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Convert Your Basement Into a Rental Apartment

In many homes, the basement is a messy space where you find seldom-used sports equipment, an oversized chest freezer, out of season clothes, and broken appliances waiting for repair. Often, the only area well utilized is the laundry and furnace room. So why not make that huge space work for you? Create a rental apartment as a source of supplemental income, whether to help pay off your mortgage or offset your property taxes. Your basement can be an investment that will pay for itself in only a few years.

That sounds like a great idea! But where do you start and what do you do?

  1. Consult a professional: It takes time and know-how to turn a basement into a rental apartment. Your contractor knows the building codes/regulations, how to obtain building permits, and the zoning laws in your area. He will know the fireproofing elements your municipality demands and the parking requirements for residents. Are you informed about smoke alarms, windows, and lighting? Your contractor is.
  2. Check for health and safety issues: With the help of your contractor, check for issues such as radon or mold infestation and address them before you begin the renovation.
  3. Set a budget: Determine how much you want to invest in your basement rental suite and then discuss this budget with your contractor. He can help you make decisions that will keep you within your financial limits.
  4. Design your apartment: Do you want a traditional suite or a studio apartment? Will you rent to a single person, a couple or a small family? Have your contractor help you draw up plans that incorporate your design ideas.
  5. Pay attention to flooring: Basement floors can feel cool and damp. Consider a cozy carpet or in-floor heating.
  6. Consider amenities: Do you want to share your laundry room with your tenants or will you install a stacked apartment size washer and dryer in the rental unit?  Will you include a microwave? How much storage space will you create? Will you provide the window covers?
  7. Make careful color choices: Be cautious of color trends. You don’t want to repaint every year! Warm neutral colors create a welcoming space and allow your tenants to add their own style.
  8. To furnish or not to furnish: Furnishing your basement apartment will increase your rental income and allow you to list with AirBnB. However, you will then need to decide upon and purchase furnishings. Are furnished apartments popular in your area? Find out.
  9. Consider renters: Decide what level of maintenance you expect from your tenants and indicate this in your advertisements and when speaking to prospective renters.

Econo Basements can turn your basement into a rental apartment. From a simple upgrade to complete development, they will ensure you get the most out of your basement suite. Offering a 5 year warranty on all work done, Econo Basements complies with Alberta’s building codes, does a free one year inspection, and will even help you finance the transformation. Call them at (403) 261-2926 or email at