Social media marker Dual Occupancy Home Builders Melbourne - Forme Homes

Dual Occupancy Builders Melbourne

Capitalise on your block of land with the help of premium dual occupancy builders, Forme Homes. With decades of building knowledge, Forme is a leader in the industry specialising in duplex and dual occupancy developments. The design and construction team offers end-to-end service, from the initial concept to the delivery of your dream home. Whether for investment or owner occupation, dual occupancy is the ideal solution for your block and offers a high return on investment. Dual occupancy provides the perfect space for multigenerational living and maximises the use of your land by either knockdown rebuilds or building on a new block of land. With their unparalleled experience in dual occupancy development, Forme Homes have delivered many designs and customised options to satisfied customers across Melbourne and the southeast.

Exterior view of custom dual occupancy home with car parking outside at Darley

Capitalise on your block of land with the help of premium dual occupancy builders, Forme Homes. With decades of building knowledge, Forme is a leader in the industry specialising in duplex and dual occupancy developments. The design and construction team offers end-to-end service, from the initial concept to the delivery of your dream home. Whether for investment or owner occupation, dual occupancy is the ideal solution for your block and offers a high return on investment. Dual occupancy provides the perfect space for multigenerational living and maximises the use of your land by either knockdown rebuilds or building on a new block of land. With their unparalleled experience in dual occupancy development, Forme Homes have delivered many designs and customised options to satisfied customers across Melbourne and the southeast.

Exterior view of custom dual occupancy home with car parking outside at Darley
Duplexes Near Grassy Field

What is a Dual Occupancy Home?

The dual occupancy movement is growing across Melbourne, with thousands of people choosing to reconfigure their homes into two distinct dwellings. Simply put, a dual occupancy house is where there are two dwellings on one land allotment. There are two types of dual occupancy – attached and detached. An example of an attached dual occupancy house would be two houses under the same roofline with the same street frontage. An example of a detached dual occupancy house would be one house behind another as a separate structure with a shared driveway.

Exterior view of custom duplex home at Heyfeild
duplex houses

Difference between Dual Occupancy and Duplex

There seem to be many misconceptions about the difference between dual occupancy and duplex, but, in reality, the distinction is quite simple. They are both two homes on one block, but the construction options and subdivision laws are different.

As stated above, dual occupancy means two homes on one block with one title. A duplex is also two properties on one block but, unlike a dual occupancy, has two separate titles and can be sold separately. A big difference between a dual occupancy and a duplex is a duplex cannot be constructed as a detached dwelling. To qualify as a duplex, the dwellings must be connected by a central wall or roof and yet are legally considered two separate residences. If you build an attached dual occupancy house on a single title of land, you can apply to subdivide that single piece of land into two separate land titles, turning that property into a duplex.

Dual Occupancy Home Designs

There are a number of different designs and styles when considering a new dual occupancy home.

Opting for a higher-density living arrangement is attractive to investors and owner-occupiers, particularly in a competitive rental and real estate climate. The benefits of dual occupancy are numerous. Investors are guaranteed an optimised return on investment, while owner-occupiers can maximise the use of their land, create living space for multiple generations, and reap the financial rewards of sharing the mortgage and living expenses.

Duplex houses with front facing walls as windows

Project Designs

Different Ways to Build a Dual Occupancy Home

For anyone wanting to realise the potential of their land and get two houses on one plot of land, it is critical to understand the options for building a dual-occupancy home. Forme Homes offers various alternatives to choose from, including a knockdown rebuild, building a second home on your property, dividing a house into two, or building a new custom dual occupancy home from the ground up.

Duplex homes with spacious garage

Knockdown rebuild.

A knockdown rebuild is the process of knocking down and rebuilding a dwelling instead of renovating. You would consider a knockdown-rebuild to build a dual occupancy home if the land value was higher than other places, the block would accommodate two homes, or you wanted to stay in the area. You could knock down the home and rebuild a duplex, townhouse, or two homes on one block of land.

Granny flat with open air plan

Building a second home on your property.

If your block is suitable, you will have the option of building a second home on your property. Building a second home requires acquiring development permission and other appropriate approvals and can be quite complicated. It is still possible, however, with the help of experts like Forme Homes to guide you through the process. A second home on a property could be a dependent person unit or another dwelling and will still fall under the dual occupancy banner if it is on the one title.

Duplex home made from an existing house

Dividing a house in two.

You can renovate an existing house by dividing it into two or more dwellings. Splitting a home in two could be an option, but it will still require the assistance of a qualified builder and designer to determine the project’s viability and guide you through the building and planning permit application process. Builders like Forme Homes are highly qualified in this conversion style and have a keen eye for maximising this kind of space with the least amount of structural intervention.

Clean white modern duplex home

Custom build.

By building a purpose-built custom home, you can design and plan your dual occupancy project to your exact specifications. The in-house team of designers and builders at Forme Homes will customise the home to suit your needs while considering the block of land features.

What Is The Process of Building a Dual Occupancy Home?

  • Initial consultation with Forme Homes. The initial consultation with Forme is free of charge. Here you will discuss your ideas for the dual occupancy home, potential design options and costs, and your budget to give the team a good understanding of the brief.
  • Assess your block. Whether a new block or a block with an existing home, we must establish that dual occupancy is possible and affordable, so a site assessment is necessary. Forme Homes will guide you through the process, evaluating the property, council regulations and codes, and working out how to best maximise your land.
  • Design concept plan. After establishing the viability of the building on your block, the Forme in-house design team will work with you to design a floor plan and choose a facade. The experienced team will take into account your requirements as well as the specifications of the block and any council restrictions.
  • Sign preliminary contracts. Once you are satisfied with the design and costs, the team will assemble a preliminary contract for you to sign. This allows them to start preparing town planning and conducting land surveys and soil tests.
  • Choose external style & colours. As part of the town planning process, final external colours must be chosen. These include the facade, side, and rear of the home. The overall external appearance of the home is finalised to be submitted to the council for approval.
  • Sign formal building contracts. Once the town planning is approved and the council’s permits have been obtained, it is time to sign the formal building contract.
  • Choose internal fixtures and fittings. With the assurance of council approvals, you can choose your interior colour theme, fixtures, and fittings. For two different homes, you can decide if you want the decor to be the same or choose different colour palettes and interior finishes. If you are planning on living in one of the houses and renting or selling the other, one option is to put higher quality fixtures in your own residence and basic fixtures and fittings in the second dwelling.
    For a more in-depth look at the whole design process, please read through our article on the topic here: Designing Your Own Home.
  • Construction. With a clear lot, the dual occupancy build can begin. Forme Homes project managers work with you throughout the construction process, keeping you informed every step of the way.
    For a more in-depth look at the whole build process, please read through our article on the topic here: Stages of Building a Home.
Architect drawing circles on a floor plan

Important Factors To Consider Before Building A Dual Occupancy

With an understanding of the different features of a dual occupancy home, there are several factors still to be considered before choosing a style. Often the type of dual occupancy home you build will be determined by these factors.

  • Land size requirements. To build a dual occupancy, blocks typically need to be at least 600 square metres in area and at least 15 metres wide. The different configurations of dual occupancy homes mean the average measurements for a dual occupancy design are required to be 15.25m wide and 44 metres deep.
  • Block specifications. The type of development you are allowed to build will depend on the block’s features, including topography, orientation, the streetscape, and the type of buildings abutting the boundary.
  • Title & Zoning. The zoning regulations of the council will affect the type of dual occupancy home you can build. Fortunately, most councils allow dual occupancy builds, provided no covenants exist on the land.
  • Plans & Permits. Planning documents and building permits are required to build a dual occupancy home. A planning permit allows a certain use or development to proceed on a specified parcel of land which can impact the style of dual occupancy you can build.
  • Finance. Avoid over-committing financially by building a style of dual occupancy you can afford. This may impact your choice to build a duplex (which is more affordable) versus two homes on one block.
  • Reason for building. Considering the motivation for building a dual occupancy can impact the style you choose. If it is to accommodate grandparents, a dependent person unit or separate house on the same block might be a good option. If it is an investment, perhaps building a duplex is more cost-effective with the likelihood of higher returns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is building a dual occupancy home a good investment?
Dual occupancy homes are an excellent investment. Having two properties on the one block means twice the rental yield or a better return on selling.

How do I know if my block is suitable for dual occupancy?
The best thing to do is seek advice from the team at Forme Homes regarding council regulations. However, as a rule, block size needs to be on a minimum sized block of 635sqm and have a minimum frontage of 12 metres.

How much does it cost to build a dual occupancy home?
An estimate of the development costs for a dual occupancy home range between $80k – $120k, with building costs on top of that. The full cost will depend on the type of dual occupancy construction, the size of the properties and types of fittings and fixtures chosen.

How long does it take to build a dual occupancy home?
Depending on the development, the timeline varies but, for an average two unit project the estimated time is 18-24 months.

What permits are needed to build a dual occupancy home?
A town planning permit and building permit need to be obtained. The town planning permit is granted from the local council which is written approval saying you are allowed to develop the land in a certain way. The building permit is an approval by a surveyor that the building design complies with building regulations. Forme Homes can advise on permits and approvals and apply on your behalf.

Do you build on flat blocks, or can you build on sloping blocks too?
Dual occupancy homes can be built on sloping blocks, depending on the style and design. Forme Homes can advise on the best site and design for your dual occupancy home.

Which areas do you service?
Forme Homes service Melbourne, south-east Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

Can you use my plans to build?
Forme Homes can use your own plans, and also have a full in-house design team.

2 moderns houses built on the same property
Duplex home

Client Testimonials

  • BRUCE AND PAM
    We were fortunate to meet Malcolm, Vance and their team at what was a very stressful time for us. Our first builder having gone into liquidation with our home only at frame stage. Their helpful and professional guidance was invaluable when going through the insurance process. They completed our home to a very high standard and we were kept fully informed through the entire process. They were always available to answer any questions we had. We had a particular desire for a high quality finish to our kitchen and in this regard they exceeded our expectations. If you are looking for a dedicated professional team to build the home you have always dreamed of, then in our experience the Forme Building Group is the company for you.
    BRUCE AND PAM
    CLYDE NORTH
  • DARREN
    We really appreciate your ability to complete the home in such a manner. Especially with the circumstances attached. I am sure you are making a lot of people happy at the moment. I would happily recommend you to any family ready to build.
    DARREN
    MCCRAE
  • BERNADETTE, TREVOR & NIGEL
    Dear Malcolm, We just want to say ‘thank you’ and how very truly grateful and appreciative we are for everything you and your team have done for us. You really are an amazing team. Thank you especially to you Malcolm for all the patience you’ve had and to Vance and Maaike for their continued support throughout. Having chosen Forme Homes to create our new home is a wonderful feeling. Thanks again. We love our home and can’t wait to move in.
    BERNADETTE, TREVOR & NIGEL
    CRANBOURNE EAST
  • HAYLEY & ANT
    Malcolm and Vance were very accommodating with changing a few things in our plans to better suit us. They also went above and beyond in helping us obtain our subdivision and gave us guidance where it was needed. Communication was exceptional throughout the build and Maaike provides great administration support and is very prompt with responses.
    HAYLEY & ANT
    LANG LANG
  • GLENN
    I have very much enjoyed working with the Forme Homes Team on this project and am very happy with how the project finished up. Special thanks to Vance. Nothing was too much trouble and his help, advice and patience was much appreciated. I won't hesitate to recommend you guys to anyone and look forward to the opportunity to work with you again.
    GLENN
    ROSEBUD DEVELOPMENT
  • BRENDAN & NICOLE
    Forme Homes were great from start to finish, guiding us through the home building process for first time builders and offering excellent suggestions along the way to make our dream home.
    BRENDAN & NICOLE
    CRANBOURNE SOUTH
  • Paul & Mona
    Thanks to the Forme Homes team for delivering us a beautiful family home. We couldn’t ask for more. The process was so smooth at every level until the end stage, and the results were outstanding. We cannot fault even anything from emails (responded quickly), professionalism, quality, time frame, care, precision and much more. Everyone who sees it is full of admiration. Forme Homes team were very attentive to all our concerns and details. Specially heaps thanks to site manager “John”. Really down-to-earth person. When we bought a sloping land, we were very unclear about what plan would work, but Forme Homes made it possible by building us a dream home easily. We are over the moon with the results. It’s very challenging to find good builders during this time, but we are glad we found one. We (Paul and Mona) would heartily recommend Forme Homes to anyone thinking to build.
    Paul & Mona
  • Ruffian Chiram
    After wasting money with drafts, architects, and so many dodgy builders, we finally found a good one! We haven't built yet and only got past the drafting stage, but the time spent with Forme Homes was better than all of the past experiences. We were worried about certain restrictions being an odd-sized block, but Lorna worked her magic, even going to the block itself and drafting a plan that totally amazed us - thank you Lorna. There's a reason why Forme Homes has 5-star reviews. We will definitely be building with Forne Homes, and I do recommend building your home with Forme Homes. Thank you, Vance. Thank you, Lorna.
    Ruffian Chiram
  • Tara Delgrosso
    So happy with our new beautiful family home. What a wonderful company to work with, they made our experience stress-free, and nothing was ever a hassle. Everyone at Forme was so lovely to deal with, we couldn't speak more highly of them and our end product. Thank you once again.
    Tara Delgrosso
  • Brendan Boyd
    Forme Homes were great to deal with for building our family home. From the design stage to completion, everything was professionally completed to a high-quality standard.
    Brendan Boyd
  • Lili Z
    Great quality and services. Responsive and responsible.
    Lili Z
Family living together

Building a dual occupancy home is an exciting prospect. There is a style to suit everyone, and the advantages are significant. Having two dwellings maximises the value of your land, increases investment return, and can provide accommodation for loved ones. Contact the experts at Forme Homes who will guide you through the dual occupancy process, advise on suitable designs, work out specifications for your block and organise permits and approvals.

Contact

Got a question? Need advice and expertise about new home building, constructing your own plans, developing a block for an investment with duplexes, or multi-unit solutions? 

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What is a Dual Occupancy Home?

The dual occupancy movement is growing across Melbourne, with thousands of people choosing to reconfigure their homes into two distinct dwellings. Simply put, a dual occupancy house is where there are two dwellings on one land allotment. There are two types of dual occupancy – attached and detached. An example of an attached dual occupancy house would be two houses under the same roofline with the same street frontage. An example of a detached dual occupancy house would be one house behind another as a separate structure with a shared driveway.

Exterior view of custom duplex home at Heyfeild

Difference between Dual Occupancy and Duplex

There seem to be many misconceptions about the difference between dual occupancy and duplex, but, in reality, the distinction is quite simple. They are both two homes on one block, but the construction options and subdivision laws are different.

As stated above, dual occupancy means two homes on one block with one title. A duplex is also two properties on one block but, unlike a dual occupancy, has two separate titles and can be sold separately. A big difference between a dual occupancy and a duplex is a duplex cannot be constructed as a detached dwelling. To qualify as a duplex, the dwellings must be connected by a central wall or roof and yet are legally considered two separate residences. If you build an attached dual occupancy house on a single title of land, you can apply to subdivide that single piece of land into two separate land titles, turning that property into a duplex.

Duplex houses with front facing walls as windows

Dual Occupancy Home Designs

There are a number of different designs and styles when considering a new dual occupancy home.

Opting for a higher-density living arrangement is attractive to investors and owner-occupiers, particularly in a competitive rental and real estate climate. The benefits of dual occupancy are numerous. Investors are guaranteed an optimised return on investment, while owner-occupiers can maximise the use of their land, create living space for multiple generations, and reap the financial rewards of sharing the mortgage and living expenses.

Different Ways to Build a Dual Occupancy Home

For anyone wanting to realise the potential of their land and get two houses on one plot of land, it is critical to understand the options for building a dual-occupancy home. Forme Homes offers various alternatives to choose from, including a knockdown rebuild, building a second home on your property, dividing a house into two, or building a new custom dual occupancy home from the ground up.

  • Knockdown rebuild. A knockdown rebuild is the process of knocking down and rebuilding a dwelling instead of renovating. You would consider a knockdown-rebuild to build a dual occupancy home if the land value was higher than other places, the block would accommodate two homes, or you wanted to stay in the area. You could knock down the home and rebuild a duplex, townhouse, or two homes on one block of land.
  • Building a second home on your property. If your block is suitable, you will have the option of building a second home on your property. Building a second home requires acquiring development permission and other appropriate approvals and can be quite complicated. It is still possible, however, with the help of experts like Forme Homes to guide you through the process. A second home on a property could be a dependent person unit or another dwelling and will still fall under the dual occupancy banner if it is on the one title.
  • Dividing a house in two. You can renovate an existing house by dividing it into two or more dwellings. Splitting a home in two could be an option, but it will still require the assistance of a qualified builder and designer to determine the project’s viability and guide you through the building and planning permit application process. Builders like Forme Homes are highly qualified in this conversion style and have a keen eye for maximising this kind of space with the least amount of structural intervention.
  • Custom build. By building a purpose-built custom home, you can design and plan your dual occupancy project to your exact specifications. The in-house team of designers and builders at Forme Homes will customise the home to suit your needs while considering the block of land features.
Duplex homes with spacious garage
Duplex home made from an existing house
Granny flat with open air plan
Clean white modern duplex home

What Is The Process of Building a Dual Occupancy Home?

  1. Initial consultation with Forme Homes. The initial consultation with Forme is free of charge. Here you will discuss your ideas for the dual occupancy home, potential design options and costs, and your budget to give the team a good understanding of the brief.
  2. Assess your block. Whether a new block or a block with an existing home, we must establish that dual occupancy is possible and affordable, so a site assessment is necessary. Forme Homes will guide you through the process, evaluating the property, council regulations and codes, and working out how to best maximise your land.
  3. Design concept plan. After establishing the viability of the building on your block, the Forme in-house design team will work with you to design a floor plan and choose a facade. The experienced team will take into account your requirements as well as the specifications of the block and any council restrictions.
  4. Sign preliminary contracts. Once you are satisfied with the design and costs, the team will assemble a preliminary contract for you to sign. This allows them to start preparing town planning and conducting land surveys and soil tests.
  5. Choose external style & colours. As part of the town planning process, final external colours must be chosen. These include the facade, side, and rear of the home. The overall external appearance of the home is finalised to be submitted to the council for approval.
  6. Sign formal building contracts. Once the town planning is approved and the council’s permits have been obtained, it is time to sign the formal building contract.
  7. Choose internal fixtures and fittings. With the assurance of council approvals, you can choose your interior colour theme, fixtures, and fittings. For two different homes, you can decide if you want the decor to be the same or choose different colour palettes and interior finishes. If you are planning on living in one of the houses and renting or selling the other, one option is to put higher quality fixtures in your own residence and basic fixtures and fittings in the second dwelling.
    For a more in-depth look at the whole design process, please read through our article on the topic here: Designing Your Own Home.
  8. Construction. With a clear lot, the dual occupancy build can begin. Forme Homes project managers work with you throughout the construction process, keeping you informed every step of the way.
    For a more in-depth look at the whole build process, please read through our article on the topic here: Stages of Building a Home.
2 moderns houses built on the same property

Important Factors To Consider Before Building A Dual Occupancy

With an understanding of the different features of a dual occupancy home, there are several factors still to be considered before choosing a style. Often the type of dual occupancy home you build will be determined by these factors.

  • Land size requirements. To build a dual occupancy, blocks typically need to be at least 600 square metres in area and at least 15 metres wide. The different configurations of dual occupancy homes mean the average measurements for a dual occupancy design are required to be 15.25m wide and 44 metres deep.
  • Block specifications. The type of development you are allowed to build will depend on the block’s features, including topography, orientation, the streetscape, and the type of buildings abutting the boundary.
  • Title & Zoning. The zoning regulations of the council will affect the type of dual occupancy home you can build. Fortunately, most councils allow dual occupancy builds, provided no covenants exist on the land.
  • Plans & Permits. Planning documents and building permits are required to build a dual occupancy home. A planning permit allows a certain use or development to proceed on a specified parcel of land which can impact the style of dual occupancy you can build.
  • Finance. Avoid over-committing financially by building a style of dual occupancy you can afford. This may impact your choice to build a duplex (which is more affordable) versus two homes on one block.
  • Reason for building. Considering the motivation for building a dual occupancy can impact the style you choose. If it is to accommodate grandparents, a dependent person unit or separate house on the same block might be a good option. If it is an investment, perhaps building a duplex is more cost-effective with the likelihood of higher returns.
2 moderns houses built on the same property

Frequently Asked Questions

Is building a dual occupancy home a good investment?
Dual occupancy homes are an excellent investment. Having two properties on the one block means twice the rental yield or a better return on selling.

How do I know if my block is suitable for dual occupancy?
The best thing to do is seek advice from the team at Forme Homes regarding council regulations. However, as a rule, block size needs to be on a minimum sized block of 635sqm and have a minimum frontage of 12 metres.

How much does it cost to build a dual occupancy home?
An estimate of the development costs for a dual occupancy home range between $80k – $120k, with building costs on top of that. The full cost will depend on the type of dual occupancy construction, the size of the properties and types of fittings and fixtures chosen.

How long does it take to build a dual occupancy home?
Depending on the development, the timeline varies but, for an average two unit project the estimated time is 18-24 months.

What permits are needed to build a dual occupancy home?
A town planning permit and building permit need to be obtained. The town planning permit is granted from the local council which is written approval saying you are allowed to develop the land in a certain way. The building permit is an approval by a surveyor that the building design complies with building regulations. Forme Homes can advise on permits and approvals and apply on your behalf.

Do you build on flat blocks, or can you build on sloping blocks too?
Dual occupancy homes can be built on sloping blocks, depending on the style and design. Forme Homes can advise on the best site and design for your dual occupancy home.

Which areas do you service?
Forme Homes service Melbourne, south-east Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

Can you use my plans to build?
Forme Homes can use your own plans, and also have a full in-house design team.

Duplex home

Building a dual occupancy home is an exciting prospect. There is a style to suit everyone, and the advantages are significant. Having two dwellings maximises the value of your land, increases investment return, and can provide accommodation for loved ones. Contact the experts at Forme Homes who will guide you through the dual occupancy process, advise on suitable designs, work out specifications for your block and organise permits and approvals.

Family living together
WHAT IS IT?

What is a Dual Occupancy Home?

The dual occupancy movement is growing across Melbourne, with thousands of people choosing to reconfigure their homes into two distinct dwellings. Simply put, a dual occupancy house is where there are two dwellings on one land allotment. There are two types of dual occupancy – attached and detached. An example of an attached dual occupancy house would be two houses under the same roofline with the same street frontage. An example of a detached dual occupancy house would be one house behind another as a separate structure with a shared driveway.

Exterior view of custom duplex home at Heyfeild
DUAL OCC v DUPLEX

Difference between Dual Occupancy and Duplex

There seem to be many misconceptions about the difference between dual occupancy and duplex, but, in reality, the distinction is quite simple. They are both two homes on one block, but the construction options and subdivision laws are different.

As stated above, dual occupancy means two homes on one block with one title. A duplex is also two properties on one block but, unlike a dual occupancy, has two separate titles and can be sold separately. A big difference between a dual occupancy and a duplex is a duplex cannot be constructed as a detached dwelling. To qualify as a duplex, the dwellings must be connected by a central wall or roof and yet are legally considered two separate residences. If you build an attached dual occupancy house on a single title of land, you can apply to subdivide that single piece of land into two separate land titles, turning that property into a duplex.

Duplex houses with front facing walls as windows
DESIGNS

Dual Occupancy Home Designs

There are a number of different designs and styles when considering a new dual occupancy home.

Opting for a higher-density living arrangement is attractive to investors and owner-occupiers, particularly in a competitive rental and real estate climate. The benefits of dual occupancy are numerous. Investors are guaranteed an optimised return on investment, while owner-occupiers can maximise the use of their land, create living space for multiple generations, and reap the financial rewards of sharing the mortgage and living expenses.

WAYS TO BUILD

Different Ways to Build a Dual Occupancy Home

For anyone wanting to realise the potential of their land and get two houses on one plot of land, it is critical to understand the options for building a dual-occupancy home. Forme Homes offers various alternatives to choose from, including a knockdown rebuild, building a second home on your property, dividing a house into two, or building a new custom dual occupancy home from the ground up.

  • Knockdown rebuild. A knockdown rebuild is the process of knocking down and rebuilding a dwelling instead of renovating. You would consider a knockdown-rebuild to build a dual occupancy home if the land value was higher than other places, the block would accommodate two homes, or you wanted to stay in the area. You could knock down the home and rebuild a duplex, townhouse, or two homes on one block of land.
  • Building a second home on your property. If your block is suitable, you will have the option of building a second home on your property. Building a second home requires acquiring development permission and other appropriate approvals and can be quite complicated. It is still possible, however, with the help of experts like Forme Homes to guide you through the process. A second home on a property could be a dependent person unit or another dwelling and will still fall under the dual occupancy banner if it is on the one title.
  • Dividing a house in two. You can renovate an existing house by dividing it into two or more dwellings. Splitting a home in two could be an option, but it will still require the assistance of a qualified builder and designer to determine the project’s viability and guide you through the building and planning permit application process. Builders like Forme Homes are highly qualified in this conversion style and have a keen eye for maximising this kind of space with the least amount of structural intervention.
  • Custom build. By building a purpose-built custom home, you can design and plan your dual occupancy project to your exact specifications. The in-house team of designers and builders at Forme Homes will customise the home to suit your needs while considering the block of land features.
Duplex homes with spacious garage
Duplex home made from an existing house
Granny flat with open air plan
Clean white modern duplex home
PROCESS

What Is The Process of Building a Dual Occupancy Home?

  1. Initial consultation with Forme Homes. The initial consultation with Forme is free of charge. Here you will discuss your ideas for the dual occupancy home, potential design options and costs, and your budget to give the team a good understanding of the brief.
  2. Assess your block. Whether a new block or a block with an existing home, we must establish that dual occupancy is possible and affordable, so a site assessment is necessary. Forme Homes will guide you through the process, evaluating the property, council regulations and codes, and working out how to best maximise your land.
  3. Design concept plan. After establishing the viability of the building on your block, the Forme in-house design team will work with you to design a floor plan and choose a facade. The experienced team will take into account your requirements as well as the specifications of the block and any council restrictions.
  4. Sign preliminary contracts. Once you are satisfied with the design and costs, the team will assemble a preliminary contract for you to sign. This allows them to start preparing town planning and conducting land surveys and soil tests.
  5. Choose external style & colours. As part of the town planning process, final external colours must be chosen. These include the facade, side, and rear of the home. The overall external appearance of the home is finalised to be submitted to the council for approval.
  6. Sign formal building contracts. Once the town planning is approved and the council’s permits have been obtained, it is time to sign the formal building contract.
  7. Choose internal fixtures and fittings. With the assurance of council approvals, you can choose your interior colour theme, fixtures, and fittings. For two different homes, you can decide if you want the decor to be the same or choose different colour palettes and interior finishes. If you are planning on living in one of the houses and renting or selling the other, one option is to put higher quality fixtures in your own residence and basic fixtures and fittings in the second dwelling.
    For a more in-depth look at the whole design process, please read through our article on the topic here: Designing Your Own Home.
  8. Construction. With a clear lot, the dual occupancy build can begin. Forme Homes project managers work with you throughout the construction process, keeping you informed every step of the way.
    For a more in-depth look at the whole build process, please read through our article on the topic here: Stages of Building a Home.
2 moderns houses built on the same property
FACTORS

Important Factors To Consider Before Building A Dual Occupancy

With an understanding of the different features of a dual occupancy home, there are several factors still to be considered before choosing a style. Often the type of dual occupancy home you build will be determined by these factors.

  • Land size requirements. To build a dual occupancy, blocks typically need to be at least 600 square metres in area and at least 15 metres wide. The different configurations of dual occupancy homes mean the average measurements for a dual occupancy design are required to be 15.25m wide and 44 metres deep.
  • Block specifications. The type of development you are allowed to build will depend on the block’s features, including topography, orientation, the streetscape, and the type of buildings abutting the boundary.
  • Title & Zoning. The zoning regulations of the council will affect the type of dual occupancy home you can build. Fortunately, most councils allow dual occupancy builds, provided no covenants exist on the land.
  • Plans & Permits. Planning documents and building permits are required to build a dual occupancy home. A planning permit allows a certain use or development to proceed on a specified parcel of land which can impact the style of dual occupancy you can build.
  • Finance. Avoid over-committing financially by building a style of dual occupancy you can afford. This may impact your choice to build a duplex (which is more affordable) versus two homes on one block.
  • Reason for building. Considering the motivation for building a dual occupancy can impact the style you choose. If it is to accommodate grandparents, a dependent person unit or separate house on the same block might be a good option. If it is an investment, perhaps building a duplex is more cost-effective with the likelihood of higher returns.
2 moderns houses built on the same property
FAQS

Frequently Asked Questions

Is building a dual occupancy home a good investment?
Dual occupancy homes are an excellent investment. Having two properties on the one block means twice the rental yield or a better return on selling.

How do I know if my block is suitable for dual occupancy?
The best thing to do is seek advice from the team at Forme Homes regarding council regulations. However, as a rule, block size needs to be on a minimum sized block of 635sqm and have a minimum frontage of 12 metres.

How much does it cost to build a dual occupancy home?
An estimate of the development costs for a dual occupancy home range between $80k – $120k, with building costs on top of that. The full cost will depend on the type of dual occupancy construction, the size of the properties and types of fittings and fixtures chosen.

How long does it take to build a dual occupancy home?
Depending on the development, the timeline varies but, for an average two unit project the estimated time is 18-24 months.

What permits are needed to build a dual occupancy home?
A town planning permit and building permit need to be obtained. The town planning permit is granted from the local council which is written approval saying you are allowed to develop the land in a certain way. The building permit is an approval by a surveyor that the building design complies with building regulations. Forme Homes can advise on permits and approvals and apply on your behalf.

Do you build on flat blocks, or can you build on sloping blocks too?
Dual occupancy homes can be built on sloping blocks, depending on the style and design. Forme Homes can advise on the best site and design for your dual occupancy home.

Which areas do you service?
Forme Homes service Melbourne, south-east Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.

Can you use my plans to build?
Forme Homes can use your own plans, and also have a full in-house design team.

Duplex home
CONCLUSION

Building a dual occupancy home is an exciting prospect. There is a style to suit everyone, and the advantages are significant. Having two dwellings maximises the value of your land, increases investment return, and can provide accommodation for loved ones. Contact the experts at Forme Homes who will guide you through the dual occupancy process, advise on suitable designs, work out specifications for your block and organise permits and approvals.

Family living together