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Basement Apartment

Planning an apartment takes a great deal of preparation and consideration.  It can get rather expensive, so you need to be clear with your contractor about your needs.

Basement Apartment

When speaking with a contractor about a basement apartment, you should be very clear in terminology.  There are two options:  remodelling an existing basement to accommodate an apartment, and creating a basement apartment from scratch.  The second choice means pouring a foundation and then constructing the apartment.  The first option is merely a renovation of existing space. 

Adding an apartment to your existing home has a number of advantages.  You can rent out the space and apply that money toward your mortgage.  It will also increase the value of your home at resale time.  It can also be for a relative who just needs some companionship but still treasures independence. 

Planning an apartment takes a great deal of preparation and consideration.  It can get rather expensive, so you need to be clear with your contractor about your needs.

Our Process

Dealing with a basement is a specialized area.  It can be a complex issue of moisture, heat and light.  We are able to make any necessary repairs before beginning your renovation project.  Our skilled professionals understand the challenges of a basement area and have many solutions to issues found there. 

We understand construction as well as design.  We incorporate both factors into your project so that you can have the best finished product available.  We understand the overall scope of an undertaking like this and have the expertise to advise what will work and what will fail.  

There are a number of ways to approach modernizing a basement area.  We first assess the existing space and gather your information to give you the results you want.  We can complete any structural reinforcements and help make the area aesthetically pleasing, functional, and secure.

Considerations About a Basement Apartment

If you have a basement that you are considering renovating into an apartment, it is not a bad idea.  There are a few things to remember though.

Legal and Safety Issues

They area will need to comply with all provincial, city, local and insurance regulations.  The first place to start is with an emergency exit.  This can be a door or window but needs to be an egress where anyone living in the new apartment can safely exit in case of a fire or other disaster. 

Failing to include this critical element means the construction will not be approved and you could face some serious consequences.  This is a serious issue.


Since the basement is underground, there is probably no natural light source.  That means you need to plan for sufficient lamination to be safe and comfortable for your tenant.  A good choice is LED lighting that is economical and yet provides enough light for the purpose.



It is critical that there be sufficient insulation to block the sound from the apartment into the main portion of the house, and vice versa.  There should also be some appropriate protection to prevent a fire from spreading from one section to the other.

Kitchen and Bath

If the area is not stubbed in for a plumbing system in the basement, this is the first thing that needs to happen.  All of the plumbing input lines, as well as waste disposal must be dealt with early in the construction phase.  You can economize a bit by installing a kitchenette rather than a full kitchen and a smaller bath area.


Colors in a basement apartment are important.  Our designers suggest light, neutral colors.