Best place to find duplex building plans

19 Replies

I'm developing a couple acres in a great location and building 6 duplexes on it.  I've done some google searches but haven't come up with anything I like.  Anyone with experience finding good plans vs paying an architect for a custom design would be much appreciated.

We are in a similar situation, looking to build duplex-6plex and researching plans. Do you have to meet certain requirements for the development? (minimum size/ stone facade/allowed building materials?) These are the sites that I have found plans that we are looking at. What kind of style are you hoping to build? West coast/modern/traditional? Let's keep each other in the loop as we continue our search!

Thank you for the links, Tiffany!  There are not any requirements on the style or size of the duplexes where I am building them.  I plan to target the 55+ community so I would like them to be a one level rancher with ADA sized doorways etc.  Size would be in the 1200-1500 sq ft range.  Trying to decide if I should do a 3/2 or 2/2.  Based on the width of each lot it's looking like I can only do one car garages.  Not sure if this is a big deal or not..

We are focusing on same target! Our parents, (and their friends) are all down sizing, and having trouble finding quality housing that has a good layout, energy efficient, and one level.  We are hoping to build to fill that niche! 

If you decide to consider single family, the drummond site has a filter that's titled "baby boomer plans"- we must not be the only ones with this idea ;) Perhaps looking at those designs for inspiration, then choosing a duplex that mimics the plans. 

We are actually targeting  the same concept, but for our generation (in our 30's) that want to live a minimalist lifestyle. Many are over the the huge SF homes. They want a good design, small, and easy to manage so they can travel and do the things they want in life (not just tied to a giant mortgage & spending time taking care of their house). 

Duplexes are a good investment how ever you may consider multi-level and get more per square foot of value from the land. Even if you find plans for your project, you may still need to have them engineered. If you want to design your own, get Punch Software Architect Pro. Its about $300 but you can design it however you want.

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I would think if you're targeting 55+, then there wouldn't be quite as high a demand for 3br verses 2br.  Kids should be long gone by this age but an extra  (2nd) bedroom for grand kid or freind visits would be good.

Thank you for your input @Jeff Cantrell .  You are probably right.  I am leaning towards building two bed units.

EBay has some low-cost multi family new build plans. I have not used them personally but they maybe worth a look.

I would pay for a set of plans. Pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things and if you work with someone local they are aware of the trends and ordinances. Makes permitting in larger cities much easier in my opinion. Then you can just reuse the plan over and over. I use the same floorplan in a number of builds and just have my architect change the facade for 150-200 each time.

You can google "plexes" or "plex plans" and that may help. As to the garages, have you considered the tandem garages where they are single car wide, but double length? We did them on a very narrow lot we built a duplex on in San Clemente, CA. 

As to the boomers only needing 2 bedrooms, speaking as a boomer, I can tell you, I'd want a guest room, and an office space. Many others might want a guest room and hobby/flex space, etc. 2 bedrooms is very limiting, unless you're building for those on very tight budgets, etc. then it makes sense. 

@Chris Wood sorry for the delayed response I haven't logged on in a bit.  I couldn't find anything that fit the bill for what I wanted, so I connected with an architect another investor referred to me.  He does these designs very affordable, so I'm excited that I get to make all the tweaks I want.  He's just getting started, so we will see.

@Roberto Gutierrez yeah this is great advice.  I just recently hired a local architect and excited to see how it turns out!

@Karen Margrave thank you for your insight!  We did decide to go with a 3-bed unit as you suggested.  I have just enough room to do a two car side by side garage.

@Aaron Farr No worries. If you could keep us posted on what you do that'd be awesome! 

Are you thinking 3 bedrooms with a two car garage for sure? What is the cost to build?

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