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Difference Between Dual Occs, Duplex and Granny Flats

Dual Occupancy, Duplex and granny flat. You’ve probably heard of all these terms. But even though they all differ from one another, these three types of dwellings are often confused. When building a new house, it is helpful to know what they really are. To find out whether one of them might be an option for you, we have created a short and comprehensive guide with all the right points to consider:

Dual Occupancy
Dual occupancies, also known as shared-living homes, exist in two versions – attached and detached. However, the land they are built on is always considered one piece of land and can not be subdivided. While it can limit your liberties, it often means lower building and council costs compared to a duplex. Utilities for the dwelling can be separated though.

Dual occupancy is ideal for first-home buyers, who are on a budget but still value a good neighbourhood and aesthetic housing since it will cost you significantly less to acquire a dual occupancy than buying a single-family house.

When building a new house, remember:

– also known as shared-living homes
– can’t be subdivided -> less building and council cost
– separate utilities possible

building a new house Image: Metricon

A duplex often looks just like a dual occupancy. But even though the two households share a wall, often referred to as a common ‘party wall’, they are considered two dwellings. They are therefore listed with separate titles, which is why the land can be subdivided. As the possibility to subdivide exists, a duplex offers more liberties as to buying and selling a house than a dual occupancy does. Another benefit to the duplex is its price. You will pay up to half of what a detached single house, same style and size, would cost you, which is why the Duplex is very popular among first-home buyers as well.

When building a new house, remember:

– two separate dwellings with separate titles -> can be subdivided
– common ‘party wall’

building a new houseImage: Rawson Homes

Granny Flat
A granny flat can be defined as a self-contained home extension to a principal dwelling. It usually contains a bedroom with a bathroom, as well as a small kitchen, dining and a living area. The flat can either be attached to the main house, separated through e.g. a garage, or fully detached. The size is dictated by local councils but in most cases doesn’t exceed 60 square metres.

Granny flats are, as their name suggests, popular among ageing parents or grandparents. They can still live independently but have their family in closest proximity. And also for teenage children moving out for the first time, this type of dwelling can be a fitting option. Another way to make use of a granny flat and at the same time get extra income for the household is to rent the flat out, as they are popular accommodations.

When building a new house, remember:

– self-contained conjunction to a principal dwelling
– often occupied by independent family members

building a new houseImage: Houzz

Now that you have enough knowledge about these types of dwellings, it should be easier for you to figure out whether one of them is what you’re looking for. In case you need further advice on that matter, don’t hesitate to contact the iBuildNew consultants to get their assistance! Call us on 1800 184 284 or book a call online.

Lara Ziegler

Lara has always enjoyed experiencing different architectural styles and housing all over the world. She is also interested in interior design and loves to furnish and design rooms.


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

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