While the real estate market fluctuates, one thing remains constant: the demand for affordable housing. In major cities across Canada, rental prices continue to soar, making homeowners search for creative solutions to offset their expenses. Among these solutions, the idea of constructing a legal basement apartment has gained popularity, particularly in regions like Toronto and Montreal, where homeowners are looking to diversify their income streams.
Before delving into the pros and cons of transforming your basement into a rental unit, let’s first understand what it means to have a legal basement apartment in Ontario and Quebec.
In Ontario, a legal basement apartment is a secondary unit that complies with the Ontario Building Code requirements. To meet these standards, your property must align with zoning codes, and if your building is over five years old, your second unit must possess the following features:
On the other side of the Ottawa River in Quebec, the regulations surrounding basement apartments are closely tied to their location. The primary concern at the provincial level is the presence and accessibility of an egress window, which serves as a secondary escape route. This window must be large enough for both a child and an adult to pass through freely, without any anti-intrusion bars.
As you can see, the requirements for legal basement apartments are quite specific, and the exact specifications may vary depending on your property’s location.
When considering the codes that must be adhered to, it’s essential to recognize that you’ll be dealing with multiple codes at different levels:
The expenses associated with creating a legal basement apartment can vary significantly based on your location and the current condition of the basement. To provide a benchmark, let’s consider an unfinished basement:
However, transforming an unfinished basement into a legal dwelling entails additional expenses. It requires the inclusion of a full bathroom, kitchen, an independent entrance, and other amenities, as well as compliance with building and fire codes. According to experts, this comprehensive transition generally begins at $85,000 or more for a 900-square-foot model.
It’s crucial to note that costs can fluctuate based on your property’s existing setup, local quotes, and the extent of structural work required. To gain a better understanding of your specific project’s cost, consult a trusted professional contractor or basement specialist. They can guide you through the process and collaborate with you to design a space that is both legal and appealing to potential renters.
Renting out a legal basement can be a complex process, especially for first-time landlords. To simplify the journey, follow these steps:
While the legalities surrounding basement apartments may seem complex, your basement renovation project doesn’t have to be. Our team of experts at Goliath Basements can guide you through the process and connect you with up to three verified contractors in your local area. Whether you’re in the brainstorming phase or ready to start, we’re here to inspire you with basement renovation ideas and trends to create a space that’s both legal and desirable.
Unlock the hidden potential of your basement with Goliath Basements today, and embark on a transformative journey to enhance your home’s value and your quality of life. Your basement is more than just an extension; it’s an opportunity to redefine your living space.