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Understanding your DualOcc options


Deciding on a DualOcc development is an exciting prospect. By building more than one new home on the land, you're unlocking the potential of your block. Plus, with house and land prices soaring, they're an increasingly popular option.

Once you've checked out our offering and visited an open home, your gut instinct would be to pick a specific build option and home design. But here's the thing: choosing the design is the last step in the dual occupancy planning process.

Here's why:

DualOcc options

There are two primary forms of dual occupancy development to choose from: side-by-side (duplex) or stand-alone townhouses on the same block. The townhouse option usually consists of two-to-four homes on one block, but we can go up to 10.

Let's take a look at those options:

Side-by-side or duplex options usually consist of two homes of roughly the same size attached by a common wall

Stand-alone or townhouse options usually include two houses set one in front of the other

Within these two main DualOcc options, there are several floorplans available so you can modify the offering best to fit the size and shape of your land.

DualOcc planning considerations

Before selecting DualOcc, it's essential to understand your local council's planning scheme and zoning rules when it comes to subdividing. There's a lot that goes into a development application before you subdivide. Jarrod Sturdy, Sales & Business Manager for DualOcc by Metricon, says knowing the requirements will help determine the design options open to you.

"Councils won't tell you what you can and can't build, but they do set out rules and regulations your development must meet. These determine whether or not your design will receive planning approval. Not all properties can be developed."

How does this work?

Let's take a look at a proposal to build a DualOcc property on a block of land in Melbourne's Monash City Council area.

  1. Take a piece of paper and draw a rectangle on it representing your block size
  2. Draw an area upfront that represents a 7.6m street frontage setback
  3. Monash City Council prefers that properties under 20m wide have only one driveway (subject to their review). So you'd struggle to build a side-by-side (duplex), which usually requires dual driveways. Now you're limited to townhouses
  4. Draw the driveway. Monash requires a width of 3m, with 0.5m gardens each side. That means a total width of 4m
  5. Cars must be able to turn around and exit in a forward motion, so allow space for a turning area and required car space/garage
  6. Draw a line that represents a 5m rear setback
  7. Finally, there must be 35sqm of open space, so draw an area of 5m x 7m

The white space left inside your rectangle is the area you have to build on

"This visual task is a great way to understand why deciding on a particular DualOcc option is often the last step in the planning process," Jarrod says. "Although you'll have plenty of fun making decisions down the track, it's important not to get fixated on a design upfront as this can end in disappointment.

"Being flexible with your expectations is the best way to ensure a successful outcome. Our team of experts at Metricon can help guide you through the planning process and choosing the best solution for your site, resulting in a beautiful design outcome that meets all requirements."

Why feasibility is important

Feasibility is another critical factor in the planning process and will impact the design you choose: do the numbers stack up?

"Feasibility means making sure your build plans make financial sense, not just meeting council requirements," Jarrod notes. "There's no point choosing a design then not being able to build it because of land restrictions or building costs."

Metricon provides feasibility studies and works with customers to ensure they maximise the potential of their land and, hopefully, investment. With a 98 per cent success rate on DualOcc planning applications we submit, we have achieved over 750+ successful permits in Victoria alone.

Register now for one of Metricon's BuildSmart Workshops and learn more about the DualOcc planning and building process from our expert team and happy customers. You can read more and sign up to our DualOcc newsletter here.