is no need to spend on travelling between places.

  • Duplex apartments are generally located in high-end places in the city. So one can get a suitable location and neighbourhood. Moreover, one gets an opportunity to hang out and develop long-term friendships with the people living nearby.

  • Generally, areas with expensive apartments have proper transportation links to the city centres and open spaces. It also hosts several other facilities like schools, colleges, museums, auditoriums, stadiums, churches, parks, playgrounds, etc. 

  • If you buy a house in such areas, you can reduce expenses on transportation to public libraries or sports grounds. 

  • Front and rear gardens are commonly found in most detached houses, and some will be situated on even greater swathes of land. 

  • You readily get all the basic amenities like electricity, water, sewer line, broadband connection and stores in those areas.

What Are The Different Types Of Duplex Houses?

Regardless of the type of property, you're looking to buy or sell, you'll have to get the best people by your side. 

Duplex houses have two dwelling units in a single building. It hardly matters whether the units are side by side or placed on top of each other. It can either have two entrances or a common gate. In general, there are five types of duplex houses found all over the world, as given below- 

1. One Floor over The Top of Others: - The most common type of duplex is where you enter the lobby area, and from there, you can go to the first floor. The ground floor has a staircase, a big living area, a guest room, a restroom, and sometimes, a kitchen and a storeroom.

2. Side By Side House:- Some duplex houses are built side by side. It's also important to see the difference between duplex buildings and twin homes, which are often confused with one another. A duplex is a home on a single lot, while twin homes are two half-sized houses connected by a shared wall yet lie on their respective lots.

Both houses are not separate entities, but they are all together. Therefore, it is most suitable for families where a separate room is needed for elder care or the ill. Furthermore, such homes also look spacious because of the vast space in front of the home.

3. Ranch Style Duplex: - Such houses are mainly constructed in high altitude and high earthquake zones. They are easy to construct and manage. There is no need for stairs because the ceilings are very low. It comes in large sizes and is built horizontally.

4. Mansion Style: - It has a high demand and is often bought by high net-worth individuals. It may have many attractive features and may be fitted with modern amenities. The windows and ceilings are designed to give the house a modern look. 

5. Single-Storey Duplex: - If you have more space, you may prefer to build such a house where more than one house is connected in a single storey. All the rooms and the common areas are connected from the inside.

What is a Semi-Detached Duplex?

A duplex has a two-floor house-like floor plan. It's an upgrade from a typical apartment, with amenities like semi-private outdoor space. 

The type of duplex where two duplex houses are separated by one common wall is called semi-detached. Unlike the end-of-terrace house, a semi is connected to another single dwelling, built as a pair, instead of a large row of houses.

In such a case, the house's all sidewall is the wall of the other family living beside it, making it look as if one house is the mirror image of another house. More than 30 per cent of property transactions in the UK involve semi-detached homes.

These houses are not as expensive as fully detached homes but provide the same type of comfort and luxury. For some families or groups of people sharing a house, it is the perfect sweet spot between apartment living and a single-family home where you get a distinctive home style.

Triplex and fourplex buildings are similar multi-family housing types, with three and four units within them, respectively. Villages and most small and medium towns host such homes.

Duplex House Design

Owning, renting, and maintenance of a duplex house is not easy. Plans drawn to a scale allow us to take measurements on the plans and convert them to know what sizes things will be in real terms.

You need to consider lots of points like the carpet area, site location, area plans, elevations, internal / floor plans, permission from the local authority, cost of construction or rent, and type of neighbourhood you need to consider before finalising the Duplex house design.

Depending upon all these factors, you may go for any house like side by side, single-storey, ranch-style, mansion or block style or one floor over the other duplex houses. One can rely on a simple rectangular shape or designs characterised by pitched roofs, dormer windows and distinctive open porches.

They tend to incorporate as much timber as possible from the structure to the cladding. Most modern designs are based on clean borders and open-plan living, where you can get natural light that gives the feel of those contemporary homes built in the 21st century. The traditional designs are infinitely timeless, combining grand exteriors with highly liveable floor plans.

What are Duplex House Plans? 

Duplex house plans are like multi-family homes that consist of two distinct living areas/units separated by floors or by walls within the same skillfully designed structure. Each duplex floor plan may be suitable for living in and renting out, or one can offer both units to tenants if required. 

How Can Build A Duplex House?

Once you've discovered a property you're interested in, it's time to book a viewing. If you made a 'Decision in Principle,' it means the lender is ready to consider a mortgage application from you for up to a stated amount, and at this point, you could have your solicitor at the ready too.

You need to negotiate the price with the seller and then get in touch with your mortgage adviser to find a suitable mortgage deal and complete the application. After that, you can either buy a house or get a plot and construct the house.

If you built a house, it's likely worth more than the costs invested in constructing it – as long the buyer manages the project within the budget. Technically, if you have a great plan, you'll get your ideal home for a fraction of the market price.

You can contact real estate investing companies to find out about the process to qualify for a loan to buy a property to afford a duplex. A self-build mortgage is mostly designed for buyers looking to build their own houses. Unlike traditional mortgages, a mortgage to build your own home, UK-wide, releases the money in phases. It is so that you can pay for land, labour and construction materials as your build advances.

If you buy a pre-built home, you make an offer to the seller, and when the seller's estate agent has the details of both seller and buyers' solicitors, they will confirm that the sale is agreed upon.

Once you've accepted an offer, you complete the legal formalities and get the title deeds and the agreement. Once the mortgage is confirmed, you get insurance, sign the contract, agree on moving dates and exchange the contracts.

What Is The Difference Between A Duplex And An Apartment?

In the UK, 'duplex' refers to an apartment and not a house. It includes accommodation on two floors joined by an internal staircase, and such houses are often referred to as houses ( and not duplexes/apartments) in the US. In the UK, buyers prefer to own a house rather than rent, and those with higher earnings spend on larger detached homes.

Most nuclear families live in detached homes in the US, but in the UK, where the population density is higher, single-family dwellings are divided into flats and apartments. 

So most of the detached and semi-detached houses in the capital city belong to the high-value luxury assets category and are owned by ultra-rich buyers. Such apartment houses are very expensive, especially in selected regions like the South East in the UK. For example, a detached house in Brighton in 2006 was offered for £350K, almost double the price of average properties.

How Much Money Do You Need To Buy A Duplex?

In a duplex, you can live on one side, and a tenant can live on the other, and you can pay back a part of the mortgage through the rent.

One of the most overlooked parts of duplexes is that they qualify for a government-subsidised loan. So if you want to make sure you buy a duplex in good condition, you need to search for options available in the market. Unfortunately, many duplexes available in the market are bad investments because they may need huge expenses for renovations. 

What is the Difference between a Penthouse and a Duplex House?

Penthouse: - Any apartment or suite from where you can see a lot of beautiful views from the outside, usually located on the upper floor, is very expensive and considered a luxurious dwelling; it is called a penthouse.

Duplex House: - A duplex is a house where there are two separate units to stay in. There will be only one main gate at the house entrance and two living quarters next to a duplex.

What is the Difference between a Duplex, Villa, Bungalow, and Apartment?

Duplex:- A duplex is a place with two living places. It can be a two-story building next to each other.

Bungalow:- A bungalow is a small house, single-storey or two-storey building. The bungalows were initially built-in in 1869 in the UK. 

Villa:- A villa has combined features of a house and a separate unit where the villa property is attached to another property.

Apartment: - An apartment is very different from a house. An apartment is usually a large building with many small separate dwelling units, where the residents may share common areas. 

Conclusion: -

To get a mortgage to build a duplex house or a mansion, you need to earn and have a high-earning job, have good credit ratings, and follow legal procedures. Then, you can call up the local real estate agents to learn about the best available properties in the region. Then, you can interview them to learn how to invest.

And when you have decided on buying a home, you need financing. Once you get through the pre-approval stage, the agent will provide the latest offers in the specified budget.

If you want to build a duplex, you can search for various designs online or consult a property consultant or an architect before starting the work. Also, please speak to your neighbours about the pros and cons of different styles of a duplex house as it helps to take the right decision without or with less risk.

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