The versatility and affordability of the duplex

By Pepper Rodriguez
April 29, 2021

Side-by-side home, a semi-detached home, paired home, a twin home. It seems the duplex has as many names as the ability it has in making homeownership dreams come true.

A duplex is a single structure featuring two residences, each with its own private entrance and one shared wall. Each home is individually owned, and unlike townhomes, have no condo fees. It’s twice the nice at half the price.

Sound transfer used to be the biggest knock against duplexes, but that is largely in the past as the advances in sound attenuation technology and floorplan designs work to limit the creaks and cracks. Many builders now put staircases against these shared walls and away from living rooms and bedrooms to further lessen the chances of sound transfer.

Duplexes continue to be a best-seller for homebuilders as they are seen as an attractive alternative to condos or townhomes, and many are readily available in Calgary’s best communities. We spoke with a few homebuilders to find out just exactly what the attraction is to this home.

So many reasons to love the duplex

Trico Homes Marketing Manager, Glenda Schwartz, says there are four main reasons to love the duplex: less money for more square footage; a unique environmental advantage; an alternative to condo living; and a chance to have the perfect neighbour.

“On average, a duplex home is priced lower compared to a laned or front garage single-family home, despite having a comparable number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage,” Schwartz says. “Why the price difference, you ask? One main reason is because it’s built on a smaller homesite. You pay less for the land, and since there’s no need for two side yards (unlike a detached home), you can free up at least four feet of additional space inside!”

Having the shared wall also results in energy savings, she says. “Since the shared common wall (also called a party wall) can provide heating and cooling for both homes, this allows for win-win savings in your wallet and the environment too! Every party wall is also constructed with building code improvements that ensures greater soundproofing and fire protection.”

Compared to condos, duplex buyers can get some top wish list features that condo owners can’t, such as yard space, pet ownership flexibility and their own garage.
Lastly, Schwartz says duplexes allow you to choose your own neighbour. How perfect would it be to buy a duplex where adult children can live in one home and get their aging parents to live next door? There are plenty of such possibilities, she adds.

Trico Homes offers duplexes in some of the communities they build in, but for the latest, check out the new duplex showhomes that are opening in the southeast community of Legacy on May 15.

Our Rowan II & McKenzie duplexes in Legacy offers flexible options such as a four-bedroom layout, a main floor bedroom, spice kitchens, central bonus rooms and even a secondary suite – essentially the same selections and quality finishes you would find in a detached home.

“Our Rowan II & McKenzie duplexes in Legacy offers flexible options such as a 4 bedroom layout, a main floor bedroom, spice kitchens, central bonus rooms and even a secondary suite – essentially the same selections and quality finishes you would find in a detached home”.

Check out for more.

A perennial favourite

Duplexes have always been a staple in Hopewell Residential communities, and they have their own line of paired homes in the popular lake community of Mahogany in southeast Calgary. “Our paired homes continue to be popular. Buyers see a great value in them, especially those looking to get out of their rental or have outgrown apartment-style living,” says Hopewell Residential Marketing Manager, Jerry Trgina.

“Young families, especially, as they can get the size of home they need at a very competitive price,” he adds.

Hopewell is one of the builders in Calgary that begins construction of the duplex as soon as one side sells. “We immediately start the building process. The other side of the duplex is still available to purchase throughout construction but becomes a quick possession home. All our spec homes are the second side of an already purchased duplex,” Trgina says.

The 1,480-square-foot Treo is Hopewell Residential’s best-selling paired home. “It is popular because it is the largest paired home in our inventory and people love the middle kitchen and the lifestyle room in the back. The Treo show home in Mahogany also has the highest level of upgrades making it stand out in the show home parade,” he adds.

Find out more at

60th Anniversary special

The duplex is the right home for the right buyer, says Emilie Kittel, marketing lead at Morrison Homes, but even more so now, as Morrison Homes has some very appealing deals as it celebrates its 60th anniversary.

“Purchasing a duplex home is an excellent option for first-time home buyers, downsizers or those looking to live in an affordable new build, as they offer additional features, including outdoor living spaces, optional garages and more,” she says.

“Every one of our duplex models feature thoughtfully planned floorplans that offer something unique to meet the needs of our customers,” Kittel adds.

One of Morrison Homes’ latest duplex models is the Sonata that is available in Cornerstone in the northeast and Pine Creek in the south. “The Sonata is 1,234 square-feet in size, has three bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths and starts from the $350,000s,” Kittel adds.

Their “60 Reasons to Build With Morrison Homes” campaign to go with their sixth decade in business points out all the reasons for their success, and special deals throughout the year for all their homes, including duplexes.

“Morrison Homes was founded in 1961 and we’re giving our customers the anniversary gift! Customers can enjoy a $1,961 credit in our Selection Studio when they purchase a new Morrison Homes,” she adds. Check it out at

A premium on style

Rohit Communities brings purposeful design and style to the equation plus the magazine-worthy finishes of their duplex homes makes them a perfect choice for new home buyers on a budget, says Rohit Communities Senior Marketing Coordinator, Stuart Wen. “We overthink design, so buyers won’t have to,” he adds.

Rohit’s new front-to-back Landon-Maxwell duplex models are unique in that they have the curb appeal of a semi-estate single family home with a front attached garage and wide porch, he says.

The Landon is a 1,617 square-foot, three-bedroom, 2.5 bath home with a double car front attached garage. Beside it is the Maxwell, a 1,513 square-foot home with the same number of bedrooms and baths but comes with a front porch and double car parking pad off the back lane.

Rohit is currently building duplexes in Cochrane, west of Calgary. “We are seeing young families and some right-sizers purchasing duplexes in Heartland. They appreciate that the upscale Designer Interiors come standard as well as the beautiful streetscape created by the unique exterior of the homes,” Wen says.

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About Pepper Rodriguez

Pepper Rodriguez is a writer, editor of New Home + Condo Guide's Calgary and Edmonton editions.

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