House Styles: Half Duplexes (Or 1/2 Duplexes)
What’s a half duplex (also known as a 1/2 Duplex)? Structurally, it is one house built with two separate homes, either side-by-side (sharing an interior wall and the roof) or one on top of the other (sharing the roof). The size and exposure of the lot typically determine the orientation of the Duplex, meaning, a wide lot with significant frontage on the street will have side by side half Duplexes, whereas a typically long and narrow lot will have stacked Half Duplexes, or will build a front and back Half Duplex.
Half Duplexes are a good option because they have the feel of a house, but you share the maintenance costs with your neighbour. The square footage is also smaller than a house which is appealing to downsizers, and the price is significantly less than a house, which works for younger buyers. Many of the Half Duplexes in Kitsilano are newly built with modern finishings and amenities. Half Duplexes generally have more space than a townhome, and also they only have one attached neighbour (whereas a townhome will have three, four or more neighbours in the same structure).
If you have any questions about Half Duplexes in Kitsilano, send the LiveKitsilano Team a message. With the number of new Half Duplexes hitting the market, we can help decipher value, the intricacies regarding purchasing newly built homes and the information you need to know about Half Duplex ownership.
Side by Side Half Duplexes in Kitsilano
Here are some images of two side by side half duplexes. The first image is the front of a Half Duplex in Kitsilano. The second image is an image of the back of a Kitsilano Half Duplex in Kits Point. Notice the different styles of deck and wood, as different owners made their own decisions regarding the style.
Front and Back Half Duplexes in Kitsilano
Here is an image of a front and back half duplex in Kitsilano. It looks like one home but the back unit has access from the back of the property.
Stacked Half Duplexes in Kitsilano
Here is an image of a stacked (top and bottom) half duplexes in Kitsilano. The bottom unit is referred to as Garden Level.
The Future of Half Duplexes in Kitsilano
Expect more Half Duplexes to be built in Kitsilano as Developers try to make the most of the value of the lot while trying to hit the price points affordable to many Buyers. Half Duplexes in Kitsilano range anywhere from $800,000 to $1.8-million. You can find them everywhere in Kitsilano, especially: North of Fourth (many houses you see are actually Half Duplexes – look for two address on the front fence) and Kits Point, which has many of the older, yet modern, Half Duplexes.
Kitsilano Half Duplex
This Kitsilano Half Duplex is a Front and Back Duplex, meaning the Front Unit has private access to the front yard, whereas the Back property has private use of the Backyard. The two single car garages are facing the lane in the back. There are pros and cons to each home: the front unit is North facing and has the good street appeal, whereas the back unit has the sunny south facing exposure with the more private backyard. They each have air conditioning, radiant heat, top of the line kitchens, 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. Both units are currently for sale: 3410 West 3rd Ave and 3412 West 3rd Ave.
City of Vancouver: Half Duplex Zoning
Half Duplexes are also known as “Two Family Dwellings” in Vancouver (Zoning Code RT-). Based on City of Vancouver Development Standards, each Half Duplex should have it’s own private outdoor space to provide for the wide variety of outdoor activities that households pursue. Some privacy in outdoor spaces is important allowing for privacy and the ability for residents to express individuality and self-expression.
Each Half Duplex also requires its own front door and they usually have their own parking spot (whether a garage or dedicated spot in a driveway). Typically, Half Duplexes are built to be of similar sizes with the same materials (which aids the developer’s during the build). They are built so that each unit has their own building components (i.e. hot water tank, heating, electrical panel, etc), meaning the Half Duplexes only share the roof, building exterior (often each Half Duplex maintains their own windows) and common yard or driveways. Because of this separation, and the desire to create separate (yet adjoining) home for the residents, Duplexes are a non-conforming Strata, meaning the residents don’t have to have monthly meetings or report on their financials like typical Strata (multiple dwelling) residents do. Instead, once the common elements need repair or maintenance, the residents of each Half Duplex have to agree on the maintenance and financial plan.
Of course, like all development permits in Vancouver, Duplexes may be subject to match a certain style of architecture or design in order to suit the neighbourhood, specifically in Kitsilano, this generally means it has to have some character elements.
See the City’s website for more information about the City of Vancouver’s 1/2 Duplex requirements.