Builder Scott Georgetti likes to think outside the box. And nothing could be further from the box than the Cottages at Queen Anne Court in Upper Township. The small cul-de-sac subdivision off Route 9 features a mix of custom built single family homes and age- restricted duplexes.

These are not your typical duplexes. For one thing, they don't share a common wall. They're two freestanding Cape Cod style homes on either side of a double wide blacktop driveway. The only thing that connects them is a porte cochere.

"On paper they're duplexes," says Paul Rixon, a Realtor who is marketing the homes in the township's Palermo section. "You might call them semi detached duplexes. They're two living units built on one lot."

Georgetti's original plans called for building traditional duplexes to complement the single family homes on the street. But he says many of his potential customers didn't like the idea of sharing a wall with their neighbor. So he went looking for a solution.

"The building inspector told me that to qualify as a duplex, the homes have to have a physical connection," says Georgetti, who owns Georgetti Construction. "So I said, 'What if I just have a board connecting the two buildings? ' He said "I guess that would be OK.' I basically took two Cape Cods and made a minimal physical connection."

The homes do share a common lot, but it's a big lot – almost an acre.

"Each owner still has almost a half acre of ground, Georgetti says. "They can put in a swimming pool, a garage, a shed, a vineyard. It's very flexible."

When completed, the Cottages at Queen Anne Court will feature nine custom single family homes and seven duplexes for owners 55 and older. Eight single family homes and three duplexes have already been completed and sold.

"We're mixing old people with young people," Georgetti says. "We have age restricted homes and single family homes with young families and everybody interacts with each other."

Georgetti is currently putting the finishing touches on his first semi-detached duplexes. One home is under contract and the other is on the market for about $459,000. The homes have identical floor plans, with about 2,500 square feet of living space, but slightly different exteriors. Buyer can choose from four different elevations.

"We're a custom builder so people can change the layouts, put in a screened porch or different cabinets," Georgetti says.

Standard features include granite kitchen counters, a gas fireplace, crown molding, hardwood floors, upgraded appliances and under cabinet lighting.

The interior has a first-floor master bedroom, a guest bedroom with access to a full bath and two upstairs bedrooms that share another full bath. A large unfinished walk-in storage area is accessed from the second-floor hall.

There's a formal dining room, a laundry room and a breakfast room off the kitchen that's open to a living room. French doors in the living room lead to a side patio or an optional deck. At the back of the house is a side-entry two-car garage.

The master bedroom has a tray ceiling that comes standard and a private bathroom with a garden tub, oversized shower chamber and a large walk-in closet.

Each house has a side door to the driveway as well as a covered front porch. The homes have private septic systems and well water.

Georgetti says the detached duplexes have appeal for people who want to live near their extended family.

"You could have a family member or close friend buy one of the homes," he says. "That way you can be close to each other - but not too close."

For more information on the Cottages at Queen Anne Court call Paul Rixon of Rixon Realty, 609-390-8821 or 609-827-7555.

Contact David Enscoe:

609-272-7087