Duplex (building)

domestic structures with separate dwelling units for two individual families, one above the other
For other uses, see Duplex.

A duplex house is a dwelling having apartments with separate entrances for two households.  This includes two-story houses having a complete apartment on each floor and also side-by-side apartments on a single lot that share a common wall.  By contrast, a building comprising two attached units on two distinct properties is typically considered semi-detached or twin homes but may also be referred to as a duplex.

I was living in this duplex.  For the first time, I was alone.  No dorm, no roommates—my own place.  I was so happy.  I had my own parking space.
~ Linda Powell in Singles
Some people in the art world bemoan the hedge fund millionaires spending freely to acquire ostentatious displays of wealth and coolth for their giddily chic designer duplexes.  Others bemoan art being treated as a commodity.  But most of the bemoaning is because the art world is stuffed full of bemoaners, bemoaning about everything.
Single-family homes need to evolve into duplexes.

The term duplex can also be extended to three-unit and four-unit buildings, or they can be referred to with specific terms such as triplex and fourplex or quadplex/quadruplex.  Because of the flexibility of the term, the line between an apartment building and a duplex is somewhat blurred, with apartment buildings tending to be bigger, while duplexes are usually the size of a normal house.


  • The most important thing to remember is that a duplex's properties are stretchable but they aren't infinite.  One minute the opening will be right there in front of you, and the next minute you won't even know where it went.
  • Living in a duplex allows for separation of space and usually offers more overall living space than a single level unit.

Film quotesEdit

  • Nancy Kendricks:  Besides, do you realise how much the duplex is going to be worth once we get both floors?
    Alex Rose:  I know how much it costs.
    Nancy Kendricks:  Well it's going to be worth like a bazillion times that.
    Alex Rose:  Really?  A bazillion?  That's an incredible return.


  • This one-level house used to be a duplex and had a hallway running down the middle of the house, so when former owners turned it back into a single-family home, they enclosed that hallway, giving me tons and tons of closet space.

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