What is a Maisonette – UK Home Improvement

If you’re looking for a place to take up residence, you may be checking out flats or houses to explore your options. What about a maisonette, though?

If you’ve not heard of a maisonette before, keep reading to learn about what sets this living arrangement apart from what you’d expect in a flat.

What is a Maisonette – UK Home Improvement

What is a Maisonette?

A maisonette is a specific type of flat that’s in a two-storey building, and the front door of each available unit leads directly outside rather than opening into a shared corridor.

Over in the US, maisonettes are usually referred to as “duplexes” when there are two livable units in one building. Three units can be called a triplex, and four units are called a fourplex. In the UK, though, the buildings are simply called maisonettes.

Usually, a maisonette is located over shops or garages, but it can also be stacked on top of another maisonette.

Maisonette vs Flat

There are several differences to note between a maisonette and a standard flat. For one, maisonettes have living units that can take up several floors for a single family. Flats, on the other hand, usually have each living space stationed on a single floor.

Additionally, a maisonette will likely have a unique design when compared to other maisonettes in the area. Flats are usually quite uniform, though they vary somewhat depending on how many bedrooms are included.

Maisonettes are also more focused on the inhabitant’s privacy, as these units have their own entrance and usually will not share any common or communal areas (though some do share back gardens). Flats usually have several communal spaces in the development block.

Pros & Cons of Maisonettes

As with any living arrangement, there are positive and negative aspects associated with living in a maisonette. Let’s explore those now.

Pros of Maisonettes

  • Maisonettes are usually cheaper to buy than a house, and they’re usually more spacious than standard flats.
  • Maisonettes aren’t built as part of a development block, so they’re usually uniquely converted spaces made from period buildings.
  • Maisonettes may come with garages and extra storage space, which isn’t common in many flats.
  • For individuals and families who enjoy their privacy, maisonettes have their own entrances and included spaces.

Cons of Maisonettes

  • Maisonettes are difficult to expand or upgrade, as owners will need to get planning permission for most home projects.
  • Maisonettes are usually bigger than flats, but they’re smaller than houses, which can make them frustrating for residents who hope to start a family.
  • Buying a maisonette can be quite a bit more complicated than buying a flat.
  • When exterior repairs are needed, residents need to communicate with the property’s other occupants, and they have some say in how repairs are conducted.
  • A maisonette stationed over a shop or other business may come with routine sounds and smells that residents might not like.


Maisonettes can be an excellent living option for individuals and small families who want the freedom of owning a standard house while staying close to the budget expected for a traditional flat. For some, this housing type is ideal, while others don’t find it to be the right fit. Explore your options and unique needs before deciding where you want to live.

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