Updated: Aug 11, 2019
In the past couple of years, many have renovated their unfinished basement due to their growing families and the extra space it provides. However, some have renovated their basement and converted it into a second unit. That's right another unit right under their main floor. Build with a kitchen, living, dining, bedroom and washroom. This decision to renovate a basement to a second unit has been one of the most popular secondary source of income in the GTA. Here, we'll talk about the financial aspects and the design features/requirements you need to know.
Its not easy or cheap to renovate a basement let alone a second unit. There are additional features and requirements you need to include into your budget. Such as a new washroom, kitchen, natural lighting and egress exits. Sure, you can renovate your basement and finish it up for approx $15-20K in today's market. However, that's treated more like a luxury than an investment. The average amount to renovate a basement to a second unit is roughly $25-40K. Yes that's a large gap between these two decision but having a second unit will have a better long term value. Due to the fact that someone will be renting that unit and providing monthly rent to you, the landlord. Eventually that rent money will pay off that large renovation cost and than provide you with extra income, every month.
Design Features and Requirements
We don't make the rules but we have to follow them. Each city in the GTA has their own rules and regulations but generally all follow the Ontario Building Code (OBC). One of the major issues with renovating a basement to the second unit is ensuring that you have at least 2 exists. While all main floor have a way down to the basement floor, the cities want you to have a second exits in case of emergencies such as a fire. The misconception that most people have is that they believe they need another stairway out of the basement. That's not the only way. Alternatively, you can just install a bigger window in the basement, one big enough to allow the tenant to escape from. This the most cost-effective way to save a huge amount of money in this project.
If you have the opportunity to renovate your basement to this second unit as an investment and another source of income, I highly recommend it. Links below for the Mississauga and Brampton Areas.