The Home Front Blog

Making The Most Of Your Basement

You have an unfinished basement and want to know what’s the best use for it. Most developed basements add living space that equal to around 60 – 70% of the main floor. The remaining space is typically for the stairs, utility room and some storage space.
Here are 4 ways you can make the most of your basement while avoiding what you see on TV and in the movies: A musty, spooky space full of stuff that never gets used.

Orchards interior Wet Bar_F 2000x1500

1. Add more bedrooms for guests and family
It’s your home so how you use the basement to add living space is your choice. Generally, people would add a rec room, bedroom and bathroom to accommodate guests or family member. Note, if you add a kitchen, it becomes a secondary suite (see below for details).

Orchards interior craft room_F 2000x1500

2. Create a play area
Whether this is for children or adults who still want to be kids, you can turn your basement into a giant entertainment area. Use your imagination:  Create a home theatre room, a space for all your crafts or hobbies or even build an indoor hockey rink (with a simulated ice surface).
3. Build a secondary suite
In a community that allows secondary suites, you can use your basement to generate extra income. You will need a separate exterior door to the basement, like a side entrance or walk-out, for your basement to qualify as a secondary suite. The separate entrance is required by law for privacy, safety and security. You can use the monthly rent to help pay down your mortgage or to save for other needs and wants like trips, education, retirement, etc.

Exterior - side entrance

When you are looking to purchase a new home with a purpose-built secondary suite, ask your builder about which communities allow them and which home models can accommodate one. You should also contact your municipality regarding permits for secondary suites.

4. Use the basement for a home-based business
You can develop the basement to accommodate a home-based business. Whether it’s an approved day home or small business, you can make the space work for you. Consult with your local municipality to learn more about how to comply with all bylaws and regulations.

Add value to your home

A finished basement typically adds anywhere from 50% – 70% of the original investment. This means a $50,000 investment would add $25,000 – $35,000 to the value of your home.

So, don’t let your basement go unused. Make it work for you and your family.