Duplex apartments – practical homes, on more levels than one

Duplex apartments sound more modern than they are. Formerly called maisonettes, they’re simply a single home in a larger building, spread over two floors connected by an internal staircase.

They’ve been around for a long time, but were re-branded by estate agents a few years ago, and now almost always seem to be called duplexes.

Apt 5, Old Police Station, North Park Road, Harrogate - �POA with Verity Frearson, 01423 562531.

Maisonettes apparently sounded too old-fashioned, whereas duplexes sounded modern, desirable and chic (the same happened when the humble British flat morphed into the flashy, US apartment).

For many buyers, duplexes/maisonettes have some real advantages over conventional flats. Despite the communal entrances and shared grounds, they often feel more like stand-alone houses than conventional flats, largely because of the all-important staircase.

Perhaps it’s because being able to come downstairs in the morning – and go upstairs at night – makes for a comforting division of the living space which is naturally in tune with the division of the day.

This can only be done in a house or a duplex apartment, and duplexes tend to be much more affordable than individual homes of the same size, especially in the more desirable, or central, parts of town.

Apt 4, Castle Keep, Wetherby - �425,000 with Beadnall Copley, 01937 580850.

In Knaresborough, four newly-built apartments have been built at High Bridge House, which stands sentinel at the main western entrance to the town, on the site of the old Yorkshire Lass pub.

At over 2,700 sq ft, apartment 4 is spacious, and has three bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor, and large store and utility room on the lower-ground floor. In between, there is a breakfast kitchen, hallway and large living room with sliding doors opening onto the terrace, offering uninterrupted views of the Nidd Gorge.

The block has been built to exacting standards, with insulation and soundproofing, a central vacuum system, a heat recovery system and underfloor heating throughout. There’s also a KNX dimmable lighting system operated remotely by an app, plus communal satellite dish with TV points to all rooms, together with USB points in selected sockets.

In Wetherby, apartment 4 Castle Keep is a superbly located second and third-floor duplex apartment in a purpose-built development just off the Market Place.

Apt 4, High Bridge House, Harrogate Road, Knaresborough - �699,950 with Strutt & Parker, 01423 561274.

The contemporary apartment has three bedrooms, bathroom, sitting room, dining kitchen and extra shower room, plus south-facing balcony offering views over the gardens towards the River Wharfe.

It has a single private car port and visitor parking and shares a communal entrance foyer with security entry phone and exceptionally well-tended communal grounds.

Finally, the Old Police Station is just a stroll away from the heart of Harrogate. This Grade II listed building was designed in 1927 by the West Riding County Architect, Peter Oates Platt, and has been converted into an gated residential development.

Apartment 5 is a first and second floor duplex property with three bedrooms, kitchen, utility room and huge living/dining area. There are communal grounds and two allocated parking spaces in the front car park.

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