Are you in the process of a dual occupancy development project? Perhaps you’re designing dual occupancy homes in preparation for a build?
If so, then you’re in the right place. This helpful article shares six tips for designing dual occupancy homes with style, class, longevity and premium functionality in mind.
We’ll share tips on flooring, fittings, fixtures, and even colour contrast schemes and more.
By the end of the article, you’ll be a dual occupancy design expert.
But first, let’s explain dual occupancy development for those who may not already know.
What is Dual Occupancy?
A dual occupancy property development is when one parcel of land is subdivided, and two adjoining homes are built where there was previously one. Townhouses are usually built, as single-storey units are becoming rarer.
Why Would Someone Do This?
You might undertake a dual occupancy development using your land for multiple reasons.
The most common reason is that it increases the value of your land and can provide a significant capital gain if you sell both properties.
For instance, if you own a house and land worth approximately a million dollars, you could sell it for the market value. Or you could subdivide and build two townhouses, which both then sell for roughly $7-800,000. Multiply that by two, and you are looking at approximately 1.5 million.
Of course, some costs exist, such as designs, town planning, construction, marketing, etc. However, a dual occupancy development will always result in more profit if done correctly than if you just sold your lot.
People might choose to do a dual occupancy development to downsize their home and keep another for an investment property to generate passive income.
Others still may want to live close to ageing parents – so they live in one home, and mum and dad live in the other.
These are usually the reasons why people undertake a dual occupancy development.
Onto Dual Occupancy Designs.
Now it is time for the article’s meat – where we’ll share our tips for designing dual occupancy homes.
You should always consult a professional designer, draftsperson or architect when designing a home. It’s not something that a layperson can usually do.
That said, this article is to prepare you for working with a professional who your preferences will guide.
The tips here are aimed at practical, value-for-money tips and more aesthetic decisions.
We’ll learn how to optimise a townhouse and make it look fantastic.
Benchtops Design Choices
First, let’s discuss bathroom and kitchen benchtops or the laundry. Anywhere there is a bench.
Stone will always be the best choice for a benchtop. Stone benches will present amazingly and won’t blow your budget out. They will look sharp, polished and last longer than a laminate or vinyl benchtop.
This means they will help the household value, as you won’t need to refinish or replace them when and if you decide to sell your townhouse.
A Word About Flooring
Your choice of flooring is crucial when it comes to designing a townhouse.
Engineered or floating floorboards are what we use in most, if not all, of our projects. The quality, range and value are incomparable. We typically steer clear of laminate and vinyl counterparts.
This is also the case with other types of engineered flooring, such as laminate or vinyl.
Other options include a solid hardwood floor like Oak, Jarrah, Spotted Gum, or Blackbutt. The cost will vary depending on the type of timber used. However, as mentioned, we typically stick to a nice engineer board.
You may be tempted to go all out and get a lush, thick, expensive carpet. However, carpet has a relatively short lifespan in homes, especially if you have pets and kids.
Get an average-costing carpet because you’ll likely need to replace it after five or ten years. You can install better carpets once the pets are house-trained and your kids are older (spill drinks and foodless).
Townhouses are double-storey homes. In some cases, they even have three storeys. This means your property will have stairs unless you’re super-rich and install a lift.
Like your flooring, hardwood timber is a brilliant option for your stairs. As well as being solid and durable, it also looks great.
Carpeted stairs are prone to stains and rips and can become musty and smelly with age. They’ll also need replacing after five to ten years too.
The timbers we mentioned above are all excellent choices for the stairs. If you’re on a tighter budget, remember that you can stain timber to resemble another to have cheaper wood on your stairs versus your floor or vice versa.
Unless you have a large budget, you can usually save money on cabinetry. A laminate will look great, particularly if you’re looking for lighter-coloured kitchen cabinets or other areas.
The function is also essential for kitchen cabinets – you’ll know how you work in the kitchen, so design your drawers, cupboards and other storage solutions to suit your cooking and cleaning workflow.
Bathroom and Laundry Design
These areas will likely be tiled on the walls and floors (this will vary depending on your preference). If you opt for hardwood on your laundry floor, you’ll need to keep it dry.
A dual or two-tone colour scheme is often a great choice. For instance, you might opt for a slate grey floor and a white wall or a white and cream combination.
Don’t cheap out on the bathroom; it pays to have a lovely-looking bathroom, and will increase the resale value of your home.
We typically love a floating vanity; a simple design choice like this can add perceived value.
Bathroom Fixtures Tips
A good rule of thumb is to avoid chrome finishes, even though they are popular and may look nice.
This is because chrome is prone to scratching and cracking, as when it loses its protective coating, it tends to corrode or rust. This means you’ll wind up replacing it because it doesn’t look good or if you intended to sell.
Instead, opt for a metal such as brushed nickel or brass, which are hardier and look great.
You may spend more, but you’ll save in the long run.
Outdoor Areas and Alfresco Spaces
You have two options for the ground coverage of your outdoor or alfresco space.
Timber decking looks great and is a viable option, but you’ll need to maintain it by oiling it once a year. If you are up to this or can afford a handyperson to do it, then, by all means, opt for timber.
Otherwise, concrete or paving is a good option that looks great and is relatively easy to keep clean. After some years, some dirt and grime may build up after some years, but a pressure washer will restore it and make it look brand new.
You may also opt for a grassy area and some garden beds, which are a good choice if you have a green thumb.
In this helpful article, we’ve shared tips for designing dual occupancy homes with value for money and aesthetics in mind.
By following these design tips, you’ll either save money in the short or long term and have townhouses that look brilliant, dazzle buyers and will be a joy to live in.
If you’re looking for a Buyer’s Agent to help you find a site to develop or need assistance project managing your current site for success, please reach out. My expert team and I at Little Fish are here to help and would love to hear from you!