best dual occ builders melbourne

For this article, we thought we’d share our thoughts about the ten best dual occupancy builders in Melbourne for 2024.

Here at Little Fish, we love to keep our finger on the pulse of 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 do less work and usually focus on several builds simultaneously.

Both are great dual occupancy home builders in 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.

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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.

developers in melbourne

Managing a Melbourne dual occupancy project from the pre-planning through the build process and right through to the eventual 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 quickly as you can.

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 like the ones we offer here at Little Fish.

We’ll complete your project 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.

dual occ builders melbourne

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 for the builder and 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 new titles.

Each is critical to the process and comes with its 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 slows the project down.

Builders who work with Little Fish only need to 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 building 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 has a dollar value attached.

best dual occupancy builders melbourne

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.

As part of our tendering process, where we put a project to tender, we ensure 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. You’ll probably even make more money on your bottom line.

Our efficiencies and cost-saving measures mean more profit for you when all is said and done.

Please get in touch if you’re interested and think we can help you with your dual occupancy development project. 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.

melbourne builders

Before we jump into who we consider the best dual occupancy builders in Melbourne 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, but 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 for 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.

best volume builders melbourne

They have pros and cons for 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 in Melbourne is that they lack flexibility in many areas.

They have specific dual occupancy 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.

townhouse project managers

You won’t get a personal touch or vibe with these big, money-generating machines. While they do their job well- executing a build-to-design- they focus 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 building. 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 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.

In our opinion, these are the four best dual occupancy volume builders in Melbourne (in no particular order).

1. Metricon

Metricon is Melbourne’s 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.

metricon logo

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).

Regarding volume operators, Metricon is up there with the best dual occupancy builders in Melbourne.

2. Carter Grange

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

carter grange logo

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 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.

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

3. 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.

marque logo

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.

They’re an excellent choice for the best dual occupancy builders in Melbourne if you can afford them.

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

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

4. Boutique Homes

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

boutique logo

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.

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 limits, really.

best builders in melbourne

They will also be more flexible with any changes or updates throughout the building 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.

Keep your finger on the pulse no matter which direction you go – volume or independent. 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 can’t offer the same efficiency level as 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 four best dual occupancy independent builders in Melbourne (in no particular order).

5. Indulge Homes

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

indulge logo

Indulge Homes offers 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 recommend heading to their gallery and looking at the quality of workmanship on offer. It’s second to none.

6. Renmark Homes

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

renmark logo

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

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

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.

7. Roda Developments

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

roda dual occupancy builder melbourne

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.

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

8. 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.


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.

In the past, we’ve dealt with Nam, the owner, 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. From memory, they have done some nice builds in Bentleigh East.

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

Wrapping Up

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

Remember to weigh the pros and cons of choosing a volume builder over 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. You can wind up bleeding some serious cash without your finger on the pulse.

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 means we do all the heavy lifting, you make more money, and you see your profits sooner. It’s what we do!

Lastly, check out this article on Carnegie builders if you’re considering a project on that side of town.

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To discuss your dual occupancy project in Melbourne, call us on 1300 799 277. If you are considering a build-to-rent strategy, click here.