Have a question?
What is a Maisonette? 

What is a Maisonette? 

BeforeBricks Marketing Team
function Copy() { var Url = document.getElementById("url"); Url.innerHTML = window.location.href; console.log(Url.innerHTML) Url.select(); document.execCommand("copy"); }


We come across terms like apartments, flats, houses, and occasionally - maisonettes when looking for housing. It is a lesser-known term, so naturally, you may wonder, "What is a maisonette?"

The word is French, literally meaning 'small house'. So, a maisonette is essentially a tiny house within a building. Maisonettes are two-storied flats within a building - except it has independent access to the outside with their door and stairs. So, the owner of a maisonette can own a duplex house within a building with a private entrance. 

What exactly is a maisonette?

A contemporary maisonette is a two-story flat inside a building. The apartment has private entrances that lead directly outside without any interaction with the other parts of the building. Maisonettes of this kind are more common in the United Kingdom. So, in other parts of Europe, you may see maisonettes that are cottages or annexes to a house. 

The most common maisonettes as in the more recognizable ones – are ones you can see in family-owned shops. People can also convert their houses into maisonettes to utilise the space better. Maisonettes also have balconies of their own - so you do not have to share terraces with other people in the building. 

Scotland has maisonettes grouped in a building - with stacked apartments and a common entrance path. On the other hand, a penthouse is a standard version of maisonettes in America - where the top floors of high-rise buildings are made as duplexes. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Investing in a Maisonette?

Depending on your situation, a maisonette can be the perfect housing solution. Its unique setting makes it a better option in many cases. But it can also be less than adequate if you have other priorities. So, let's get into the pros and cons of putting your money on a maisonette. 

Advantages of buying a maisonette

Since maisonettes are one of a kind, perks are available that could fit the right group of people. If you have a small group or family - or even want to live alone with a lot of space, maisonettes can be the right choice. Here is why. 

A Lot More Privacy 

The key benefit of living in a maisonette is how much privacy you can get from the rest of the housing area. Here, you can have your private entrance and, in some cases, even a private yard or gardening space. 

The staircase leading to your maisonette will be detached from the common pathways, so you can use the access as you please. 

Accessible Location

In the United Kingdom, maisonettes are usually set right in the middle of busy areas. Your maisonette can be over a shop or a regular tenant building. Because of its location, you can get easier access to the facilities of the town–stores, parks, etc. for cheap. You can spend less time on transportation and enjoy living in the city's heart.


When you consider the two-storey feature and the location of the maisonettes, their price is much lower than other housing systems with similar traits. The slight inconvenience of living in a duplex within a building is compensated by how cheaper it is than a duplex house or flats. 

Extra Space for Storage

In many cases, maisonettes will give you access to spaces like garages and lofts in the building. These shared spaces can come in handy for parking and also if you want to store any belongings. 

Advantages of buying a maisonette

Despite the many benefits, maisonettes also have some drawbacks. Let's look at the disadvantages you would face by investing in a maisonette. 

Lesser Space than Houses

Maisonettes are larger than flats because of the two-storey system. The homes come with two bedrooms on each floor typically. But if you have a growing or bigger family or simply need housing with more rooms than flats - maisonettes may not fit the bill. 

Extra Work in Fixing and Furnishing

Since maisonettes are shared housing systems in a building, you have to take responsibility. If you have to do any external work on the maisonette, you will have to take the step and get your neighbours together to fix the issue. 


Not necessarily people, but maisonettes are generally situated in crowded places. If your maisonette is over a shop - smells, noises, and crowds on the streets will be expected.

Maisonettes vs Flats

Maisonettes and flats are similar, but pricing and privacy are vital differences. There is less comparing whether one is better - it depends on which one you would prefer. So, here are the critical differences between maisonettes and flats. 


  • You get an entrance that leads inside your home directly from the outside 
  • The housing area inside the maisonette is within two floors (in the UK)
  • You can get maisonettes that have their own small yard or garden space 
  • You can get privacy from neighbours


  • There is a shared or common entrance
  • The housing space is generally on one floor
  • Gardening and yard space is communal or with neighbours
  • Less privacy with neighbouring flatmates

Maisonettes vs Duplex Houses

Maisonettes and houses have one prominent difference - living space. But in terms of amenities and features, a maisonette can be a solid competition to homes for small families. So, let's look at the essential differences between duplex houses and maisonettes. 


  • The living space is small with two stories 
  • They can be on the ground floors or top floors of a building
  • Applicable for small families or a limited number of people
  • More affordable

Duplex House

  • Living space is much higher - more area for attic or loft space with rooms
  • Usually, standalone housing buildings with no extra floors
  • Applicable for larger numbers of people
  • Much higher pricing


By now you should have a decent idea of what is a maisonette. After going through this discussion, you should now have all the right information you need to decide if it would be the right choice for you. 

BeforeBricks is a service geared towards new and upcoming homeowners who need help planning their homes. We can turn your vision of a house into reality anywhere with a creative and practical approach with nationwide reach. 

Our experience in home design and planning has earned us customers' trust all over the UK. Contact us for a consultation or plan, and let us help you make your dream home a reality. 

Get a quick quote!

people filled this out in the last hour
By submitting the form you agree to our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a quick quote

people filled this out in the last hour
By submitting the form you agree to our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.