Our Story for Duplexing

When we had our second son, we decided we wanted out of our 3 storey condo townhome. The unit was great, but it had no yard and so many rules that limited what we could do for two growing boys outside.  The answer was clear, we needed a bigger yard.  

Our house sold for a record high in our complex, but we still needed to mortgage more to get a larger home.   We had a close friend that agreed to rent a portion of our new home.  We thought the extra income would be nice, and we were already used to sharing a wall in a townhome so it didn’t bother us.  I started to research how to duplex a home.  Now we live in the Kitchener Ontario area.  There is basically 4 areas we were looking at.  Waterloo, which was rampant with sketchy basement and student apartments, so much so that the city had extra requirements and a yearly fee for having a rental unit.  Then there was Guelph, which we liked, but had its own slightly different duplex rules, however the price of homes was more than the next two areas.  Cambridge, full of cheap homes, but very oddly shaped homes that made duplexing hard.  And finally Kitchener, which actually had a wonderful guide for how to duplex your home right on their city website. As it turned out, we ended up finding a home only 5 minutes away from our townhome.  

It was a long journey, a wonderful education, and a family building experience.  But we are happy to be done!  I hope to document more of the steps I learned along the way, as well as a set of future design guides to help ones take on similar projects successfully.  Keep checking back for more content!