What Is A Duplex?

What is A Duplex? There are so many meanings of a single word. It all depends on whom do you ask the question of where do you live. Duplex is always misunderstood with a 2 stored home. So to clear this confusion and know exactly What is a duplex?

What Is A Duplex?

A duplex house is a house that has two units. The units can be either next to each other or above each other. 

The two units that are attached are usually considered as semi-detached or twin homes. But in Northeastern US it is called a duplex home. 

You cannot consider three or four-unit buildings a duplex. They are known as a triplex, fourplex, or commonly a multiplex. The difference between an apartment building and a complex is very thin. An apartment can be multi stored whereas a duplex cannot.

Variants Of Duplex

In different cities, Duplex has different meanings. After knowing what is a duplex house let’s see the variants of duplexes it has in different cities and places.

  • In Big Cities like Chicago, a duplex is referred to as a single unit that is of two floors and is interconnected with a staircase.
  • In the UK a duplex is commonly used by professionals like architects and estate agents. An apartment of 2 floors that are internally connected is called a duplex or maisonette.
  • In Australia, a duplex is a residential building that has to homes that have a common wall. In other words, you can say that two flats are a mirror image of each other. 
  • In some places, a duplex is also referred to as a paired home with a common wall but entries are from opposite sides. This gives more privacy to people living there.

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Why Is It Called Duplex?

Most duplexes are built with the two homes side by side, although you can also live in a duplex with apartments on two floors. The Latin duplex means “twofold,” from duo, “two,” and -plex, “to intertwine.” The word was coined in the U.S. around 1922.

Why A Duplex Is Better Than A House?

So it is more efficient to build the duplex. You have two units coming up side by side at the very same time and it’s more cost effective. And then for the buyer, you do get more square footage, you get more land value.

What Is A Duplex With 3 Houses Called?


The term duplex refers to two units or homes that are connected either via a common wall, ceiling or floor. A triplex has three. Each home in a duplex or triplex has its own entrance. The units may also have separate yards and garages.

What Is The Negatives Of Owning A Duplex?

Cons to owning a duplex:

You must be available to your tenants 24 hours a day in case of emergency. You’re on the hook for all repairs to the rental unit as well as your own. You can save money by handling repairs yourself – but if you aren’t handy and need to hire someone, this can eat into your savings.

Why Buying A Duplex Is A Good Idea?

Often, buying a duplex costs the same as a single-family dwelling, but you have two units to rent out instead of just one. This can mean more monthly income than a single-family home. And even if one unit remains vacant for a period, you still earn income on the other unit.

What Is An Example Of A Duplex?

A commonplace example of full duplex communications is a telephone call where both parties can communicate at the same time. Half duplex, by comparison, would be a walkie-talkie conversation where the two parties take turns in speaking.

Is A Duplex The Same As A Semi Detached?

Semi-detached houses, sometimes described as “side by side duplexes,” are two dwellings joined on one side, with each unit having individual access to the street. Duplexes are one building with one dwelling unit placed over the other.

What Is Simplex And Duplex House?

Simplex apartments occupy only one level in a sectional title development, meaning it is a term used to describe regular flats in apartment buildings. Duplex apartments are multi-family homes that have two units in the same building and share a wall between each other.


As you read my article you have understood about the duplex. Investing in a duplex is a smart decision as you can live in one unit and rent the other one. Also, you saw that different cities or places have a different meanings of a duplex. I hope now your confusion about What is a Duplex must have been solved. 

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