Build your basement for rent | The press

Often unloved and neglected, the basement has several advantages. It can become a very pleasant place to stay if certain conditions are met. Here are some tips for getting it set up right…while staying compliant.

Posted at 12:00 p.m

Emmanuelle Mozayan-Verschaeve

Emmanuelle Mozayan-Verschaeve
special cooperation

Effective soundproofing

“Prefer the best possible sound insulation on the ceiling of the apartment to reduce noise between the basement and the ground floor,” explains Louise Lajeunesse, project manager at Construction JG Lajeunesse. More specifically, it recommends injection insulation between joists. “Then all you have to do is close the ceiling with the plasterboard and paint it. Performed by a specialist contractor, sound insulation injected into 12-inch thick joists costs between $2.50 and $3 per square foot when holes must be drilled in an existing ceiling. If not required, the cost is $1.50 to $1.75 per square foot. A good craftsman can carry out this type of work, but it is recommended to call in a contractor to benefit from a guarantee and an impeccable result.

A dry and warm soil

Since moisture can be a major problem in a basement, it is necessary to choose a well-suited floor. Among the best options, vinyl flooring lined with a small rubber-like membrane provides excellent walking comfort. Underfloor heating can also make the difference. “It’s generally more expensive, but it adds value to the home,” says Louise Lajeunesse. The cost of heated floors on a ready to move in floor is $10 to $14 per square foot. As far as looks are concerned, the wooden surfaces bring a welcome warmth.

Smart design choices

Once the basement shell is complete, it’s time for the layout and design decisions. Isabelle Morin, general contractor and interior designer for Vision Rénov in Quebec, shares some tips that can entice renters and increase property value. “It’s better to stay neutral to please everyone and pale for clarity,” says Isabelle Morin. Even high-quality materials make a difference at first glance. Some people are a little reluctant to rent a basement, but they quickly change their mind when they see that the layout is neat. It’s also good to be creative and think outside the box by suggesting unique layouts. For example, we add an interesting space like a study corner, which has been very popular since the pandemic, by incorporating a desk and shelves. »

Optimized brightness

Discreet but effective recessed luminaires, chosen in a warm white tone with an output of 3500 Kelvin, ensure a pleasant ambient light, especially if they are equipped with dimmers. Natural light is ideal, so don’t hesitate to drill additional windows or enlarge existing ones if possible. “You can also use glazed or semi-glazed partitions or glass block walls to separate two rooms without blocking light and creating a sublime effect. All you have to do is add a curtain if you want to completely isolate the space,” continues Isabelle Morin. Opting for kitchen and bathroom cabinet fronts with a glossy finish that reflects light can also create a beautiful visual effect.

Provide storage and clothing window


PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

High-quality materials and white cabinets give the kitchen in Lisette Dubé’s basement apartment a bright and chic ambience.

Consider creating a closet in the bedroom and storage in the bathroom and, if possible, using corners to include lockers and shelves so the tenant can store their belongings without cluttering their space with too much furniture. You can also dress the windows with blinds or canvas to avoid the tenant having to buy them and bring more warmth into the accommodation. He can always add curtains if he wants, but the most important thing is done.

additional lines

Finally, Isabelle Morin suggests offering attractive benefits to the tenant, such as appliances, free internet and heating, access to the family pool, the courtyard or even the creation of a patio area just for him.

Good to know

Renting out your basement generates a significant income that allows you to absorb part of the mortgage, but if you need to apply for financing from your bank, be aware that it only takes into account 50% of the rental income because it takes into account that there are defaults or periods of vacancy.

  • Lisette Dubé appreciates many large windows.  “It's very bright and I don't have to turn on any lights during the day.  »

    PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

    Lisette Dubé appreciates many large windows. “It’s very bright and I don’t have to turn on any lights during the day. »

  • The charming living room by Lisette Dubé.  White partitions, doors and curtains accentuate the light and the wood-finished floor provides warmth.

    PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

    The charming living room by Lisette Dubé. White partitions, doors and curtains accentuate the light and the wood-finished floor provides warmth.

  • In the dark, recessed lights in a warm white tone provide warm light in all rooms of the apartment, including the bedroom.

    PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

    In the dark, recessed lights in a warm white tone provide warm light in all rooms of the apartment, including the bedroom.

  • The owners have built enough storage space in the basement for their tenant, including in the bathroom.

    PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

    The owners have built enough storage space in the basement for their tenant, including in the bathroom.

1/4

to follow rules


PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

Line Dubé prefers their basement apartment to an apartment. “The owners are very nice and I feel more ‘at home’ here, like in a house. I also have a back patio which I find better than a balcony. I’ve been there for three years and it’s really quiet and pleasant. »

“There are several elements that you don’t necessarily think of, but that are required by local authorities when you want to rent out your basement. Each city has its own regulations and it is important to check their conditions before doing anything,” informs Louise Lajeunesse, Project Manager at Construction JG Lajeunesse.

In general, municipalities require:

– That the area of ​​the dwelling is smaller than that of the owner’s dwelling (about 30% less), including the technical room if the tenant has access to it.

– A minimum ceiling height of seven feet, ideally eight.

– Windows large enough for a person to come out, including those in the bedrooms.

– Smoke detectors, also in each bedroom.

In addition to these duties, it makes sense:

– Create an independent entrance to ensure everyone’s privacy.

– Installation of a sanitary installation independent from the main house to facilitate access.

– Have an independent air exchanger, especially to facilitate filter maintenance.

– Installation of two electricity meters to determine consumption in each case. If the rent includes electricity, you can deduct the cost of your tenant’s meter on your tax return. Don’t forget to specify the correct amperage for devices.

– ask your renter to take out insurance for their personal belongings. For your part, you must inform your insurer that you intend to rent your basement in order to pay for coverage that includes a renter.

– Drill new windows as needed to maximize natural light.

Leave a Comment