Finishing your basement to rent out is a great use of the empty space under your main living area. If your basement is less of a living space for your household and more of a storage area, put it to better use by turning it into an apartment you can rent out.
Before you get started, check out your city’s zoning laws. You may need to make some renovations specifically to comply with these laws, and you don’t want to be halfway through the project and realize that the space isn’t up to code.
You’ll also want to get a contractor to inspect the plumbing and electrical systems. You’ll need to install a kitchen or kitchenette and a full bathroom, so you might need to make some upgrades to the plumbing to accommodate these changes.
Also, have a professional check for mold, pests and radon to help ensure the space you’ll be renting out is safe.
Once you know that the project you’re about to embark on is safe and legal, decide whether you want an open floor plan or separate rooms. Unless you have an especially large basement, an open floor plan is better for both you and the renter because you’ll spend less time and money building walls, and their living space will feel less cramped and crowded.
Finishing Your Basement to Rent Out
When finishing the walls, floors and ceilings, make sure that they are properly insulated. This is important for both warmth and for muffling sound. You’ll also need to waterproof the basement.
Basement floors are usually cold and dirty looking, so you’ll need to have carpet laid on top. While it might be tempting to splurge on hardwood floors to increase the value of the apartment, there is a danger that moisture could warp them, so resist this urge. Carpeting is cheaper and easier to replace, regardless of how it gets damaged.
A separate entrance is crucial to a basement apartment. Not only does an exit to the street provide privacy to you and the renter, but it is necessary to comply with zoning laws in many places.
Many zoning codes also require egress windows, so you may need to have windows expanded or installed. If your basement is too far below ground, you may need to have window wells built as well.
These are some of the most important things to consider when finishing your basement to rent out, but there is more you’ll have to decide on your own: whether to get a separate washer and dryer, what furniture to buy, what type of lighting to install and more. Making the necessary renovations to rent out your basement can be a big project, but it can also turn a profit and be worth it in the end.
For help finishing your basement to rent out, rely on Falk Construction. We are the experts in remodeling, and we specialize in basements. We are also general contractors. Call us today to talk about finishing your basement to rent out.