10 Best Dual Occupancy Builders in Melbourne 2020

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For this article, we thought we’d share our thoughts about the 10 best dual occupancy builders Melbourne.

Here at Little Fish, we love to keep our finger on the pulse of the property development and real estate space.

These operators are the best of the best in a crowded market. We don’t like to give accolades unless they’re deserved, so you can rest assured that this list is full of the absolute cream of the crop.

We’ll split this list into different types. There are the volume builders, the more prominent players who do a high ‘volume’ of builds all across town at the same time.

Then there are the smaller, independent builders. These crews are just as good, but they do less work and usually focus on a handful of builds at a time.

Both are great dual occupancy home builders Melbourne.

But before we get started on the list, let’s mention the benefits of using a specialist property development consultant to support your property development aspirations.

If you want to go straight to the lists click here.

Leverage the Experts for Your Dual Occupancy Project

At Little Fish, we’ve worked long and hard to become property development experts and professional project managers.

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Managing a Melbourne dual occupancy project from the pre-planning through to the build and sales off the plan is a big task.

It can be a major headache unless you have all the know-how.

In this game, every day has a dollar value attached. Delays, disputes and variations all cost money. Come up against enough of them, and you can lose money as fast as you can make it.

So, what if you’re still interested in generating wealth via a dual occupancy project, but want to avoid the headache and mitigate the risk?

You can wind up paying less for your build and having a smoother experience if you leverage professional development management services such as the ones we offer here at Little Fish.

We’ll get your project completed faster and cheaper than if you run it yourself.

Here is a case study on a dual occupancy project we recently completed, it details everything from the cost, timing and everything in between.

We hold nothing back.

How to Do Less Work and Save More Money

At Little Fish, we are what is known as “client-side development project managers”.

This means that the core of our business is managing the entire development process for our clients and investors.

The build itself is a complicated event, with many variables. We know how long all this should take, from the front end planning through to approvals and the build.

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We also know how much things should cost. If you begin approaching dual occupancy builders in Melbourne with a one-off project, they will charge you a hefty premium.

This is because you have no relationship or history with the builder.

You’ll be paying what amounts to retail prices for your build. The difference between retail and wholesale costs in home construction can be in the tens of thousands – or more.

The team at Little Fish have long-standing business relationships with multiple dual occupancy subdivision home builders in Melbourne.

We pay wholesale not just for the builder but for all providers and service providers you’ll require to complete your project. We pass these savings on to our clients and investors.

There are a few reasons why we pay wholesale rates for the builds we manage. Firstly, we know exactly how much a build should cost.

We can sniff out someone trying to sting our clients, and they lose our business after that fact.

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Secondly, we keep a constant stream of work to our builders. They value our relationship and even rely on us.

Lastly, we do all the heavy lifting for our clients. We manage all the street side services, we take care of all the plan of subdivision requirements and we facilitate the registration of the new titles.

Each is critical to the process and come with their own intricacies and complications.

Once-off developers don’t have the knowledge and resources to manage all of this. This either leaves these tasks on the builder who will charge more.

Or it lands in the developer’s lap and results in slowing the project down.

When builders work with Little Fish, all they need to do is focus on the build. Everything else is our domain.

Risks and Variations

Doing a once-off development with a builder carries development risk. The most significant danger here is what is known as variations. These are changes to the project plan and build.

Builders love variations because they charge more (on top of the contract) for them. They are also experts at finding variations in even the most straightforward builds.

Even if you think you’ve signed a “fixed price” contract with a price you’re satisfied with, you’ll be hit with variation changes. These can be significant and really add up.

Again, every day and has a dollar value attached.

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We’ve seen it all here at Little Fish. Nothing gets past us. We are eagle-eyed in our work. We make sure that all the paperwork is watertight.

When we put a project out to tender, we make sure that the builders are pricing down the line. Apples are priced as apples for us, not as avocados.

With the amount of money (and time) we save our clients and investors; it actually works out that you pretty much get our services for free. In most cases, you’ll even make more money on your bottom line.

When all is said and done, our efficiencies and cost-saving measures mean more profit for you.

If you’re interested and think we can help you with your dual occupancy development project, please get in touch. Don’t hesitate, we can assist you every step of the way.

Working with dual occupancy builders, Melbourne is our bread and butter.

We are all client-side as well, meaning we’re on your side, not the builders. We work for you. We’ll make sure you get the best builder at the market price (best price).

What’s more – we’ll work hard to ensure your project is completed on time and with no surprises.

When all is said and done there are heaps of moving parts with a dual occupancy development. The build is only one aspect of the process.

It’s critical that you nail each and every part and that’s what we’re here for.

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Before we jump into who we consider the best dual occupancy builders in Melbourne are I want to point out that these builders we also consider the best duplex builders in Melbourne.

Now here are the ten best dual occupancy home builders in Melbourne. These guys don’t work for us! We just reckon they’re at the top.

Side note – we haven’t listed any of the builders we work directly with, we wanted to share a list without any bias of the best builders in Melbourne that you can reach out directly to if you decide that’s the direction you would like to go.

We’ve broken the list into two lists of five.

The first is volume builders who do dual occupancy projects. These companies suit a specific purpose when it comes to these sorts of builds.

The second five are independent operators who suit a different purpose yet again.

Volume Builders and Dual Occupancy Projects

Volume builders are your major players. These guys rely on churn. They pump out homes at a rapid rate.

They’ve often got tens if not hundreds of projects on the go at once.

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They have pros and cons when it comes to dual occupancy development projects in Melbourne.

On the plus side, they have ready-made designs that come with their own in-built efficiencies. All things being equal, the build should come off without a hitch.

They are used to building by numbers so the properties should be done on time and to a certain standard of quality.

The main drawback with using a volume builder for your dual occupancy builder Melbourne is that they lack flexibility. In many areas.

They have specific designs that work on certain block dimensions and shapes.

They will either work on your lot or they won’t. Even if they do work, these guys are big businesses. You will become one of many clients.

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You won’t get a personal touch or vibe with these big, money-generating machines. While they do their job very well – execute a build to design, they are focused on squeezing clients for dollars.

The big players also have significant overheads. There are lots of wages to pay and bills coming in.

So, for them it is all about volume. It’s a numbers game, pure and simple.

The little players, which we’ll get to, focus on quality and pride in every project.

The owner usually works and oversees the build, they’re in the trenches working with the boys.

In most cases with independent builders, you can’t even spot the general from the troops.

With the large companies, their charging structure relies heavily on you making changes and upgrades. They count on you changing your mind and wanting more and better.

Every time you add something or make a pivot mid-project, it will cost you. These costs add up.

It is also commonly known that in some cases (definitely not all) the quality of the final product can be an issue. For volume builders, dual occupancy projects aren’t their main focus – it’s on everyday homes.

These are the five best dual occupancy volume builders in Melbourne, in our opinion (no particular order).

1. Metricon

Metricon is Melbourne largest home builders, you’ve likely seen their billboards, ads or vehicles on the road. They are a household name and work to uphold this reputation.

They also have a dual occupancy arm to their business.

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Remember Metricon are volume builders, so you’re locked into their existing designs.

Their Bayside design is a modern, fresh approach to dual occupancy homes. They have a range of designs, but this bayside range stands out in our eyes (see below).

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As far as volume operators go, Metricon is up there with the best dual occupancy builders Melbourne.

2. Carter Grange

Like Metricon, Carter Grange is one of the big players in the Melbourne home building industry.

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They focus on volume like most of the big boys but bring a fresh approach to their designs. They also offer a knock-down rebuild service.

Remember that, like Metricon and other volume builders, you are sacrificing flexibility and personability. This may suit some people who want their efficiency, though.

Carter Grange also has a dual occupancy arm with some quality designs to choose from.

We love the design of their Hudson 26 townhome.

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This is an elegant and modern dual occupancy design that is chock full of features and would be the right choice of investment.

3. Hallbury Homes

Hallbury is another top volume dual occupancy builders Melbourne. This crew work with people from tiny budgets into the millions.

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They have won or come runner-up in multiple design awards in recent years. This outfit service most of Melbourne but with a focus on the south-east and down the Mornington Peninsula.

We’ve met the crew over at Hallbury several times, and we have to say they are super professional.

They are also undoubtedly competitive in their dual occupancy pricing. If you are thinking of choosing a volume builder, then you should definitely talk to these guys.

If for no other reason than they are genuinely friendly people.

They are volume builders, but they offer an independent feel in terms of their friendly customer service.

Hallbury is a father-son duo at heart, Shaun (the son) is head of sales and his old man David is behind all of the designs. They have an exquisite contemporary design range to choose from.

Our pick of the litter of Hallbury’s dual occupancy designs is the Mosaic.

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This is open-plan living with elegance and simplicity. Each dwelling is unique in its own way, so it doesn’t feel like a mirror image.

4. Marque

Next up, we have Marque. These guys have a real focus on luxury, designing and building homes that you would just love to live in.

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They are probably best suited to those with a decent budget to work from. If you’re on a shoestring, we’d recommend sticking to one of the other companies discussed above.

Marque also offers a dual occupancy service.

If you can afford them, then they’re an excellent choice for the best dual occupancy builders in Melbourne.

A highlighted design for us is their Nolan four-bedroom dual occupancy design.

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It offers a streamlined side-by-side pair of townhouses. It’s open plan living is a win-win in our eyes.

5. Boutique Homes

Finally, last but by no means, least on our list of volume builders is Boutique Homes.

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These guys have over forty years of experience in the game and offer improved customer service when compared to some of the others on this list.

They also have a transparent and open cost policy, which is a breath of fresh air, considering what we mentioned above about builders loving variations.

They also offer some premium inclusions and have a good range of upgrades if you want to go with that.

Boutique Homes have a dual occupancy service as well, making them a solid choice.

In terms of stand-out designs, we favour the Spencer.

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They’ve managed to make a townhome feel like a stand-alone house here. Offering a study area and retreat space, you’ll feel like spreading out in this space.

Right, now let’s get onto the independent builders for your dual occupancy builders Melbourne list.

Independent Builders and Dual Occupancy Projects

Like the big players, independent companies have their pluses and minuses.

The biggest attraction here is their flexibility. They have less strict guidelines and protocols when compared to the big boys. This means their designs are highly customisable. The sky and your imagination are the limit really.

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They will also be more flexible with any changes or updates throughout the build project. Keep in mind that they will still charge for variations. There’s no such thing as a free lunch in the building game.

And why should it be free anyway? Everyone needs to earn a living. The key here is to ensure you only pay what you should. As mentioned earlier, the best builders are experts at extracting variations from clients.

No matter which direction you go – volume or independent, keep your finger on the pulse. You need to know how long things take and how much they should cost.

If this is too much, consider employing a company like Little Fish to do the hard yards for you.

Independents can cost more and be a risk.

If you go this way, know that you might be spending more. They just can’t offer the same level of efficiency that the volume players can. Also, custom builds take longer.

By nature, they are riskier to go with as well. They don’t have the capital or resources behind them, so if things get tough (like the current pandemic), you can end up in hot water. COVID-19 is a prime example of Murphy’s Law – if something can go wrong, it will go wrong.

Even with the risk, the thing with the little guys is that they take pride in the quality of every build.

This means you’ll end up with a more polished, better home that will be worth more on the market, given that it isn’t a cookie-cutter volume design.

Listed below are the five best dual occupancy independent builders in Melbourne (no particular order).

1. Indulge Homes

We’ve personally met Steve (the owner), and he is a fantastic fella that is more than capable when it comes to building dual occupancy projects. He takes real pride in his work.

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Indulge Homes offer three options for a dual occ – duplex (shared wall), front and back of a large lot or two detached on a corner lot.

Unlike the volume guys, Indulge Homes will work with you to optimise the dimensions of your land. A volume company won’t touch a tricky lot but Steve will.

While Indulge doesn’t have a flagship project, we can highlight we recommend heading to their gallery and taking a look at the quality of workmanship on offer. It’s second to none.

2. Renmark Homes

Renmark Homes are top-notch local townhouse builders in Melbourne. They are also an excellent choice for dual occupancy builders in Melbourne.

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They have a twenty-year history of servicing the area and are family-owned and operated. The son took over from his dad, and it’s always a pleasure to work with a family outfit. Even the brother and the sister help out.

They specialise in highly energy-efficient homes which is a bonus in this current era.

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Their standout case study is about taking over a dual occupancy project from not one but two bankrupted builders!

They assessed the prior work, which wasn’t great, made some suggestions, and the customer ended up with the perfect dual occupancy dwellings.

3. Roda Developments

Roda is on the larger side of the independents in this list, but they’re still worth a mention we reckon.

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They style themselves as “new generation” builders and focus on new technology and innovation in their work.

David leads the company and is a trustworthy businessman with a background in carpentry on worksites, making him well-suited to the role.

Their highlight project for us is their “The Waiora” townhouses.

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Built on a large lot in Heidelberg, they transformed the large piece of land into four unique townhomes. Offering both space and style, we rate this project as being up there! 

4. AlphaQ

Like the above Roda, these guys aren’t a joke. They are set up like the volume big boys but they focus on custom-made townhouses.

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This alone makes them qualify for our list of the best independent dual occupancy builders in Melbourne.

And that’s not to mention the build quality, which is superb.

We’ve dealt with Nam, the owner, in the past and found him to be a top bloke. He and his team are good at what they do. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be on this list.

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Their projects are all great, but we recommend heading to their gallery to check out the finished product.

5. Prava Developments

Last but definitely not least on our list of independent best dual occupancy builders Melbourne is Prava Developments.

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Northern Melbourne locals, Prava offer superior service, quality workmanship and are very picky about detail. This makes them an excellent choice for a custom dual occ build.

Their staff come from a range of trades, so they know the construction space inside and out.

40 Elizabeth Street Coburg is a project that’s worth a mention here. This is an ultra-modern development featuring state of the art fittings and finishes.

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We are happy to recommend Prava as worth working with.

Wrapping Up

Well, that’s a long read, but one we hope is worthwhile.

Remember to weigh up the pros and cons of choosing a volume builder versus an independent company. Each will offer something different.

Watch out for variations no matter who you choose. Builders love them, and they cost a lot.

Remember that each day has a dollar value attached to it. Without your finger on the pulse, you can wind up bleeding some serious cash.

If you want a stock design and a lower cost, go with a volume player. If you want more flexibility and a custom build, then an independent is the best choice.

Your budget will also determine which volume builder or which independent you go with.

And remember, you can save time, money and a severe headache by considering a professional dual occupancy development management company.

We can get your project done faster and cheaper than both options – essentially mean we do all the heavy lifting, you make more money and you see your profits sooner. It’s what we do!

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To discuss your dual occupancy project in Melbourne, give us a call o 1300 799 277.

peter kelly

To put it mildly, Peter Kelly is enthusiastic about real estate. When he’s not looking at properties, or visiting potential sites, Peter can be found online at realestate. com. For him, it’s more than a job – it’s an obsession. Peter is a co-founder here at Little Fish Property developments.