Designed for Life

A Beginners Guide to Building a Duplex


Building a duplex can be a great way to generate income from rental property, while also providing a place for you and your family to live. However, before you begin construction for this type of specialised building project, it’s important to do your homework and know exactly what’s involved.

Here at Vogue Homes, we’re a trusted experienced builder who is committed to looking after their clients. With extensive experience building duplexes in all types of environments, we’ve put together this blog to give our clients a much better understanding of the whole process, and put them in good stead to realise their building dreams.

Get the Right Support

When it comes to building a duplex you may be tempted to try to do a lot of things yourself. However, it’s important to get professionals involved early on in the process as doing so will help ensure that the project stays on track and that your final product meets all the necessary building code requirements.

To help ensure the success of your project, you will need the services of:

  • A mortgage broker
  • A solicitor
  • A reputable builder 

With years of experience working on similar projects, these professionals can guide you through the entire process and ensure you stay on the right track throughout your building journey.

Get Your Budget Sorted

When you’re planning on building a duplex, one of the first things you need to do is get your budget sorted. There are a lot of costs associated with building a duplex, from the land cost to the construction costs, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of what your finances are looking like before you get started. 

One way to get your budget sorted is to sit down with your builder and work out what your options are. They can help you understand the true cost of building a duplex and exactly what’s involved. You can then liaise back with your mortgage broker and see how you can go about appropriately financing your building needs.

Once you’ve got your budget sorted, you can then start looking at properties that are suitable for development. Contact a real estate agent and let them know what you’re looking for, so they can keep an eye out for properties that fit your criteria. With a clear budget in place, you’re well on your way to building your dream duplex.

Do Your Research to Find the Ideal Lot and Location

Before you start the process of building a duplex, it’s important to do your research and find the ideal lot, or if you intend to rebuild in the same location, work out the size of the duplex you can actually build. There are a few things to keep in mind. 

First, you’ll need to make sure that the lot is zoned for a duplex. It’s important to note that only certain areas support duplexes, so it’s imperative that you choose wisely and look up all relevant rules that may apply. Secondly, you’ll want to find a lot that is large enough to accommodate your desired duplex size. This is of particular importance if you intend to rebuild in your current location. 

Finally, you’ll want to choose a location that is convenient for potential tenants. Proximity to public transportation, schools, and shopping centres are all important factors to consider. 

By taking the time to find the perfect lot that meets your needs, you can be sure that your duplex will be a success.

Do a Feasibility Study on the Viability of the Project

Before embarking on any new building project, it’s essential to do a feasibility study to ensure that the project is viable. This is especially true for duplexes, as they are complex structures that often require a significant investment of time and money. There are many factors that need to be considered when doing a feasibility study for a duplex, including the following:

  • Zoning regulations
  • Building code compliance
  • Site development costs
  • Construction costs
  • Market analysis

By taking the time to do a thorough feasibility study, you can increase your chances of making a sound investment that will provide long-term financial security.

Confirm the Type of Property Title

Before you start the process of building a duplex, it’s important to take some time to confirm the type of property title. Duplexes can be covered by one land title or can exist as separate titles. Depending on the arrangement, the two homes can be sold individually or together.

Each type of title has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the difference before deciding. 

A Strata title duplex is owned jointly by all of the occupants, and the common areas are managed by a strata company. This can be beneficial because it can help to keep maintenance costs down. However, it can also be difficult to make changes to the property if you are not in agreement with the other occupants. 

A Torrens title duplex, on the other hand, is owned individually. This means that you have more control over the property, but it also means that you are responsible for all of the maintenance costs. 

In a Company title, owners don’t own the title, but rather own a share in a company that owns the title. This option is great if you’re looking at property as an investment, however a company’s constitution can sometimes contain complexities and restrictions on exactly who can buy into the property, whether it can be rented, and what particular changes can be made.

Ultimately, the decision of which title to use depends on your individual needs and preferences.

Before proceeding down the avenue of construction, it’s strongly recommended to check with your local council and an experienced builder to see what type of property title is available in a particular area.

Get the Design Right

One of the most important aspects of building a duplex is to get the design right. The design should take into account the needs of both tenants and the owner. For example, the layout should be such that both tenants have privacy and their own separate living areas. 

At the same time, the design should also be such that the owner can easily access both units in case of an emergency. In addition, the duplex should be designed in such a way that it is easy to maintain and clean. 

It’s also important to choose materials that are durable and easy to maintain. Remember, your duplex is going to be subject to more wear and tear than a single-family home, so you’ll want to make sure it can stand up to extended use.

A well-designed duplex will not only be more comfortable for tenants to live in, but it will also be easier for the owner to manage.

Building a duplex is a specialised building project that requires careful planning and execution.

By taking the time to do your research and get a good understanding of exactly what’s involved,  a duplex can be a great investment that is specifically suited to your needs.

You should start by getting the right level of support by contacting relevant professionals such as  a mortgage broker, solicitor and builder. These professionals can guide you through the entire process and ensure you stay on the right track throughout your building journey.

Next, you should get your budget sorted, which should allow you to fully factor in all types of costs involved such as land costs and construction costs, and how this will fit within your individual circumstances.

Now that you have a more sure plan, you can start looking for an appropriate lot. Remember to find a lot that has been zoned for a duplex, is the appropriate size, and has a convenient location for potential tenants. Remember to also factor in any future design considerations to take into account the needs of both tenants and the owner.

Finally, before undertaking any construction, it’s imperative that you undertake a feasibility study and confirm the type of property title. This will take into account specific factors relevant to your project such as zoning regulations and building code compliance, and will increase your chances of making a sound investment that will provide long-term financial security.

For such a specialised building project, it’s important to work with a qualified builder who has extensive experience in this type of project. 

At Vogue Homes, we have extensive experience building duplexes. We understand the unique challenges that come with this type of construction, and we have the skills and knowledge to get the job done right. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their vision is realised, and we are committed to meeting all deadlines and budget constraints. 

We also offer a warranty on all of our work, so our clients can be confident that their investment is protected. If you’re looking for a builder that can handle your duplex construction project, look no further than Vogue Homes. We’re ready to get started on your dream home today.

For any of your Duplex Building needs, why not contact us today?