Duplex Designs: 3 Factors to Consider Before Building a Duplex
If you are keen on building a duplex, and you already have a plot of land earmarked for it, then the logical next step would be to have your builder come up with duplex designs to choose from. However, note that this step in your duplex-building project requires some deliberation. It’s not just a matter of selecting from several duplex designs that reflect your personal aesthetic and fit your budget.
Duplex Designs – 3 Important Principles
When it comes to duplex design, there are certain design principles that need to be followed. These guidelines help ensure that the aesthetic, functional and structural features of duplex homes serve to complement or enhance the surrounding area. These principles govern the following:
The neighbourhood context in duplex design takes into consideration the density of the community, the types of houses there are, as well as the character of the neighbourhood. For your duplex to be designed and built in harmony with its surroundings, certain conditions need to be met:
- The siting and massing of the building should reflect the character of the streetscape.
- The design quality and materials for construction should complement or enhance the current streetscape.
- The duplex design must clearly show a visual distinction between the two units that comprise the duplex. This includes distinguishing features in the layout, design, landscaping and colour. Doing so not only shows the individual characteristics of either unit but also prevents streetscape monotony.
- Depending on the location, the builder is encouraged to explore alternatives to the traditional side-by-side duplex setup.
2. Form and Elements of the Building
Through the implementation of local zoning laws, building owners are required to keep to the basic building form that dictates how the building envelope is structured. The following elements are also covered:
- Roof: What is considered to be the predominant type of roof used in the community or area is generally encouraged to be used, whether it’s a pitched, flat or sloped roof.
- Dormers and Gables: These elements are important in breaking up the mass of a building and helping distinguish one unit in the duplex from the other.
- Exterior Wall Cladding: The use of different cladding materials and colours serve to enhance the individual characteristics of either unit in the duplex.
- Doors and Window Treatment: The placement of doors typically depends on the location of the lot (e.g. a corner building may have entrances oriented for each street). Moreover, window treatment can be used to emphasise the distinction between the two dwelling units.
- Driveways: Owners are encouraged to use as little pavement in their front yard as possible to minimise driveway widths.
- Garages: Garage doors should be designed in such a manner so as not to overpower the building, and garages should always be designed to a high standard.
Landscaping in the front yard is particularly important for softening the hard edges of sizeable residential buildings such as duplexes. Like the building design itself, the landscaping for either side of the duplex should serve to emphasise the differences between the two units, and not be made to look like mirror images.
Moreover, landscaping should be used to screen or block the view into the parking areas. Building owners should, again, consider prevalent landscaping designs and practices to ensure their duplex adds to the aesthetics of the community.
Partner With a Seasoned Designer and Duplex Builder
A duplex is a great investment promising rental income you can save and use to build your dreams. However, always consider partnering with a seasoned builder and professional, reliable and reputable duplex home builders to ensure your property investment does not go to waste.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding duplex design and construction, please get in touch with Champion Homes. We’re your dependable duplex building partner.