Friday, August 31, 2018

$300 Duplex Conversion

Over the past year, I’ve been meeting a lot of investors whose strategy is duplex conversions.

Here is how it works, in a nutshell:

  1. Buy a home 
  2. Get permits to add a legal unit to it. For example, create a legal basement apartment; Or get a permit to split the unit vertically creating a quasi semi-detached home.
  3. Hire and oversee contractors & trades to get the work done
  4. Re-finance to get your money back
  5. Rent both units
  6. Live happily ever after (or until you get another one of these duplex conversions).

Based on meet-up presentations I’ve seen, my understanding is that the cost to add a legal unit nowadays averages at about $90K in GTA. Perhaps, you’d see numbers between $75-110K, depending on how optimistic the presenter is.

Here’s how our “Duplex Conversion” Happened

My husband and I got a duplex. It turned out that the two units are connected by a door. Initially, there was not even a lock on the door, which wasn’t an issue since one of the units was vacant at the time.

As we were getting ready to find a new tenant, we had to replace the door with a wall and properly separate the units.

In Our Case, Duplex Conversion Was a Lot Less Elaborate

Step 1. Take measurements & get some two-by-fours and other hardware

Step 2. Measure & cut.

Step 3. Put a back wall up & add insulation

Step 4. Finish up with the fancy front wall. VoilĂ !

Now we have a proper two-unit house. Can't wait to find a great tenant to move in!


  1. Did you make a new wall from other side as well? Or other tenant has the false door, he/she used to?

    1. Great question! The tenant has a false door for now. She doesn't mind and is happy to have privacy :)