Although duplexes re general categorized as apartments, they are known for their house-like qualities, such as offering more space and privacy, which makes them a favorite with families. Duplexes generally vary in terms of design and size, and the number of rooms you find in one duplex may not be the same as what you find in another unit. It is important to be aware of the rooms that you can expect to find in a duplex so that you have a rough idea of the monthly rent you may be expected to pay and adjust your budget accordingly.
How many rooms does a duplex have? The number of rooms that you will find in a duplex typically vary depending on the size. Each unit in a duplex consists of two floors, and you will find at least one bedroom on the upper floor and common areas such as the kitchen and the living room on the lower floor.
Spaces that are generally taken into consideration when counting the number of rooms in any type of unit include a living room, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, family room, and office. For example, if a unit in a duplex has three bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen, the duplex will have a total of ten rooms.
Areas of the units such as bathrooms, hallways, laundry rooms, foyers, closets, storage rooms, breakfast nooks, and mudrooms are not included when counting the number of rooms in a duplex. Many duplexes tend to have two or three legal bedrooms with the required two means of egress and of adequate size. In some cases, you may also find attics and bedrooms in both units, but they are not considered to be bedrooms when counting the number of rooms even if they are used as sleeping areas.
The number of rooms that you will find in a duplex typically varies depending on the size of the unit. One of the major selling points in a duplex, as with other unit types, is the number of bedrooms. Many duplex units tend to have two or three bedrooms each, but you may sometimes duplex units that only have one bedroom each. Here are the variations in the number of rooms that you may find in a duplex unit.
Variations in the number of rooms
As you can probably guess, a duplex with 7 rooms is on the smaller end. The rooms you will find in each unit include a living room, dining alcove, kitchen, and a bedroom.
This is a duplex that has 4 rooms in each unit. They include a kitchen, a living room, a formal dining room, and a bedroom.
Each unit in this duplex has 4 ½ rooms, including two bedrooms, a dining alcove, a kitchen, and a living room.
This is a duplex with 5 rooms in each unit, including a dining room, a living room, a kitchen, and two bedrooms.
Each unit in a duplex that has 11 rooms has 5 ½ rooms, which include three bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, and a living room.
Units in a 12-room duplex have 6 rooms each, including a kitchen, living room, dining room, two bedrooms, and a smaller third bedroom which is sometimes referred to as the maid’s room
Each unit in a 14-room duplex comprises of 7 rooms, including three bedrooms, dining room, kitchen, living room, and maid’s room. An alternative to this layout includes two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, dining room, and two smaller maid’s rooms that may serve as bedrooms.
The number of rooms you may find in a duplex unit depends on a number of factors especially since duplexes tend to differ. Here are the various factors that affect the number of rooms that you may find in a duplex.
Factors that affect the number of rooms
1. The size of the duplex
How big or small a duplex is a significant determining factor in how many rooms you will find in each unit. In most cases, a bigger duplex usually means more bedrooms, and a higher likelihood of including more separate spaces such as a formal dining room, study, family room, or a home office. For example, if the units in a duplex each have three bedrooms, a dining area and a smaller room used as a home office in addition to the living room and the kitchen, the total number of rooms in the duplex will be fourteen excluding the bathrooms, hallways, and any other areas that are not counted as rooms. In a smaller duplex unit, you may find three bedrooms, a living room, a separate kitchen, and a dining area. Such a unit is considered to have 5 ½ rooms, which brings the total number of rooms in the duplex to 11.
2. The layout of a duplex unit
The interior design of a duplex unit can have an impact on the number of rooms that you find in a duplex unit. In some cases, you may find that the upper mezzanine level of a smaller duplex is nothing more than a sleeping loft rather than an actual floor. To make such a unit seem more spacious, the design of the ground floor may be open plan, which could mean that the living room opens into the dining area as well as the kitchen in some cases. Consequently, such a unit may only have three rooms, and as a result, the duplex unit will have only six rooms in total.
3. Your location
The number of rooms in a duplex may also vary depending on the location. A majority of the duplexes that are found major city centers such as New York City and Chicago are likely to be smaller than average in size. This is because these urban areas are usually crowded, and smaller apartment types such as studios and one bedroom units are more likely to be developed. Even when you find duplexes, they may be smaller in size than you may expect. On the other hand, duplexes that are found in the outskirts of the city or in suburbs are likely to cover more square feet than their counterparts in urban areas. Consequently, duplexes in urban areas might have fewer rooms than those that are found in the suburbs due to the potential differences in size.
4. The cost of the duplex
Apart from the location and included amenities, another factor that may affect the cost of a duplex is the number of rooms in a duplex. As a result, the higher the rental charge per month of the unit, the higher the number of rooms it is likely to have. When it comes to investing, a duplex that has a higher number of rooms is likely to have a higher purchase price as well.
5. The number of bedrooms
Not all rooms in a duplex that can serve as sleeping areas can be categorized as bedrooms. One of the reasons why counting the number of rooms in a duplex may be confusing for some may be because of counting basements, dens, and attics as bedrooms. However, in order for a room in a duplex to be categorized as a bedroom, it has to adhere to the following legal requirements:
- Square footage – In order for a room in a duplex to be recognized as a bedroom, it has to be a minimum of 70 to 80 square foot to be acceptable.
- Means of egress – A room should have at least two means of exit in order for it to be categorized as a bedroom. This means that the room has to be accessible through a door as well as a window in case of an emergency. In some cases, a skylight could also qualify as a means of egress, but windows are generally considered to be the second outlet. The window has to be big enough for someone to climb through, with the minimum required size of the opening being 5.7 square feet and a minimum height of 24 inches.
- Ceiling height – In areas of the unit such as the basement and the attic, the height of the ceiling is an important consideration when trying to count the number of rooms that can be categorized as bedrooms. The ceiling in such spaces has to be a minimum height of 7 feet. If some areas of the ceiling do not reach this height, it still qualifies as long as at least half of the ceiling is higher than 7 feet.
- Horizontal footage – A room has to be at least 7 feet in any horizontal direction.
- Private access – In some states, in order for a room in a duplex to be considered a bedroom, it should be easily accessible without having to go through another bedroom. In addition to this, each bedroom has to have access to a bathroom as well.
Duplexes come in a variety of sizes and layouts, which automatically means that the number of rooms you will find will also vary. The location or neighborhood that you live in can also have an impact on the number of rooms you will find in a unit, as well as the number of rooms that are legally recognized as bedrooms. When looking for a new home, it is important to go through the listings in your area keenly, and some research on of your own on how to count rooms will also go a long way.