Turning your basement into an income suite is a great way to offset the mortgage payments on your house. However, the work required to turn a normal basement into a rentable apartment can be staggering. When you commit to this idea, make sure you follow a few basic guidelines in order to make sure that the apartment is safe, up to code, and worth the amount of money you're going to charge.
A Separate Entrance
If your house has a walk out basement, you're in luck, because it means that your home already comes with a built in separate entrance for tenants. However, if the only way access the basement is with the stairs inside your own house, you will need to find a way to do one of the following:
Natural Light And Egress
When turning your basement into an income property, you'll need to carefully examine the windows. Every apartment needs egress windows in each of the separate bedrooms. Sometimes, in older homes, basement windows are too small, and they may not open. These windows will need to be replaced with larger ones that either push out or slide over. Egress windows need to be large enough to a firefighter could fit through the window in order to enter the basement in case of emergency. These windows are essential to the rental suite passing inspection, because they are required for fire safety. Talk to a window replacement company such as Ken Caryl Glass Inc. about the correct window sizes for your state.
The need to replace all the windows in the basement for safety can also kill two birds with one stone. Basement apartments must be well ventilated, and have no signs of dampness. Sometimes, older windows can let in cold air in the winter, which increases condensation in the apartment; new windows will be more energy efficient.
In order to increase natural light in the apartment, it's best to try and make windows as large as possible. Another solution is to add a decorative window in the main room in addition to the windows that serve as egress. These windows are long and skinny, letting in plenty of light, as they stay entirely above ground.
Every state has minimum ceiling height requirements in order for a basement to be a legal rental suite. In New York, the standard height is eight feet for newer homes, and seven feet for older homes. Similarly, in Utah, the standard ceiling height must be seven feet.
Most newer homes have plenty of headroom in the basement, but in older houses, ductwork can bring the ceiling height down, causing tenants to stoop. If your ceiling height is too low, you will need to try:
Understanding these simple requirements can help you get a handle on whether or not renting out your basement is a feasible solution.
My name is Ian Flaherty and this is my home and garden blog about painting. Many people don't enjoy painting the rooms in their house, but I think it's a very relaxing task that I often do after work. I frequently change the colors of the rooms in my home and every time I do, it gives the home an entirely new appearance, I learned how to paint rooms many years ago when I first started changing the paint colors in my house. When I was first learning how to paint, I had a few mishaps, but then I would do research to learn how it's done right. If you want to discover a whole new world that can be achieved with paint, I hope you'll read my blog and apply these tips and ideas.