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Converting a Duplex to a Single-Family Home

Wednesday, October 11, 2023   /   by Annie Junker

Converting a Duplex to a Single-Family Home

Converting a Duplex to a Single-Family Home

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Converting a Duplex to a Single-Family Home


Converting a Duplex to a Single-Family home is a significant renovation project that involves various considerations, including legal, structural, and design aspects. Here's what you need to know to undertake such a conversion:

  1. Check local zoning and regulations:

    • Begin by contacting your local zoning department to understand the zoning laws and regulations in your area. Zoning laws vary, and some areas may have restrictions on converting multi-family dwellings to single-family homes. You may need to apply for zoning variances or permits.
  2. Consult with professionals:

    • Hire an architect or structural engineer to assess the property's current layout and structural integrity. They can help you determine the feasibility of the conversion and provide design recommendations.
  3. Plan the layout:

    • Decide on the new layout for your single-family home. This may involve removing or relocating interior walls, combining kitchens and bathrooms, and creating a cohesive living space.
  4. Address utilities and systems:

    • Evaluate the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. You may need to reconfigure or upgrade these systems to accommodate the new layout and meet current building codes.
  5. Obtain necessary permits:

    • Obtain all required permits and approvals from your local building department. This typically includes permits for construction, electrical work, plumbing, and any structural changes.
  6. Structural modifications:

    • Depending on the existing structure and your desired layout, you may need to make significant structural modifications. This could include removing load-bearing walls, reinforcing the foundation, or adding support beams.
  7. Demolition and construction:

    • Begin the renovation by removing interior walls, partitions, and fixtures as needed. Then, proceed with the construction phase to create the new layout, including bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, and common areas.
  8. Plumbing and electrical work:

    • Update the plumbing and electrical systems to meet the requirements of a single-family home. Ensure that all work is done by licensed professionals and complies with local building codes.
  9. Insulation and energy efficiency:

    • Consider improving insulation and energy efficiency during the conversion. Upgrading insulation, windows, and doors can reduce energy costs and improve comfort.
  10. Flooring, finishes, and aesthetics:

    • Choose flooring, finishes, and fixtures that suit your style and preferences. This is the stage where you personalize your new single-family home.
  11. Landscaping and exterior:

    • Don't forget about the exterior of the property. Update landscaping, repaint or re-side the exterior, and make any necessary repairs or improvements.
  12. Final inspections:

    • Once the construction is complete, schedule final inspections with local authorities to ensure that your conversion complies with all building codes and regulations.
  13. Legal considerations:

    • If your property was previously used as a duplex, you may need to update the property's legal status to a single-family home for tax and zoning purposes.
  14. Budget and timeline:

    • Create a realistic budget and timeline for your conversion project. 
  15. Seek professional guidance:

    • Throughout the process, consult with professionals such as architects, contractors, plumbers, and electricians to ensure that your conversion is done safely and according to local regulations.

If you have any questions, give me a call - I’d be glad to help! And I’m happy to help you find that home that you can make convert and make all your own!

 804-350-0879 | chris@smallre.net | chrissmallgroup.com


It is my responsibility as your REALTOR® to ensure that when others around you are lowering their expectations, that this becomes the time for us to switch gears and discover how to leverage the market effectively to achieve your goals.

If you would like to know more about the current market, or if you have any general real estate questions, call or text me on my cell phone at 804-350-0879 or you can email me at chris@smallre.net.

If you are looking to begin a home search, visit my website to get started!

2637 Rettig Road
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2600 East Grace Street #2
Church Hill
2412 Kensington Avenue
Fan District
1021 Park Avenue
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Additional resources
We are select partners with REALM and Leverage Global Partners. What does this mean for you as our client? If you are looking to relocate or buy a second home in an entirely different city (or on a different continent!), Small and Associates has you covered. As a member of these exclusive networks, we work with other like-minded agents and to put you in touch with the right REALTOR® outside of the Central Virginia area. If you or someone you know has been considering a unique move, let us be your guide.
To learn more, click the links below:
In addition to being a partner to two exclusive global networks, I am a proud member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and am a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist. This means that I will market your property to the highest standards with access to the latest trends in the industry. I am the only Real Estate professional in the Central Virginia area with this designation!
Are you interested in buying a second home but, aren't ready to fully commit to another property? As a part of our partnership with REALM, we can direct you to properties all over the world with Pacaso. Pacaso is Luxury Co-Ownership where you have the ability to  own a second house for 1/8 of the cost. Click here to learn more and to start shopping!
Are you looking for your own slice of "La Dolce Vita"? Small and Associates has the connections to make it happen. We have personal contacts with firms in Italy and would be happy to help with your home search and make an introduction!
Client Testimonial: Click the link below to hear from the Kottkamps, clients of Chris Small. Thank you for your kind words Nathan and Laura! It's always been an honor to help you with your Real Estate goals.
Client Testimonial from Nathan and Laura Kottkamp
The Chris Small Group at Small and Associates
At The Chris Small Group, we embrace today's dynamic Real Estate market with fresh and strategic approaches to deliver optimal results. Our mission is to craft customized marketing plans that align precisely with the current market landscape. We commit to delivering exceptional outcomes that resonate with trends and buyer preferences. With our unmatched understanding of market dynamics, we ensure our clients' homes stand out and captivate potential buyers. Trust our expertise to maximize your property's exposure and generate genuine interest. Choose The Chris Small Group and experience the transformative power of our innovative and market-savvy approach in today's evolving real estate landscape.
A Story of a Sale: 1508 Park Avenue
Chris Small, Broker | Owner
Luxury Real Estate Specialist

804-350-0879 | chris@smallre.net
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