How to Make Your Basement into an Apartment

calander Aug 3 , 2021 user-iconAnderson Painting
Basement renovated to be an apartment

Basements don’t always get the recognition they deserve. These underground spaces are a bit more nebulous than other rooms in your home. And yet, this flexibility is a basement’s greatest strength, allowing it to be transformed into whatever space your home needs. For instance, you might eventually be in need of an additional living space or bedroom, or perhaps you want to monetize an otherwise unused section of your home. Whatever the reason, your basement may hold the key -- all you have to do is turn it into an apartment. Of course, finishing and/or converting your basement doesn’t happen overnight. Plenty of planning and effort is involved in this process. With that in mind, here’s how to make your basement into a functional and lucrative living space.

How Do You Make Your Basement an Apartment?

Measure and Map Out Your Space

First, you must make sure that converting your basement into an apartment is even viable. If space is limited, there might not be room for much more than a bedroom, which may or may not be suitable depending on your goals. Simply put, you need the proper square footage to incorporate all the aspects required for a complete apartment, such as a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, dining area, living room, closet, etc. If space allows for all of these things, you must then determine how to lay everything out. Some of this configuration will be based on preference, but other choices will depend on practical matters, such as the location of pipes (for plumbing purposes).

Establish an Exclusive Entrance/Exit

If you want your basement apartment to act as a rental unit for others and not merely an additional bedroom for guests and house members, you must install a door that leads directly outside your home so tenants can come in and out as they please without going through other spaces. Unless your basement already features such an exit, some construction will be necessary. You’ll also want to consider the placement of this door, so it’s easily accessible and doesn’t interfere with other parts of your property.

Install Independent Climate Control

Basements are naturally cooler and damper than other rooms in your home due to their subterranean nature. If left untouched, these conditions aren’t ideal to live in. To make your basement apartment more comfortable, safe, and enduring, you must take measures to control its climate. For starters, you’ll want to properly insulate the walls and ceiling to limit the transfer of heat and water (this will also help soundproof the apartment). It’s also important to invest in an interior basement waterproofing coating for basement surfaces and thoroughly caulk every seam to keep the space well-sealed. From there, you might install dehumidifiers to regulate interior humidity levels and an independent thermostat to allow tenants to set a comfortable temperature downstairs.

Get the Electricity and Plumbing in Order

Your basement will need functioning electrical and plumbing systems if you wish to turn it into an apartment. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to configure your basement apartment, so these systems are easy to set up. And while these systems will likely be connected to your home’s existing systems, hire professionals to separate this utility usage, so the renter (if applicable) is responsible for their own bill.

Refinish Your Basement Floors

As you transform your basement into a functioning apartment, don’t overlook its floors. Applying basement floor paint or some other type of basement floor coating (i.e., polyurea) will simultaneously enhance your basement’s appearance, protect its foundation, and make the flooring much easier to maintain overall. Even if you plan on installing carpeting on top of your basement floors, it’s a good idea to install a durable basement coating to provide a strong, level plane.

Complete the Picture with Interior Painting

Finally, your underground apartment won’t be complete until it’s graced with a fresh coat of paint. It’s usually advised to go with lighter colors for basements considering these spaces don’t receive much natural light. Choosing darker colors will necessitate more lighting, which will increase energy costs.

Living in the Basement

There’s more to turning your basement into an apartment we haven’t touched on here, such as selecting furniture, hiring an interior designer, installing internet/cable, etc. Still, we’ve covered the basics of this challenging but worthwhile transformation. Whether you’re thinking about converting your basement into an apartment, entertainment center, office, living area, or anything else, the experts at Anderson Painting are here to help via our interior painting, concrete floor coating, carpentry, and other key services. To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!