Three Crucial Tips on Designing and Building a Dual Occupancy

24 March 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

If you are developing residential property, you should consider building a dual occupancy. As implied, dual occupancy development is created when two self-contained dwellings are built within the same lot. This is an ideal choice if you have an elderly or ailing family member that you would like to live close-by but independently. You can also rent out one of the dwellings and subsidise your personal housing costs. On the other hand, the design of a dual occupancy can be complicated. If the planning process is not handled with diligence, you will lower the potential property value and your comfort. Here are important tips on designing and building some crucial aspects of your dual occupancy property.

Plan for Natural Lighting

The lack of natural lighting is a common problem in dual occupancy dwellings. This can be attributed to the presence of the dividing wall between the units in the lot. Consequently, there will be no sunlight flowing into the houses from the affected side. If you do not want to have dark and aesthetically cold interior spaces, you should plan for natural lighting. You should consider installing some roof panels such as skylights or roof glazing. This will promote the flow of light into your home. In addition, stepped roofs facing northwards and even clerestory windows can significantly enhance your lighting situation.

Minimise Impervious Surfaces

The construction of two dwellings in a single lot often leads to extensive hard surfaces. In simple terms, the outdoor area, which consists of the driveway, patio and general pavements, is likely to be covered by materials such as concrete, pavers and other similar materials. While this might seem clean and modern, it can be highly detrimental. Typically, the site will become prone to flooding because the surfaces are impermeable. This means that you might not get approval for stormwater management assessment, even with multiple drainage channels. In addition, you should note that green landscaping can enhance the appeal of your property while retaining permeability. Therefore, minimise the installation of hard impervious surfaces for your dual occupancy.

Avoid Combined Garages

Combined garages in a dual occupancy home can be visually overwhelming. Simply speaking, the doors will create a bulky appearance which will dominate the property's streetscape. Therefore, look for a design that separates the garage door for better aesthetics and space efficiency. For example, you can the garages on either ends of the dual occupancy. For ideal results, you should ask your builder to customise your garage space to match your property configuration.