What is a maisonette or duplex apartment?
Translated literally, maisonette means small house. On account of the spacious openness and the free lifestyle, living in a maisonette, also known as a gallery apartment, is just like living in a small house.
A maisonette apartment stretches over at least two floors in a building. To fit this purpose, it is often located on the top floor and in the loft area. Most maisonette apartments “only” have two floors - duplex apartments are therefore also often talked about in this context. It is certainly rare to come across two-floor apartments, and that gives the maisonette apartments a touch of exclusivity.
A staircase as an optical eye-catcher
At the heart of every maisonette apartment is the open staircase. The stairs very deliberately separate the different rooms from one another and thus create the first advantage of a maisonette: Equalized living areas within the apartment.
Living on two levels
Living area beneath, bedroom above - whatever seems logical for a home certainly does not apply to the maisonette apartment. The upper level works just as well as a large living room, working space or a place to relax.
Due to their high ceilings, maisonette apartments appear to be very open and spacious. Even small apartments can give you the feeling that you're living in your own little house.
Lots of design opportunities
A duplex apartment is very individual, angular and for many, provides a true living space. Due to the large spaces within the apartment set-up, you can be very flexible and let your creative ideas free rein.
Lack of privacy
However, living in a maisonette has its downsides. The open design allows little privacy and it does not provide the opportunity to retreat that a regular apartment offers. For singles and young couples, this poses no problem whatsoever. For families with children, however, it is certainly problematic.
As the apartment covers two levels and the height of the ceilings reaches over 5 metres, a lot of energy is required for heating. Consequently, heating costs are, as a rule, higher than in a regular apartment. Good roof insulation and tight windows are therefore essential to avoid a costly electricity bill.
A maisonette is especially suitable for young couples and single people. For families with small children, a maisonette is only suitable under certain conditions. For older people, regular apartments without stairs are the wiser option. In short: A maisonette apartment is the perfect type of housing for people who want spacious openness and the ability to design their apartment to their individual taste.
Renting or buying a maisonette apartment
Whether renting or buying a maisonette apartment is possible for you, is above all dependent on your budget as well as your future plans. With regard to pension schemes, home ownership generally seems to be a good option, however rather high investments are required for the equity share.
The price of buying or renting duplex apartments in Switzerland varies depending on the condition and location. Costs in the cities are proportionately high, while those in the agglomeration or rural areas are somewhat more affordable. Below, we'll show you maisonette and duplex apartments available to rent or buy in selected cantons.