Buying

What is a duplex apartment?

Posted March 1, 2024
What is a duplex apartment?

Duplex apartments mix space and the perks of living in an apartment. But, it’s wise to weigh up their good and bad points against what you need and like before choosing one.

A duplex is a two-story home within an apartment setting, linked by stairs inside. It gives you the roominess of a house plus the safety and community feel of living in flats. This makes them appealing, especially for first-time buyers.

In simple terms, duplexes are like having two homes in one. Usually, downstairs has shared areas such as the kitchen and lounge, while upstairs is more private, with bedrooms and bathrooms. This means you get lots of space and privacy just like in a house but also enjoy apartment benefits like better security and not having to do much upkeep.

Pros of buying a duplex apartment

  • More Space: Duplexes are bigger than normal flats, perfect for those who find regular apartments too small but can’t afford a house.
  • Separate Entrances: Many have different doors for each floor, giving you more choices and flexibility in the future.
  • Privacy and Style: With two floors, you get privacy and can decorate each level differently.
  • Community Amenities: Living in duplex communities often means access to shared facilities, allowing for socialising without losing privacy.

Cons of buying a duplex apartment

  • Stairs Issue: For people with mobility problems or families worried about children’s safety, stairs can be a problem.
  • Costs More: Duplexes may cost more than single-floor apartments and might come with higher upkeep costs.
  • Higher Utility Bills: Bigger spaces could mean paying more for utilities. This varies based on energy efficiency and heating system.
  • Harder to Find: Finding a duplex can be tougher than finding an apartment. It really depends on where you’re looking and how much demand there is.

What is the difference between a duplex in the UK and US?

In the United States, a duplex is a house divided into two separate living areas. Each area has its own entrance. These units can be side by side or one above the other, usually by sharing a wall.

In the United Kingdom, “duplex” isn’t commonly used for homes like in the US. Instead, similar types of homes are known as semi-detached houses or flats, based on their layout. In the UK, when people say “duplex,” they often mean an apartment that covers two floors connected by internal stairs. This kind of home might also be called a maisonette or a two-story apartment.

Things to consider if buying a Duplex Apartment

When considering a duplex purchase, think about how it matches your way of life. If you love hosting gatherings, the large living spaces will appeal to you. Families might like the clear divide between common and private areas.

The location is crucial too. The best duplex should offer a mix of what you want from your surroundings (either the lively city atmosphere or quiet suburban life) and easy access to facilities, work, and loved ones.

What is a duplex apartment layout like?

Below is a floor plan of Plot 200 at our Signal Park development in Tolworth, which is a duplex apartment.

Example of a Duplex Apartment