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Dual Occupancy & Townhouse Builder

Carmel Homes Finalist Best Custom Home 2

Melbourne's Most Discerning
Dual Occupancy Builder & Townhouse Designer


A smart and successful investment property requires a high-quality custom builder. That’s exactly what you’ll experience when you engage the experienced team at Carmel Homes. Whether you’re looking to build a unit development or a dual occupancy property, we’ll craft homes with luxury inclusions and exceptional finishes that will have prospective buyers flocking to the market and discerning owner-occupiers' lifestyle perfectly met.

We can guide you through everything from the early planning stages, and offering guidance on the best way to subdivide, to selecting the right areas to spend and save for the best results. Our skilled team have the experience and design knowledge to make the development process simple and straightforward.

When you undertake a unit development with Carmel Homes, we offer our full Design & Construct service, or we can work with your existing plans. Regardless, the results will be spectacular and you can be assured your project will be delivered on time and within budget, supported by our fixed price contract.

For a free consultation with one of Melbourne's most respected
Dual Occupancy and Townhouse Designer & Builder

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They say the two things you can’t change about a property are location and aspect. These two features are even more important once we start thinking about dual occupancy.

In fact, there are several important factors to consider, and mistakes to avoid when thinking about whether or not to build a dual occupancy. So, we have put together this guide to help answer the most common questions people have.

Leather Sofa

First up, what exactly is a dual occupancy?


In short, a dual occupancy is two buildings on the same block. These days it is usual for them to share one common wall, but they can be separate buildings. They might both have street frontage, or one may sit behind the other, depending on the shape of the block.

Coffee Table

There are several big reasons why dual occupancies have become so popular. Firstly, they provide a way to live in an area that might otherwise be outside your budget, and location is a major driver of all property decisions.


For many people, the desire to be in the locations they find attractive will outweigh any other consideration, and so people can often settle for a poor-quality property in order to be in the location they love. Dual occupancy changes that, as a high-quality property can be built by leveraging the real potential of the land.


Next, dual occupancies make sound financial sense, by allowing you to optimise the value of the land, effectively building two properties on land that would historically only been valued for one.


Moreover, the second property can be treated in many ways; you can hold it and derive a rental income; you can sell it and make a profit; or you can even use it to accommodate an extended family, without living on top of one another.

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Previous Projects

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Single Level Dual Occupancy

Modern Single Level Duplex


A masterpiece of precision with a no-expense spared home creates a superlatively spacious backdrop to a lifestyle of incomparable luxury & sophistication.

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Classic Design Dual Occupancy

The Willows

These compelling town residences of approximately 40 squares each, blend refined design elements with practicality.

How long does construction take for dual occupancy townhouses?

Unfortunately, this is a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question. There is no simple answer. But, there are steps you can take to ensure the build time is compressed as possible.


Apart for the weather – which everyone talks about but can do nothing about – the other big variable is getting approvals through council. And, because we’re effectively talking about two properties, it is not as straightforward a process as it is for a single dwelling.  That said, an expert builder knows how to streamline the process and limit the risk approvals will get snagged or delayed.


The best advice for clients, if they want to ensure timely construction, is to start talking to your preferred builder early.

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Do dual occupancies represent value-for-money?

Last but not least, a hard nose and a sharp pencil are required to make sure any planned project will make sound financial sense.


Dual occupancy properties can, and mostly do, represent great value-for-money. If they are done right. The biggest upside how you capitalise on the value of the land, which, in simple terms, can be thought of as a two for one deal.


Depending on what you choose to do with the second property there can be other financial advantages. For example, if you hold the second property as an investment you will obtain generous depreciation offsets on what is a relatively low maintenance property.


Beyond the straight economic advantages, other factors also have a value and these need to be part of the overall equation, such as:


  • How valuable is it to you to be living in an area you love?

  • How important is it to you to have your elderly parent(s) living in close proximity?

  • What price do you put on having a home designed with your specific family, and its wants and needs, in mind?


We can’t give a financial answer to these questions, but we all know they do have a value, and so they should be part of your thinking and decision making.


One thing that really helps is seeing. Seeing good examples of the type of property you might have in mind. Or, be even more open-minded and start by exploring the range of possibilities that can be realised. That is as easy as a coffee conversation with an expert builder.

Carmel Homes Standard Inclusions in every
Dual Occupancy Home

Solid stone splashback

Solid stone benchtops

2-pac emporite  cabinetry

Miele appliances

European oak chevron parquetry

Kitchen chandelier pendants

Butler kitchen

Custom cabinetry design

Kitchen Inclusions

Double glazing in all external doors and windows

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Bathroom Inclusions

2-pac emporite  cabinetry

Solid stone benchtops

Floor to ceiling quality porcelain tiling

Fitted feature mirror

Overmount porcelain basin

Freestanding bathtup

Double glazing in all external doors and windows

Quality porcelain tiled floors


European oak chevron parquetry

Picture frame strapping plaster moulding

Double glazing in all external doors and windows

Feature bulkheads and delux cornices

Feature chandelier

Extensive inbuilt air-conditioning and heating

Custom inbuilt 2pac emporite cabinetry

Solid stone benchtop

3000mm high ceilings

Living Rooms Inclusions

Security system

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Exterior Inclusions

Concrete tiled roof

Double glazing in all external doors and windows

Solid timber feature door

Brick veneer rendered ground floor

Custom designed modern and classic facades

Remote controled garage door

Current Projects

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Single Level Dual Occupancy

Modern Dual Occupancy


A masterpiece of precision with a no-expense spared home creates a superlatively spacious backdrop to a lifestyle of incomparable luxury & sophistication.

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Modern 3 Level Townhouses


An inimitable marriage of thoughtful, cutting-edge design and divine, modern finishes, this brand-new town residence catapults our standards of contemporary luxury.


How does good design add value to a
dual occupancy?

The real secret to successful dual occupancy properties lies in the design. The first thing clients will want is to work with a builder that has a proven design capability and, most importantly, a one that has a track-record producing intelligent, practical designs for this special type of property.


The design must be good for both of the homes on the block, and so that requires careful consideration of the block’s aspect and how the site will be used to the optimal value.


The design must also be aesthetically pleasing, balancing function and feel. Today. Good design endeavours to be both modern and timeless, which is why we often see classical features working well with modern floorplans and family uses.


Above all, the designer must be a master of space yet have a clear understanding of the buildability issues that designs must overcome to ensure a value-for-money solution is going to be achieved.

Modern outdoor entertainment area
Contemporary bathroom
Outdoor / Indoor living
Stunning modern kitchen
When it comes to dual occupancy townhouses and duplexes, what do councils care most about?

The truth is, there is no one thing, as the perspective and interests of local councils vary from place to place.


Some councils are very encouraging of dual occupancies, while others are more reluctant, sometimes bordering on obstructive. So, again, it helps to have plenty of experience on your side. You need builders who understand the differences between councils, what their priorities and gripes are, and what you need to do to ensure your approvals sail through the application process as smoothly as possible.


Dealing with the council can be frustrating, time-consuming and expensive, especially if you need to make design revisions. And this starts with site selection.


There are some sites, that no matter how ingenious your design might be, the council will never approve redevelopment as a dual occupancy. For example, a 12m is pretty much the minimum width, or frontage, required for dual occupancy. This allows for two driveway crossovers and, in most cases, will still allow for one on-street car space. If you have a site with 12m frontage or less, contact our design and build team for a free consultation about a knockdown and rebuild solution.


Most councils will be reasonable and helpful if they can see that you have a team that knows what it is doing, a team that understands that particular council’s values and preferences. Typically, this means understanding the key heritage issues the council cares about, demonstrating that your design has been developed to not just fit in with, but enhance the streetscape and sense of neighbourhood, which obviously means the immediate neighbours are of high concern to council and should be too to you and your design team.


There are also the various technical issues that must be right, and any snag, no matter how tiny, can cause delays in approvals. That means things like easements, setbacks, overhangs, driveway crossovers, and so on, all need to be done by the book for that particular council.


Dealing with council can be a nightmare for the novice, but it’s second nature for specialist builders.


1129 Toorak Road

"Builder of dual occupancy homes, and boutique townhouse in Melbourne's premium suburbs for over 25 years."