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Basement Apartments

When you consider the cost of buying a new home or condo, especially in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), it’s easy to see why so many homeowners are considering building basement apartments. Many basements are larger than 1 and even 2 bedroom condos, and can typically be finished for a fraction of the cost, and because the heating, electrical, water, taxes, insurance, cable and phone can be shared, the cost of living is dramatically less.

10 Basement Apartment Ideas For You To Get Inspired

Having a place to call your own is something most of us desire – to be able to live with comfort, somewhere neat and cozy. While some people prefer to share a space with friends, others are more at ease on their own. And, while some prefer to live in high buildings, others prefer houses – and others, basements.

Basements are quite polemical when it comes to house preferences – many tenants avoid such options, however, at the same time, these settings have proved to be quite practical as well. If you have rented a basement, or are considering living in one, this article will help you to organize it – and turn the place into a great atmosphere.

In this article, we will go through 10 essential tips for your basement to look marvelous.

Why Renovating Your Basement is a Great Idea

Settling yourself in a space that contains dark colours, few lamps and minuscule windows will affect your mental health – especially if you live alone and it is -30 degrees outside! The ideal is to have as much light as possible, and allow the Sun to come in, somehow. It might also be a good idea to have a lot of free space and to fix any issue – or potential issues – in the foundation of the house.

Therefore, renovating your basement can be a great idea. Here are some things you can do to change the layout of your home:

Have your own entrance

The house must have its door, and your basement must have it as well. With a separate entrance, you will be able to have more privacy and space within your basement.

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Have your own washing machines

We can’t talk about a basement without mentioning how many of them share laundry machines with the upstairs house. Just like the separate entrance, having your own set of washing and drying machines is essential for your privacy.

Invest on a complete kitchen

A proper kitchen doesn’t have to take much space – but it can still contain all basic and essential utilities. This will give you more comfort and functionality in your own place.

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Basements entertainment areas

Build a fireplace

Basements are notoriously colder than houses, so building a fireplace by one of the walls might not be first in the list of priorities, but it can definitely add some charm to your place while keeping it warm.

Have heated floors

If, for some reason, you opt out of having a fireplace: have heat in the floors. While controlling the thermostat can be tricky sometimes, heated floors will add an extra comfort in the winter.

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Basements bar & kitchen

Risk on high ceilings

There’s a 7-foot rule when it comes to how tall the ceiling of a basement should be – make sure to make use of as much space as possible to leave your place as tall as it can be.

Lots and lots of light

Have as many bulbs and lamps as you can – but make sure they are not hanging very low from the ceiling. The idea is not only to make your place illuminated, but also to give it as much space as you can.

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Add white

The walls, ceiling and floor should be of very light tons of colour. Aside from having lamps of white-light style bulbs, invest in the white also when it comes to the painting and decoration. This way, your basement can turn brighter.

Have an open-concept

Keeping the space for the living room and kitchen close to the entrance will help you give the impression that your basement has a lot of space – just keep your bedroom out of sight at first glance.

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Fireplaces Basement

Be minimalistic

Invest in a light-coloured, chic and minimalist decoration. If you want to give the visual impression that your basement is spacious, avoid placing a lot of objects around the house, and avoid a ferocious amount of vivid and vibrant colors as well.

These simple and practical ideas will definitely create a much better look of your basement – and you will either live in more comfort, or be able to rent the place easier and faster.


For multi-generational families, parents and in-laws who are downsizing, and even for live-in domestic help like nannies, basement apartments can make tremendous sense. It is important to understand local zoning and building bylaws as well as fire codes to understand what you legally can and cannot do.

Basement apartments typically consist of a bedroom with closet space, a bathroom, a kitchenette, a den or tv room, and an efficiency laundry room with a small sink and a stacked washer and dryer, if the ceiling height permits. If not, a side by side unit. Take a look at our laundry room ideas.

Basement Apartments – In-Law Suites

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Need living space for elderly extended family? An in-law suite in the finished basement can be practical, convenient, inexpensive and safer alternative to retirements homes.

Basement Apartments – Nanny Suites

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Need living space for live in domestic help. A nanny suite can not only provide your caregiver with the privacy they need, it can become a source of rental income, as room and board can be deducted from their salary.

Basement Apartments – Rental Units

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Looking for a way to help pay down the mortgage and cover utilities like heat, hydro, water and cable? A basement apartment rental unit could just be the investment vehicle you’re looking for. Talk to us about local bylaws and codes.

Basement Apartments rank #5 on our list of great finished basement ideas.

Basement Projects We Have Done