Basics of Multi-family House Plans

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If you want to build a duplex or condominium, choose from one of the many multi-family house plans that are readily available. There are many advantages of a multi-family home. One is the lower requirement for space. The other is that it is cheaper to build a multi-family home. Maintenance costs, too, are lower in the long term.

Basics to Consider

When planning a multi-family house you need to keep a few basics in mind. For one, they are treated differently by mortgage companies. Tax laws, too, are different. You need to keep a different set of accounts if you are planning this as your first real estate investment.

House Plans

As multi-family homes have at least two families sharing a house, you need to make sure the plans accommodate the needs of two different sets of families. Each unit must be functionally independent, that is, should have a separate entrance, kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and so on. The garages, too, are separate but the garden is common.

You can save a lot of money by building a multi-family house with mirror image units—either two or four. If you do this, the plumbing fixtures and kitchen units will all be placed toward the center of the house, saving on plumbing costs.

Separate Meters

Needless to say, each unit should have its own separate electricity and water meters. The house should look like one unit from the outside and function as two or four units once you enter it. This requirement means that the entrance doors can be side by side or on the four sides of the building.


When building a multi-family house, you need to give adequate consideration to proper ventilation. Ensure that the plan you choose incorporates windows for all the rooms. This can be tricky. An experienced architect might be required to design such a house.

The walls between the different units have to be thicker than usual to prevent noise and heat transmission. Each home unit should also have a separate basement and utility room.

When choosing a design for your multi-family house, you can choose between traditional and modern. Both come with space-saving features and look good both from the outside and the inside.

As you will be planning to rent out the other units in a multi-family house, choose neutral colors for the walls and tiles. It will be easier for the tenant to decorate their home the way they want to. They can easily individualize the home by using furnishings of appropriate colors.

If you want to, you can allocate a part of the garden to each home unit of the multi family house for their own individual use. This will result in less squabbling when the tenants are installed.

You can also plan for a common area that can be used by all the residents to host outdoor parties. This area can be shared and maintained in common. All other facilities will have to be provided for separately to each tenant unit.


As an investor in a multi family house, you should be looking to save on building costs and getting a higher rate of return by way of rental income. For this, your house has to be properly designed to accommodate the needs of more than one family in a small place. Ensure that the units are functionally separate and completely livable. This means you have to pay attention to details such as ventilation and lighting, apart from plumbing and electricity.