CONVERTING YOUR BASEMENT INTO A RENTAL APARTMENT | WHAT TO CONSIDER
HOW TO CONVERT YOUR BASEMENT INTO A RENTAL APARTMENT
Converting your basement into a rental apartment might seem like quite the feat. Well, it is. But, don’t worry, we’ve covered everything you need to know for a successful conversion. Whether you choose to use your newly founded property for extra income or even as a home for your adult children or elderly parents, you’ll need to ensure your project is feasible, that you follow rules & regulations, and that you’ve considered a functional layout for the new space.
IS IT FEASIBLE TO CONVERT TO A BASEMENT APARTMENT?
Before going ahead and working on converting your basement into an apartment, you must check with your municipality. Rules and regulations change depending on where you live. Some municipalities allow basement conversions, while others plain out do not. Checking with your city first will avoid spending money for nothing if unfeasible, but also allow you to budget accordingly in the case that regulations allow it so long as you have certain elements. Simply making your basement look like an apartment (i.e. has a bathroom, kitchen, living space, etc.) isn’t enough. You’ll need to pass inspection, so budget accordingly and make sure your new space has what it needs for your future tenants. Once you know your basement conversion can be done, it’ll be time to move on to its plans/drawings.
PLANNING OUT YOUR BASEMENT APARTMENT
To plan out your basement apartment, you’ll need the help of an architect, technologist, engineer, or any other qualified tradesman to draw up the plans. In Ontario, your chosen qualified professional should have a BCIN (Building code Inspection Number), whereas, in Quebec, they should have their RBQ (Régie du bâtiment du Quebec) license number. The professional designing your basement’s plans will take into consideration the legal and safety precautions that will need to be taken care of, but also any specific needs and desires you might have for the space. Once the plans are drawn out, you’ll be able to request permits to follow through with the renovation project. Without these plans, you won’t be able to get the required permits for the job you want to get done. That’s another reason why getting qualified professionals to draw out the plans is crucial; they’ll know what to include to make sure you get the permits you need. Here are 5 Tips for renovating your Basement Apartment.
BASEMENT APARTMENT REQUIREMENTS
As mentioned, your basement apartment will surely need to follow certain rules and regulations to allow you to provide the space to tenants. You’ll need to ensure there are enough means of egress, as well as fireproofing and fire separation elements. AREAWAY & OTHER MEANS OF EGRESS Emergency exits are crucial to for your new basement apartment. Having a safe, unobstructed exit from the basement to the outdoors is mandatory. Depending on where you live, there will be requirements according to their sizes and how many you’ll need for your basement. Ideally, you’d have an entryway, or more commonly called an ‘areaway’ for your basement. If you don’t already have an entrance door to your basement, this will run up the project’s costs considerably. However, if your budget permits, putting an areaway in for your basement conversion will increase your new property’s appeal to potential tenants – also allowing you to increase your rent. FIREPROOFING SAFETY MEASURES Besides safe fire escapes, you’ll need to verify what other fireproofing elements your municipality requires. Generally, they’ll ask for the entry door (whether it is directly outdoors or connected to an indoor stairway) be fire rated. The same goes the windows in the basement. Though, there may actually be a limit to the number of windows you’re allowed to have overall. Your fire-rated doors might even need to close automatically. This way, in the event, that there’s a fire, the tenants can evacuate quickly without worrying about closing the door. The door will then retain the fire within and delay the fire’s onset to the outdoors or other parts of the house. You can even get flame retardant gypsum as a safety precaution. Here are 5 Tips for renovating your Basement Apartment. SOUNDPROOFING YOUR BASEMENT APARTMENT Now that you’ve settled on what you’ll be doing for your basement apartment, it might be time to consider your privacy. So many soundproofing options are available to you – whether they be quick-fix soundproofing options or long-term ones. Though, seeing as you’re only starting your basement conversion adventure, we highly suggest discussing your wants and needs in the soundproofing department with your contractors. They’ll be able to find the right solutions for you and implement them before closing up the walls and the ceiling. You surely won’t regret considering soundproofing your basement ceiling. Want an estimate? Try our Basement Finishing Cost Calculator. READY TO GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR BASEMENT APARTMENT?