A basement is always useful, but most homes that have them simply leave them as a storage space. Without any real purpose, it is easy for a basement to go to waste and never really get used in any meaningful way – despite having a massive amount of potential.
Creating a basement apartment is a great use of an otherwise-empty space, creating more living space and opening up a lot more room for day-to-day activities. Of course, knowing how to create one of these spaces in the first place is always the most important step.
Always take care of the legal side of things before you try to make a basement apartment. Not all municipalities will have the same laws and restrictions on how basement areas can be used, and there can often be certain regulations that you will need to comply with regardless.
You need to make sure that your basement apartment idea is legal before you start any work, just to ensure that you are not breaking any major laws by doing so. It is cheaper to alter your renovation plans than to change things after the renovations are already complete, so take your time and plan it all out carefully.
Even if basement apartments are not entirely legal in your state, you can still turn your basement into a living space. The legal differences between an ‘apartment’ and a ‘room’ can be unusual, but the latter will almost always be an option, so you might just have to change a few things on your plan.
A basement is usually going to be a single room, which means that you only have so much space to work with. However, many people who create basement apartments will intentionally split the basement into different rooms with internal walls, creating defined areas or sub-rooms.
This is not just useful for creating distinct areas, like a bathroom or bedroom, but also for breaking up light and sound. A basement can’t always benefit from the same options as a normal room, so creative thinking can be important when trying to deal with the living conditions there.
For example, how much privacy does your basement apartment need? Walls can easily break up sightlines between areas, but you do not want the space to be too cramped, especially not if it is meant to be a living space that somebody can use in daily life.
Some basement apartments are only two rooms, while others may feel like an entirely new floor of the main home, complete with a separate dining room. This all depends on the kind of basement you have to work with and what type of space you want to create.
Basements are notoriously cold in most cases, and there is nowhere that shows it more than the flooring. Basement floors tend to be very cold, lacking heating or anything that can keep the cold air from chilling them – so you want to think about how you will tackle that.
Some people will install entirely new sections of flooring, from vinyl tiles to hardwood, on top of the existing flooring. Others may get larger-scale work done, trying to replace the flooring that is already there instead of building on top of it.
A simpler option can be to use carpets, which are much better at capturing heat and offering a comfortable flooring choice. However, this all depends on the room since most basement apartments are going to contain all the elements of a small home.
Creating a basement apartment can be quite a complex task, and it also tends to produce a lot of debris and waste that you will have to get rid of. This can be a pain to deal with, especially if it gets in the way of the rest of the project, so you will want a method to quickly clear it away.
Our dumpster rental options can be a great way to handle the excess of debris and trash that you might have to throw away, especially if you are going to create more than your own vehicle can handle. Not only are dumpster rentals faster, but they are far more convenient for you as a client.
Since dumpster rentals are delivered and picked up without your involvement, it becomes a much easier way to dispose of whatever garbage is left over. You can also rent one for a long-term project, keeping it there throughout the entire process until you no longer need it.
Furniture is a major part of any living space, but basements can be a tricky place to carry things to. Thinking about the kind of furniture that you want can be a major part of getting a basement apartment up to a standard that you are happy with, but it needs to be handled well.
For example, you might struggle to carry large pieces of furniture down basement stairs, and there is always a chance that something could get wedged if the stairs curve. This might limit the kind of things that you can actually put in a basement apartment, such as beds and couches.
Choosing furniture that you can construct in the basement might be an easier choice, but that still requires a lot of planning since you need the room to actually build everything yourself. The more furniture you have already installed, the less space you might have.
Remember that basement apartments can be quite a complex project with a lot of different factors to consider, so there is not a ‘best way’ to tackle the idea. You need to find a way that works for you and suits your home, even if that means staying in the planning stages for a while longer.