5 Awesome Tips for Turning a Basement into a Rental Unit

When it comes down to renting out your basement, you have to consider making it an ideal place for anyone to live in. That said, you might want to consider refurbishing your basement before you get it listed.

If you have plans to convert this part of the property into a rental unit, it’s important to go through this carefully. One thing’s for sure, there’s a lot more you need to do than give the walls a fresh coat of paint.  

white comforter set

So whether you are new to the game of leasing or you’re a seasoned veteran, here are a few things you need to keep in mind when preparing your basement for potential renters:

Learn about the legalities 

Depending on where you are, you have to comply with local laws that are specific to the kind of work you want to get done in your basement. As the property owner, you will have to apply for a building permit before making any modifications. You are also required to install smoke detectors and other safety equipment. There are lots of legal obstacles for you to hurdle prior to undertaking a major renovation project or adding a secondary suite to your home, so be sure to review local regulations and tax ordinances and steer clear of any potential violations.

Do a bit of plumbing

The most important thing about renovating your basement is to add a kitchen and bathroom. This will involve a great deal of plumbing and pipe-laying. Before that, you have to inspect the basement’s water lines and check for leaks and corrosion. For sure, leaks are one of the most common causes of basement flooding, so it’s important to work with a plumber who can help you identify and seal up any cracks that could lead to numerous issues.

Consider adding natural light

If you ask anyone, living in a basement has to be the saddest experience ever, and that’s because this is the part of the house that doesn’t get enough natural light.

brown wooden door in room

That said, if your space looks like the picture above, you might want to add a window well or egress that allows sunlight to seep in. Adding a solar tube is another worthwhile idea as it helps illuminate dark corners and portions of the basement.

Work with the space

The size of your basement should be your starting point when it comes to designing the interior. For a small basement, you have to choose larger furniture and fixtures that will really give it the illusion of size. You can also paint the ceiling using neutral colors such as white, grey, or beige. Using these colors can help give your basement a broader width and attract eager renters.

Add some insulation

Aside from aesthetic features, you also need to make sure that renters will get comfortable, regardless of the weather. For this, make sure to insulate your walls with the right R-values before you replace or rehabilitate the panels. 

man in green crew neck t-shirt holding smoking pipe

Converting your basement into a rental unit can provide massive payoffs. You only have to make sure that you go about it the right way using the guide above. And don’t forget to give your project a dash of creativity.