Personal Finance

Differences between: semi-detached vs duplex vs semi-attached house?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 21st, 2008 11:52 am
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Sr. Member
Mar 6, 2007
605 posts
7 upvotes

Differences between: semi-detached vs duplex vs semi-attached house?

In terms of houses, what's the legal difference between:
semi-detached, semi-attached, and duplex?
5 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jul 1, 2007
7669 posts
543 upvotes
When I took info for mortgage aps at the bank there first was the choice of categories: semi-detached, detached, condo, and then the choices of: bungalow, duplex, apartment, etc...

So: detached bungalow, detached two-story, semi-detached duplex, condo apartment, condo townhouse were some examples of different types of dwellings.
Newbie
Dec 12, 2007
33 posts
semi-detached share a wall with one person, semi-attached is attached only at the garage and a duplex is split level so there is 2 enterances and one leads upstairs and the other downstairs hopes this makes sense.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 2, 2005
746 posts
2 upvotes
Georgetown, ON
Semi-detached means exactly that - half attached. Two houses sharing one common side, typically identical homes on each end with matching appearances and driveways, with a common front lawn.

Never heard of Semi-atttached, but I imagine it means exactly the same.

Duplex is a building where there are two housing units, one on top of the other. Triplex would be three units.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 1, 2006
9099 posts
214 upvotes
It's possible for a duplex to be side-by-side just like a semi. The only difference in that case is the legal title. Semi is two titles, duplex is one with two units.
Deal Addict
Jul 4, 2004
3286 posts
157 upvotes
Ottawa
Bullseye wrote:
Jan 21st, 2008 7:51 am
It's possible for a duplex to be side-by-side just like a semi. The only difference in that case is the legal title. Semi is two titles, duplex is one with two units.
Exactly. Basically with a semi, you usually own only 1 side (if you own both, you have 2 titles). With a duplex/triplex/... the structure is considered 1 whole unit with 1 title but there are multiple separate living quarters.

I've also never heard of 'semi-attached' but I suspect that it's just a different way of saying 'semi-detached'. You can also have something called 'linked' which is usually a 'semi-detached' that's only attached by the foundations and it looks like 2 detached homes (this is usually done when the builder wants to stick to detached homes on a small lot and can't get zoning permission to put 2 singles so they build a 'linked' home which they can kind of sell as a detached but officially they are still attached.
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