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What to Consider When Designing a Basement Apartment

Whether you’re hoping to move in a relative or generate some rental income, building a basement apartment is a great way to add space and value to your home. Make sure this investment is done right by keeping these factors in mind:


Check local zoning laws and regulations. Building codes differ depending on where you live, so before you start any planning take time to research your local by-laws for fire safety, layout, sound-proofing and other requirements. If you want to make it a rental property, keep in mind that many municipalities require that basement apartments have a private, separate entrance.


Decide on rooms and layout. Do you want to build a studio, one bedroom or two? There are a few things that will affect your decision. A studio will be easier and cheaper to build, but you’ll be able to charge a higher rent if the unit has one or two bedrooms. Creating separate living and kitchen areas can also command a premium on the rental market or provide more convenience for your live-in guests.


Make smart flooring choices. Carpet, LVT or laminate – whatever material you choose, be sure to use a subfloor. Not just an add-on to basement renovations, a subfloor is a foundation to a properly built basement apartment. Help protect your flooring investment from moisture and insulate against the cold concrete with DRICORE® Subfloors. These subfloor panels have been designed with Air Gap Technology to help keep basement floors dry, comfortable and cozy throughout the year.


Consider some nice-to-haves. While none of these are mandatory, many nice-to-haves make everyday living easier and more comfortable for both your family and whoever is living in your basement, whether it’s an in-law or a tenant. Individually controlled heating and cooling mean no fighting over the indoor climate, and a separate laundry room will allow everyone to have privacy and convenience. Think about not just what you need for right now, but what you may want down the line – such as a dishwasher or shower.


Find more information at

Skip Bedell (TV Host and Professional Contractor)

“You never want to put your finished floors on top of wet, damp, and cold concrete. DRICORE® Subfloors gives you a layer of protection to help with moisture and cold coming from concrete.”

Skip Bedell

Steve Maxwell (Professional Contractor)

“Nobody wants a musty smell in the house and that’s why I go with DRICORE® Subfloors.”

Steve Maxwell

Bryan Baeumler (HGTV Host and Professional Contractor)

“In my mind, you cannot finish a basement without putting down DRICORE®. Every house I’ve ever built has DRICORE® in the basement, it’s the only way to do it.”

Bryan Baeumler


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