Renting out part of your home as a living space is an excellent source of income. One of the best ways to do that is by transforming your basement into a living space.
Have questions about affordably renovating your basement into a place someone would be happy to call home? GOBankingRates asked experts for tips on how to turn your basement into a rental unit. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Consider the Logistics
There are some things essential to consider before heading over to Home Depot and getting started.
Dan Close, founder and CEO of We Buy Houses in Kentucky, says, “The first thing to determine is whether or not renting out your basement is permissible in your area. Upon receiving a positive response, the next logical question is, ‘What are the construction requirements?’ It’s possible that the rules and regulations that apply when building a rental unit vary from those that apply when remodeling your home.”
Determining whether the project is possible is essential, otherwise it’ll come back to haunt you later.
“Decide whether or not your project will comply with building regulations before you begin it, since if it doesn’t, you may have trouble selling your house in the future. Determine what form of permission is necessary for your area by checking with your local authorities,” says Close.
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2. Establish a Solid Budget
Creating a budget for the project will help prevent overspending and can give insight on the cost of upkeep.
Antoine Boquen, CEO and co-founder of NH Global, says, “Creating a budget for the project can assist you in determining how long it will be before you start seeing a return on your investment and if the costs will be greater than the benefits of completing the project. The average cost of converting a basement into an apartment ranges between $50,000 and $75,000. This price takes into account the addition of a full bathroom, kitchen and other facilities.”
Because the basement becomes a complete living space, there are a lot of costs to take into account — even after the building stage. It’s good to also create a budget for upkeep and repairs for the space’s facilities so you can pay for them ASAP.
3. Make It Presentable — Affordably
There are plenty of ways that you can make your basement unit more presentable and enticing to possible tenants.
Martin Lassen, founder and CEO of Grammarhow, says, “Making sure it’s clean and newly painted is the simplest and most cost-effective solution. Anything that appears extremely antiquated should be replaced, so long as the expense is reasonable. You may opt to replace the knobs and handles on your kitchen cabinets or the faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms.”
Finding cheap cosmetic things to update or fix makes your basement apartment feel more homey. For example, just cycling out old cabinet handles for new ones will keep the space looking fresh.
4. Create a Realistic Floor Plan
The floor plan of your basement will determine the floor plan of the apartment itself, unless you plan on making major renovations like adding rooms.
Gerrid Smith, e-commerce growth specialist at Joy Organics, says, “If you’re converting an unfinished basement, it can be more cost-effective to build a studio apartment. If your basement already includes rooms, consider which walls to preserve or remove in order to make a workable kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom. You should also integrate ample storage space and, if possible, a laundry room.”
The floor plan of your basement flat depends on how you want it to look, the already existing floor plan and most importantly, what your overall budget is.
5. Make Your Basement Bigger
If you have the funds, consider increasing the height of your basement to add more space and comfort.
Brady McAninch, founder and CEO of Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, says “If your ceilings do not satisfy minimum height requirements, you must lower your basement using underpinning or benching. Because it includes modifying your home’s foundation, this remodeling is expensive and must be completed with great care by professionals. Underpinning will add two feet of height to your basement. Benching normally costs two-thirds as much as underpinning. Preparation costs include additional steel structures, plumbing and waterproofing.”
6. Invite Natural Light In
Because of their placement in the home, basements miss out on natural light. If your basement flat resembles a dark dungeon it can easily scare away potential tenants.
Andrew Priobrazhenskyi, CEO of DiscountReactor, says, “You can consider constructing a window well or an exit that lets sunshine into the room. The installation of a solar tube in the basement is another option worth considering because of its ability to illuminate previously dark places and nooks.”
How natural light enters the unit is up to you, but what’s important is that your future tenants can get some vitamin D without needing to go outside for it.
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