If you plan to build a house and have a large family in the future, it would be wise to consider a duplex. A Duplex house usually has two living units side by side or one above the other. It is the most popular housing for large families and can also be a good source of rental income as you can rent one out and live in the other.

Since it’s a lifetime investment, you must work with a good and reputable architect to design something unique and beautiful and supervise the building process. This article explores various tips to help you design and build a duplex for your family.

1. The Perfect Location

Having a place to build your duplex is the most basic requirement you will need. The location of your future home must be family-friendly and safe.

You must also look at the location’s landscape and ensure the soil is firm and no toxic materials have been dumped. A flat surface ensures your house’s foundation is sound, eliminating the need to spend money on grading the site.

What’s the weather like, and what is accessibility? It would be best if the weather in the area is favorable and you have easy access using smooth roads, as you don’t want your car stuck.

Check if the area has the potential to grow and is in proximity to basic amenities such as schools, hospitals, shopping centers, and entertainment facilities.

2. Budget

You must set aside a reasonable budget to cover the cost of the design+build process. It prevents you from overspending and helps you prepare for the journey ahead.

When making your budget, consider the architect who will design your dream house, the materials needed, the labor cost, and other miscellaneous costs. Remember to budget everything on a larger scale of money to cover any unprecedented expenses.

If you are not very good at budgeting, you can hire a professional to help you budget and source materials, as most builders have contact with suppliers and workers.

3. The House Design

This is the most exciting for any creative mind. You are allowed to come up with varying architectural design concepts. During the design stage, you can also determine how large the house will be. If you are making the house for your family, having their input on how they would like their room would be a great idea.

For instance, you can allow your children to design their play area and theme colors for their rooms and hear their opinions on various furniture designs. Then have the architect actualize their ideas into a professional design.

To help you develop a good design concept, you can find inspiration on the web, such as on Pinterest or in magazines. These will give you ideas that help you create a unique design.

For instance, opting for an open plan concept on the lower level is very chic, saves you on material, and makes the space appear bigger than it is.

If you have the budget for it, hire a qualified architect who will keenly listen to all your ideas, give their input, and help actualize your ideas by coming up with a beautiful and functional design.

4. Size of the House

The size of your house will be determined by a couple of factors, such as land size and budget. A duplex house design stacked upon each is the most convenient build when the plot of land is small, and you wish to maximize it.

The size of the house will also determine how many rooms you would like to fit the house, the dimensions of the rooms, and the potential size of the outdoors.

You will also need to consider the future possibility of adding in a room or two and where specifically this could happen. Having space for such is very smart, especially for a growing family or a landlord.

5. Who’s Your Builder?

It is crucial to get a qualified builder to build your duplex. This will help you save time and money. Make sure the builder understands your design vision and can fully deliver on it.

It will be perfect if you are on the same page regarding budgeting, materials to be used, and where you plan to source them. Make sure you both come up with milestone projects to help gauge your progress. Check out their previous builds and reviews from previous clients to ensure a quality build.

6. Storage

You surely do not want a house without storage space. This can be in the garage, attic, basement, or beneath the stairs. Therefore, remember to include a storage section during the house design process.

For instance, you can convert areas underneath the staircase into a closet. There can never be too much storage space, can there? You can also think of having an attic to add to your storage. Additional storage is necessary for a growing family or a landlord planning to raise rental rates in the future.

7. Furniture

Picking out furniture is one of the most exciting times after building the house. It signifies the near completion of the build, if not full realization.

You must ensure that the furniture does not overpower the room sizes; it needs to fit into the floor plan and not cause traffic around the house. Make sure the area around the doors is free from clutter. It would be best to work with an interior designer to ensure that all the furniture is well organized and that the décor used enhances the house’s aesthetics.

8. Future Worth of the House

By this, you may need to consider what the future real estate market may require for house appreciation. Studying the real estate in your location is a wise move to see what else you can incorporate in your building design to increase its value if you decide to sell in the future.

Final Thoughts

A duplex house is perfect for a growing family on a small plot of land. It is also a maximizing option for a landlord looking to make a good income.

Working with qualified architects ensures you get a unique and beautiful design brought to life by talented builders. It would be best to work with reputable suppliers as it guarantees that the materials used in your duplex are of high quality.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.