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HouseWorth
© GetAgent Limited 2024
  1. Blog
  2. What is a semi detached house?
Advice about properties
22 December 2023

What is a semi detached house?

Kimberley Taylor
Writer & Researcher

Table of contents

  1. 1. Different types of property
  2. 2. Semi detached houses versus other properties
  3. 3. What is a semi detached house: a deeper look
  4. 4. What are the main advantages and disadvantages of a semi detached house?
  5. 5. How much does a semi detached house cost?
  6. 6. Construction and semi detached houses
  7. 7. Summary: A semi detached house offers the best of both worlds!

There are many different types of property in the UK, from detached and semi detached homes to terraced houses and flats. So if you're looking for your dream home, it can be difficult to decide what type of property is the best one for you.

In this article, we'll cover semi detached houses: how they're structured, how they differ from detached houses, and why a semi detached house might be the answer to your next property purchase!

Let's dive in.

Different types of property

We've broken down the main characteristics of each type of property.

Detached houses

Detached houses are stand alone living spaces that act as single family homes and don't have any shared walls.

Terraced houses

Terraced housing refers to rows of mirror image homes that share side walls. While the homes in the middle of the row are usually identical (or mirror image), the first and last terraced home in the row are known as end terrace and will often have a different layout than the middle homes.

Semi detached houses

A semi detached house is a single family home built as two houses that shares one common wall (known as a party wall). These two properties will usually be a mirror image of the other, in both design and layout.

Semi detached houses versus other properties

While a terrace house refers to three or more properties connected in a row and share at least one wall, a semi detached home only shares one common wall with another property.

While a semi detached house shares one wall with another property, a detached home, on the other hand, stands alone and shares no walls. A detached home therefore offers the most amount of privacy and usually the largest garden.

What is a semi detached house: a deeper look

Semi detached housing refers to residential properties that are situated in between two separate dwellings. Unlike a terraced house, the two dwellings aren't joined together, but only share one single wall. They're often a popular option for first time buyers in the UK as they offer a more affordable option for those wanting to get on the property ladder.

Take a look at the different structural aspects of a semi detached property:

Shared wall

The defining feature of semi detached homes is the shared or common wall (otherwise referred to as the party wall). The shared wall reaches all the across from the foundation to the roof of the building in order to separate the two living spaces. Because a shared wall limits the privacy of the two dwellings, it's usually built with higher soundproofing and fire-resistant standards to combat this, as well as maintain safety.

Foundation and framing

Semi detached properties are built on a strong foundation such as concrete slab, crawlspace or basement. The framing is usually composed of timber or steel which supports the roof, interior and exterior walls, as well as floor systems.

Roof

Though the roofing system is designed to cover both properties, each side of a semi detached house might have its own separate roofing structure, depending on the design.

Exterior

The exterior of a semi detached house will often have a symmetrical appearance with each property mirroring each other, but some do have individual distinctive styles. Materials for the external walls can also vary.

Interior

The interior of semi detached houses aren't necessarily symmetrical. Each house will usually have a unique layout to give homeowners freedom to customise the space however they choose.

Utilities and other services

Each semi detached home has independent utilities (this includes electricity, heating systems and plumbing), which ensures that any issues affecting one house doesn't affect the other.

Storeys and floors

Though some semi detached houses are single storey, they'll usually be two storeys high (with a ground floor and a first floor). However, some semi detached houses can have extra storeys like lofts, basements and extensions.

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of a semi detached house?

There are several advantages and disadvantages of buying a semi detached house.

Advantages

Generally, the main advantage of semi detached properties is the affordability. Fully detached houses are often more expensive as they cost more to build, which is why first time buyers or those on a lower budget will often opt for semi detached properties over detached homes.

Another main advantage is the reduced maintenance costs if you have a good relationship with the neighbouring properties. For example, you could share the cost of shared party wall repairs or replacing the roof. Sharing a wall will also reduce heating and cooling costs and may even make the house warmer as it offers a level of insulation.

You also have more privacy with semi detached housing, as opposed to terraced houses. On the other hand, you also have a stronger sense of community than those living in detached homes as your living space is in close proximity to your neighbours.

Semi detached houses can also come with substantial gardens in comparison to terraced houses and flats. Having a private outdoor space adds real value to the property.

Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of living in a semi detached house tends to be noise from the neighbouring house. There are, however, ways in which you can reduce noise, from adding acoustic insulation materials in the party wall, to installing thick curtains and carpets to absorb sound.

Check out how to sell a house with noisy neighbours in one of our previous blogs.

You may have restrictions when it comes to extensions, renovations and other building work. Different residential areas will have different policies, so it's really important to check the planning permission and building regulations before you undertake any work.

Of course, a semi detached property may also be smaller than a detached house (though this isn't always the case).

How much does a semi detached house cost?

How much a semi detached home costs will depend on a number of factors including location, size and condition of the property.

Semi detached homes in the UK will typically cost between £200,000 and £400,000 - much cheaper than the average detached home, which can cost upwards of half a million.

Construction and semi detached houses

When it comes to construction for a semi detached house, there's obviously a lot more to consider because some work you want to complete might affect the attached house, and the question of ownership can become an issue.

For example, fence ownership can cause real confusion amongst semi detached house owners. You can usually find ownership details on the deeds of the property, so it's important to check this before you get any work done.

You'll need to obtain a party wall agreement if your construction affects the shared wall or boundaries as it helps to avoid disputes and ensures both property owners' rights are protected.

Don't forget to apply for all the necessary planning permission you need for your building work as well!

Summary: A semi detached house offers the best of both worlds!

You should now have a clear idea of what a semi detached house is, how it's structured and what the main advantages and disadvantages are.

One of the best things about a semi detached house is the balance between privacy and community. They share some of the privacy of a detached house, whilst also giving homeowners the opportunity to experience community spirit - like you do in terraced houses.

Semi detached houses also offer more affordability than detached houses, giving home buyers with a lower budget more opportunities to join the property ladder, or get started on their next purchase!

If you're thinking about selling your home, whether it's semi detached, detached, terraced or apartment, use our Estate Agent Comparison Tool today to ensure your house sale goes as smoothly as possible.

We use impartial data to analyse the best performing estate agents in your area, so you have a tailored shortlist to help you choose the right one for you.

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