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.
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.