Common Mistakes When Building a Duplex in Sydney

Share This Post

When you spend a chunk of your life savings on building a new duplex, you want to know that every dollar will be spent wisely. 

However, common mistakes in the planning and construction process can waste your time and money, so Morris Homes has provided this handy guide. 

When building a duplex, home builders Sydney-wide will warn you of these pitfalls, so avoid taking shortcuts and heed these warnings before it’s too late. 

Underestimating the Approvals Processes

While the entire duplex building process can take up to two years from start to finish, half of this time can be taken up by planning and approvals. 

Each local council will differ in its processes and we can hardly advise on each one in this blog, so we encourage all readers to consult with the council which presides over their chosen plot. 

Their approvals process will consider a range of factors including the duplex’s curbside appeal, the overshadowing of neighbours, and the general scale of the construction. 

Neighbourhood objections will also be taken into consideration, so it doesn’t hurt to discuss your plans with the street to gauge how they might react. The best-case scenario here is that they will have no objections, while the next best is they offer actionable changes to make the plans more agreeable. 

Disregard Sunlight and Orientation

The benefit of hiring a professional to design your duplex is they will plan for things that you may never have considered. This includes where the sun will shine at what time of day and at what time of year. 

You may have a general picture of your duplex being “open-plan” with “lots of natural light,” but what does this actually look like in practice and how might it affect your heating and cooling costs? If the mid-summer sun is streaming in every mid-afternoon and you’re struggling to keep the home office cool, you may start to dislike your own design. 

Conversely, when one entire side of the home is a wall with your neighbours, natural light is indeed highly desirable. Make sure to find a happy medium between hot and cold, light and dark to make sure your needs are met, and your budget controlled. 

Stretching the Budget Early

Speaking of your budget, whether you’ve hired a professional designer, architect, builder or not, don’t go spending it all at once. It pays (literally!) to ensure everyone is on the same page here, in case a large, unexpected expense comes up towards the end of the project. 

There’s no use designing a big, expensive duplex with all the trimmings before you’ve even excavated the site and found a stubborn deposit of rock. You never know when an issue is going to arise, or an extreme weather event is going to halt proceedings. 

Ignoring Shared-wall Space

In a similar vein to orientation and sunlight, the use of different walls in a duplex is crucial. Some will be used for floor-to-ceiling windows, while others will inevitably be shared with the neighbours (can’t have your duplex and eat it too!)

You’ll want to ensure that this shared wall does not border any noisy areas. To ensure a friendly relationship between homeowners, both parties will typically prefer to keep neighbourly noise to a minimum, so the orientation of the shared wall is important. 

Having TV’s kitchens or bedrooms up against a shared wall can be undesirable, so consider running hallways, bathrooms, or dining rooms along them instead. 

In any case, the shared wall of a duplex should be very well insulated, so noise is rarely an issue. Just another thing to consider!

Contact Morris Homes

If this article has brought up more questions than answers, don’t hesitate to contact us and talk it out so that we can clear up any issues in your next duplex design. 

The team at Morris Homes has a vast array of experience designing and consulting on home design, and we can’t wait to build on that experience with your next home!

Photo by Pixabay