What to consider when designing a basement suite

Basement renovation in progress. Postmedia Archives

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Whether you’re hoping to make room for a relative or generate some rental income, building a secondary suite 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 bylaws 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 secondary suites have a private, separate entrance. To see the City of Calgary’s bylaws, go to www.calgary.ca and search ‘secondary suites.’

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 the foundation to a proper secondary suite. Help protect your flooring investment from moisture and insulate against the cold concrete with Dricore subfloors. These premium 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 secondary suite. 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 dricore.com.

— News Canada

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