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The risks of owning a duplex

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by Depreciator, 16th May, 2016.

  1. Depreciator

    Depreciator Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, the risks of owning one side of a duplex....
    When the person on the other side does a reno.
    This is in a street near home. I walk up it sometimes on the way to the station.
    It's probably a 1920s build. We call them 'semis' in Sydney - short for 'semi detached' i.e. attached one side only. They are pretty common and rarely are both sides owned by the same person.
    So the people on the right hand side of this one have decided to do a reno. It has had scaffold covering it until now. At least they have put a tiled roof on to match the other side and they have tried to match the fascia, but that balcony with aluminium windows is pretty awful. And on the right hand side, the second story box overhangs the side wall and looks odd.
    Pretty lousy spot in a terrible street - really narrow with little parking and bugger-all space in the front yard. The builders would have hated it. I think I would have sold up and moved to a bigger house.
     

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  2. alexm

    alexm Well-Known Member

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    Wow, beauty is in the eye of the beholder however in my opinion that looks terrible!

    They've spoiled the aesthetic of the period character facade. Surely they could have been abit more creative (and sympathetic) and designed something more attractive.
     
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  3. bmc

    bmc Well-Known Member

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    there are a pair of semis in Five Dock. One side have renovated to the original Californian Bungalow features with the typical federation colour schemes, new tuckpointing, lead light windows etc. the adjoining neighbour has bagged the brickwork and painted it yellow. attached a box on the roof and replaced all the timber leadlights with aluminium windows. just like your example.

    There seems to be a lot of ugly developments being constructed around Sydney town. With the rush on to construct and unload i wonder if design and asthetics have taken second place.
     
  4. Depreciator

    Depreciator Moderator Staff Member

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    I remember when I was a kid there was a semi in Five Dock where one owner had rendered and painted his side white and replaced the slates on his side of the roof with blue tiles. He then concreted the front yard. Five Dock was a very Italian suburb back then and the Italians had fondness for concrete and the contacts to get it cheap.
    It would sometimes be a pride thing. People would not want other people thinking they live in half a house, so they try to make their side look like a standalone house that happens to be joined to another.
     
  5. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    Wow. I get that sometimes the only option is to go up but most councils will ask you to do it towards the rear of the property to maintain the existing facade.
     
  6. Depreciator

    Depreciator Moderator Staff Member

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    That building work would not have gone to council. They would have got it through as a Complying Development. I'm not sure if other states have that? Private certifiers tend to be less concerned than councils about how stuff looks.
     
  7. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Lets give them the benefit of the doubt, the job's not done yet and perhaps the neighbors are going to do their place to so they will both be improved
     
  8. Depreciator

    Depreciator Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll report back. Work has slowed down, so it could be a while. Maybe when the scaffold came down, they had an 'oh dear, what have we done?' moment.
     
  9. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    That first photo with the dutch gable on the LHS (I've always called this a dutch gable but google tells me it can be called a dutch gable or a jerkinhead)... anyway... would the RHS have matched?

    Duplexes are not common in Brisbane but the older styles ones I know of have matching entries, usually totally mirror image.

    If so, then I'd be pretty annoyed to have kept the original facade and have no say over what the joker next door does.
     
  10. Depreciator

    Depreciator Moderator Staff Member

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    These ones weren't mirror image - luckily for the people on the left. The left side was the dominant looking one. Not any more. Still, maybe it will all be okay when it's done. The people on the right have down what they can by matching the tiles and creating their own gable. It would have looked good on the drawings - there was probably a nice, hand coloured drawing of what the place would look like. I wonder if they put a balcony out the back? The new one at the front overlooks an awful street.