Everything You Need To Know About In-Law Suite Basement

Everything You Need To Know About

In-Law Suite Basement


For many, the basement is a cluttered and useless space. However, homeowners choose to turn it into a functional space that has the potential for bringing an additional income to the household. An in-law suite basement is a highly popular home renovation project that brings many benefits. Whether you want to make your home more attractive in the eyes of potential buyers or to have extra space, it’s worth it. If you are thinking about turning your basement into a walk-in apartment, you certainly may use some helpful tips. Make sure that you don’t miss our guide!

The benefits of in-law suite basement

Increase the value of the home

If you plan to sell your home in the future, keep in mind that this addition will increase your property’s value. No matter what their preferences and needs are, anyone could use some extra space. Walk-out basements are considered as increased living space. This addition will increase your property’s price on the real estate market, so it is a pretty smart investment.

Have aging parents closer

Many people prefer to care for the elderly rather than sending them to a retirement home. Finding a good facility is difficult and costly, so in this case, an in-law suite will work perfectly. The parents will have commodity and privacy while still having 24/7 access to assistance. When planning the design, make sure to adjust it to their needs.

Guest room

One of the most common problems is the lack of a guest bedroom. If you don’t have where to accommodate your guests, this will be a perfect option. It will offer them comfort, as well as privacy.

Additional rent income

Toronto is a highly popular city to live in, but many will find it quite expensive. With the high rent prices, tenants are interested in basement apartments as a cheaper option. The rent is 20% lower when compared to other units in the building, so it is a pretty good deal. This is an excellent option for them to stay in the heart of the city but still save money.

Whether you want help with paying the mortgage or earn extra money when selling your home, an in-law basement is a great choice. Homebuyers will see the potential, so your home will have an advantage in the real estate market.

The demand for rental units is expected to grow in the next four years. According to a report by RBC Economics, GTA won’t be able to handle the increased demand. It further states that the supply should double so that the city can answer the increased demand. Many homeowners will spot the opportunity and invest in their basement to get a stable income over the next few years and beyond.

Offering additional value in your home means that you can earn extra money. The more amenities you provide for your tenants, the higher rent you can charge. Consider some of the following features to increase the rental value:

  • A separate laundry is a favored feature. Your tenants would prefer to have their individual washer, rather than having to go upstairs. If you don’t have space for a separate closet, stack the machine vertically and hide them in a cupboard for a tidy look.
  • Consider adding independent heating and air conditioning systems. Tenants will be able to control the temperature according to their needs.
  • A separate entrance is an excellent feature if you want to rent the property. Your tenants will appreciate the privacy and find it more convenient to have their entry.

Another good option is to rent your in-law suite to tourists using platforms such as Airbnb. The price will depend on the amenities that you will offer, so make a smart choice.

Private space for young adults

When your kids grow up, they will likely seek privacy. An in-law suite will allow them to be independent while staying close to you. You won’t complain about being noisy with their friends, and they will learn how to be independent.

Building Process (in Ontario)


Before you get started, you need to obtain a basement permit. Homeowners are required to send an application for a permit to construct a Residential Development Charge Form and drawings on the local authorities’ official mail. Then, they will be notified by email whether the request is approved or not.


There are various contractors you can turn to, but make sure to pick a reputable and trusted one. Ask for a free estimate to find an offer that fits your budget. However, don’t go for the lowest offer you get. Instead, consider what does each company offer and if you need to face additional costs later. Some contractors will provide assistance for obtaining the required permits to save you time and effort. Besides, Level Up Basements wants to make your experience hassle-free and convenient and offers estimates, material choice, and engineering assistance.

Legal requirements

To be eligible, your project shouldn’t include exterior changes. Besides, the suit floor area shouldn’t be larger than your home, and there should be three parking lots available. There are some more legal requirements that you should comply with. These can vary from city to city, so make sure to check with local authorities first.



When it comes to design, homeowners prefer to have more rooms divided by walls. While an open-space plan offers spaciousness, tenants would prefer to have a separate bedroom. Having two bedrooms will increase the home’s market value, but plan according to the size of the space. Don’t try to fit more rooms than is possible, as they will be too small and cramped.

Use multifunctional furniture

Make sure to get 2 in 1 furniture to save some precious space. A bed-couch can quickly be transformed into an extra bed for overnight guests. Benches and chests can offer additional seating and storage space in one.

Add storage options

  • For small spaces, storage can be a huge problem. Add hooks or floating shelves to use every inch of the vertical space. Shelves above the radiators and door moldings is a sneaky trick that will make a huge difference.
  • For the kitchen, extend the cabinets to the ceiling to get some extra storage. It is all about using every inch of the space in a creative way, so consider all the options you have available.
  • In the living room, replace the TV console with a dresser, as it will take the same floor space but offer more storage space. Are you thinking about adding a statement wall for visual interest? Instead of adding artwork or painting it, turn it into a functional storage space. Whether you prefer to add shelves, a ledge, or a narrow storage rack next to the sofa, there are many options to consider.
  • If bedrooms are too small, make sure to add a bed with a built-in drawer. This is an excellent choice for storing the bedding.
  • Basement apartments don’t have spacious hallways so that shoe storage might be a problem. To keep them neat and organized, consider vertical shoe organizers. These are narrow and won’t take much of your precious space.

Bright walls

Another thing that you should consider is light walls. The basement lacks natural sunlight, so white walls will make it feel airy and spacious. If white appears too dull for you, don’t worry. You can still introduce textures to break up the monotonous look. Stick with gray tones if you prefer a modern look. On the other hand, make sure to avoid warm tones as they look too aggressive.

Visually higher ceiling

Some basements might have a low ceiling, so you need to put effort into making it visually higher. You can do this by painting the walls and the ceiling in the same color. Another decorating trick is to add thin bookshelves or large pieces of artwork. Also, be careful when choosing the right furniture. Make sure to stick with low-profile furniture to increase the space above it.

Another useful trick for making the ceiling look higher is to add long drapes. If the basement has ground floor windows, add a ceiling to floor drapes for a spacious look.

Proper decor

While adding decor can make the space feel cozy, it can make it look cluttered too. For the best effect, add large pieces of artwork. Avoid using lots of small decorations, and pick fewer large pieces that fit the particular instead. This will make the basement look tasteful and attractive to tenants.

How much does a basement renovation cost?

Various factors will determine the cost of renovating your basement. Expect to pay $35 – $55 per square foot, as this is the average cost in Toronto. If you have a 1,000 square feet basement, you will pay from $35,000-$55,000 for the whole project. However, the final cost will depend on the chosen materials, current condition, the complexity of the selected design, and upgrades. Adding a basement bathroom will cost from $10,000 to $15,000, but will pay off in the long run.


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