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What you need to know about building an Australian dual occupancy home


For the everyday investor, the idea of building two homes for the price of one is an attractive proposition. Soaring land prices and a competitive real estate market mean more people are looking to unlock the value of their property.

A dual occupancy development allows people to knock down their existing home and rebuild two - or more - new homes in its place. It's a versatile investment that gives property owners and mum-and-dad developers the option to, depending on their objectives, live in one, sell one, rent one, rent both or even sell both.

It's this flexibility that makes dual occupancy developments so appealing to people at any stage of the real estate cycle. They offer savvy investors, downsizers, first-home buyers and young families a way to offset their mortgage - while providing a more cost-effective option for entering the property market, particularly in coveted inner-Melbourne or inner-Sydney suburbs.

"DualOcc caters for downsizers, investors, or people looking to build a nest egg," says Metricon's Victorian DualOcc sales manager Stephen Murphy. "Some people opt for DualOcc to be able to live in sought-after school zones, some choose to live in one home and rent or sell the other, while others see the opportunity for profit and develop and sell all homes. We work with land-owners looking to become home builders to determine how they can get the most value from their block."

What is a dual occupancy home?

"DualOcc, as the name suggests, is all about building more than one home on a singular site," Stephen says. "It can be two homes on a block, or up to six. It all depends on the land-size and our customers' objectives."

Given the diversity of the market, as well as varying council requirements when it comes to DualOcc, Metricon has tailored its dual occupancy home designs to suit a range of different build objectives and occupant lifestyles.

"DualOcc homes are available in various designs and floorplans to suit the needs of the owner and resident," Stephen says. "We are home building specialists who build fully detached homes, attached homes, double-storey and single storey homes. What's more - our dual living homes are built with style, functionality, quality and durability front of mind."

Why should I build a dual occupancy home?

There are several reasons why people might choose to build a DualOcc.

"Undertaking a dual occupancy build provides customers with the opportunity to unlock the potential in their property, so this product and service appeals to a wide range of people at various stages of life," Stephen explains.

"One of the main advantages of dual occupancy homes is the potential to make more income from a single land title. Metricon customers undertaking a DualOcc build can tap into the expertise of Metricon's design and construction team. We manage the design and build process from end-to-end, bringing expert knowledge about the best use of the block and what homes meet local council planning regulations. This takes the hard work and headaches out of the build process."

Another clear benefit is being able to stay in an area you love in the street you love.

"This is particularly appealing for empty-nesters and retirees who want an easier home to maintain without sacrificing the familiarity and connections of their local community."

Things to consider

While dual occupancy projects have the potential to attract significant prices at auction, many associated costs need to be factored into whether or not this type of development is feasible – both financially and in terms of meeting minimum land requirements and council regulations.

"If people are considering a DualOcc development, the first thing they need to do is determine what they're hoping to achieve as it's important to be clear about your objectives from the get-go," Stephen advises. "You then need to balance your objectives with what's realistically possible. Every local council has its own levels of control over the land you want to build on, and the block size required for a DualOcc development will vary depending on individual council requirements.

"Metricon works with its customers to do upfront feasibility studies to determine if what they want is actually going to work on their block. This ensures people don't go too far down a path that leads to disappointment or the outlaying of unnecessary funds."

Stephen’s top tips for people considering a DualOcc development

  • Get the right advice early
  • Build the right team partnership- chose a builder with specialist dual occupancy experience and knowledge of your chosen build area
  • Be flexible in modifying your duplex designs to meet your requirements and those of the council you are building in
  • Look for a builder who offers a structural guarantee, outstanding quality and good value


Does Metricon handle the town planning application and approval process?

Yes. Our specialist dual occupancy team will work alongside our independent planning partners to help you through every stage of the planning process.

What types of dual occupancy / multi-unit developments does Metricon build?

Metricon is a specialist at building townhouses and duplex developments, focusing on two or more homes per site. Metricon has a wide range of dual occupancy facade designs and floorplans available. Chat to us today to find out more about our house designs.

How can I tell if the property I own or am considering developing is suitable for DualOcc?

We offer no-obligation site appraisals, so why not get one of our specialist DualOcc advisers to have a closer look? Our consultants will review the title documents, covenant, state and local council regulations and determine what viable solutions we can offer you. We can even assist with sloping blocks and narrow blocks.

Will Metricon demolish my old home?

As new home builders, we don't provide demolition services, but we do work closely with local demolition partners to ensure a quality level of service. We can recommend a reputable demotion specialist to remove your home and clear your block of land.

Are Metricon’s dual occupancy homes displayed and, if so, where can I see them?

We have display homes (show homes) open throughout the year, showcasing our dual occupancy designs. Don't hesitate to contact us and see what's currently available to view.

How much does it cost to build a dual occupancy home?

Contact our specialist dual occupancy team to enquire about the cost of building a DualOcc development on 1300 METRICON.

What information do you need from me?

To start the knockdown rebuild process, we suggest you do the following:

  • Provide us with an accurate and full copy of the title to your land
  • Let us know of any preliminary ideas you may have on our home designs
  • Allocate some time to view our display homes
  • Visit Studio M, Metricon's state-of-the-art selection centre to start choosing colours and surface finishes

Where do I start?

Call 1300 METRICON and enquire about how our specialist dual occupancy team can assist you, or visit our DualOcc page for more information. If you've never built before or need to know more about the building process, call us for a chat. We'll be with you every step of the way.

DualOcc by Metricon is currently available in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South Australia.