Level Up Group

Basement Apartment


You may plan to transform your basement into a basement apartment for a few reasons – generate extra income, give more independence to your teens, have your relatives live with you, or add living quarters for kids’ nanny. No matter what the reason is, it has to be planned according to the regulations and provide safety and comfort.

As prices for real estate go steadily up, more and more families rely on income from renting out a basement apartment. An average size basement can bring you anywhere from 1200 to 1400 a month.

In many cases it can easily take care of a big part of the mortgage, or cover your utility bills and taxes. It simply makes living in your home affordable. Adding a basement apartment to your home will increase your house resale value. Out of all renovation projects basement apartment renovation has a very high return on Investment value – up to 70%.

Getting permit & approvals for legal basement apartment

If you plan to renovate your basement to be used as an apartment, it is best if the plans and drawings for approval are drafted by an experienced architect. The process will entail approval at the paperwork stage, as well as physical inspection by municipal representatives at specific stages of construction.

Our team at Level Up will take care of the entire process – from basement plans, submitting fees for permits to final permits and approval.

Although the approval adds extra time to the process – in the long run, it is in your interest. You will have the formal conclusion that the space is fit for living, which will positively affect your house resale value.

Basement Apartment Entrance

Independent basement entrance is one of the challenges, as some of the house layouts can be limiting.

Basement entrance can be added from the side of the house (provided there is enough clearance between your and neighbor’s house), from the backyard, garage, and from the house facade. Only experienced builders can determine whether it can be done.

Basement Apartment Ontario Health and Safety Standards

Although your layout plans will be done by an experienced architect, there some general information that you need to know.

  • the apartment floor plan has to allow for 2 exits.(even if one of them is an egress window)
  • Bedrooms should have windows for light and ventilation purposes

These standards are easier to meet in the newer built houses, while in the older houses you might even need to consider basement benching or underpinning to add required height.

Planning basement Apartment layout

A basement apartment unit should be fully self-contained, especially if you are planning to rent it out. When planning the layout you should consider:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Living space
  • Common space (common room, corridor, entrance)
  • Bedroom(s)

If the floor is spacious enough you can still plan additional useful space for your own use: storage, laundry on the same level.

If you are planning to rent out the unit – you will have to research the rental market in your area to see if you want to rent it as independent rooms or a complete apartment. This way you can adapt the space for your needs much better at the planning stage.

If you are adding an apartment just for your family members – you have much more flexibility – you do not necessarily need a separate entrance, you can share laundry. Moreover, you can create a more flexible floor plan – with larger common space, open concept kitchen or bar, and one bedroom.

A space like this will definitely add value to your house, as it can be used as a family room with a guest bedroom, or easily convert back as a one-bedroom apartment.


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