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Remodel a duplex to be single family home?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Our house has been for sale for four or five months now. We are trying to find another house in our same school district. One of our options is a duplex on a nice street. The cost of the duplex is a good deal less than we were planning on spending. I have no idea, though, how much it could/would cost to remodel. Anyone done this? If this is the wrong forum, let me know. I wasn't sure where else to post this.
post #2 of 7

Two to One

The house that we're in right now used to be a duplex. In Montreal though, a duplex is one upstairs and one downstairs.

It didn't take a lot to make this into one house. A kitchen had to be removed from the upstairs and a bathroom had to be added. Exterior work had to be done to turn the old double entrance into a single entrance. A guy was here recently scouting our house for a movie set, and he commented that these houses go back and forth from duplex to single family and back to duplex a lot.

Side by side is likely harder because the shared wall is probably thicker than a normal wall, and is also load bearing. You would require the services of an architect and a structure engineer to come up with a plan. As well, it could be difficult to come up with a single family layout depending on what you're working with.

The cost would depend on so, so, SO many factors. You are certainly talking five digits though. I'd imagine that you're looking at $20,000 to $60,000.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
The house is actually an upstairs, downstairs duplex and has only one main entrance in the front. There is a side entrance for the upstairs apartment. I figure the only major thing we'd have to do would be to turn the upstairs kitchen into a bathroom or laundry room. My dh is not sure if he wants to get into remodeling a duplex, but it might actually be less work than would need to be done on the house that we're currently considering...
post #4 of 7
why not just rent out upstairs for extra money? have you're mortgage paid for! is it way too small to leave it that way for you're family? even if you only did it a few years to save up for the remodel///
post #5 of 7

Up & Down

If it's an up and down. I would do it. Barring anything crazy that would make it a nightmare of course. Do you know anybody with some renovation experience who can go to view the house with you and would be able to spot any potential issues?
post #6 of 7
Haven't done anything like this myself, but we live in an area where I've seen it done before with nice results quite a bit. I'd definitely consider it - if you're looking for a larger place this in a decent way to get it provided you're into the neighborhood. I've found that re-converted doubles are often pretty sizeable.

I'm not certain - but you may end up needing to get the place re-zoned (from multi-family to single-family) for property tax purposes (your realtor would probably know about that stuff) in addition to whatever work you'd want done. .
post #7 of 7
i've always wanted to do this, just so i could turn the upstairs kitchen into a laundry/craft space!
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