How Do I Upgrade My Basement Apartment? - Basement Finishing Company
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How Do I Upgrade My Basement Apartment?

A basement apartment represents a massive home improvement opportunity for homeowners. However, it’s one that often goes under the radar.

Many homeowners don’t know how to upgrade a basement apartment. Hence, they leave it the way it is — a dark and isolated place.

Your basement apartment should not be dark and isolated. You can turn your basement apartment into a mini-living paradise.

We want to help you bring your dreams of upgrading your basement apartment to life. Therefore, we’re writing this article to discuss multiple tips and design ideas to upgrade a basement apartment. At the end of this article, you’ll have all the info you need to turn your basement apartment into a whole new world.

Benefits of Upgrading Basement Apartment

Here are some of the advantages to expect when you upgrade your basement apartment.

You’ll get an extra bedroom

When you remodel your basement, it means an increase in your home’s size. While upgrading the basement section of your house, you can add one or two bedrooms. The extra livable space in your home will increase your property’s value. If there’s a need to sell your house in the future, potential buyers will find it appealing.

An extra bathroom

Setting up and tiling a bathroom in your basement apartment comes at a cost, but the results are mind-blowing. Away from added functionality, you’ll also get good value for your money. An extra bathroom will help you sell your property faster —  if and when you want to do so.


One major advantage of upgrading your basement is the great return on investment you stand to gain. The ROI for upgrading a basement apartment can be as high as 70%-75%.

Adds space to your house

A basement apartment allows you to add a functional space to your house without going against any zoning restrictions in your area. Hence, if you live in an area with zoning restrictions, you can get the extra space you crave by upgrading your home’s basement.

A basement apartment can serve multiple uses

You can transform your basement into a place for recreation, a guest house, or storage by upgrading it. If you intend to sell your property, a finished basement is something your prospective buyers will love to see.

The feeling of transforming a dark basement into valuable space for multiple uses is a bonus that will please buyers. Hence, you can sell your property even quicker than you imagine. And if you don’t want to sell, you and your family will enjoy these benefits.

Basement upgrades don’t require high-end materials

Many homeowners balk at upgrading a basement apartment design because they feel it’s a project that requires high-end materials. However, this is not entirely the case. You don’t need the high-end finishes in your basement.

You can save money on your basement apartment upgrade by using low-cost materials. Use the high-end materials for the rest of your home.

Related Article: How Much Time Does it Take to Finish a Basement Apartment?

How to Upgrade a Basement Apartment

Now that you know the benefits of upgrading a basement apartment, you may be wondering how to go about this upgrade. Below are proven steps to upgrade a basement apartment.

Seal air and water leaks

seal air and water leaks Your basement may have water or air leaks. To enjoy the benefits of having a great basement, you need to seal these gaps. You can go the extra mile by insulating your basement against the brutal weather in Ontario.

Solve mechanical problems

During a basement apartment upgrade, you may encounter obstacles in the form of appliances or mechanical systems that can obstruct your upgrade plans. Most times, it may be difficult to move these obstacles out of the way. Doing so may be expensive and will come with multiple construction problems.

Instead of moving these systems and appliances, you should design your basement remodel around them. You should also cordon off the furnace and water tank areas. Ensure your mechanical systems are properly ventilated. If you have to move the systems, upgrade to systems of proper size and efficiency.

What about the overbearing columns?

When upgrading your basement floor, columns or lally may obstruct your plans. You can’t just remove these columns because they support the house’s weight. In your bid to upgrade a basement apartment, avoid tampering with load-bearing columns.

What you can do is replace overbearing columns with engineered steel beams. However, before embarking on the replacement, get a permit from the local building department.

Ductwork can be unpleasant

Ductwork in your basement can be an eyesore. Worse, they’re difficult to move. Moving them to upgrade your basement apartment can be an expensive task. So what can you do?

For one, you can frame around the ductwork, using it as a design element. One way of doing this is to create a tray ceiling or a soffit. However, ensure there are no leaks in the ductwork before framing it.

Raise low-hanging ceilings

Low-hanging ceilings in your basement take up extra space. To upgrade your basement apartment, take steps to raise the ceilings or get higher ones.

Let your basement be family-friendly.

Your basement can serve as an additional family-friendly living space. It can be a playroom for kids or a chill spot for adults. Whatever the case is, your basement can be comfortable and modern.

A home movie theatre may be a good idea

Instead of leaving the basement apartment to remain dark and quiet, you can turn a section of it into a cinematic universe. Dark and quiet are ideal features for a cinema.

Thus, bring in light-coloured armchairs, sofas, and patterned walls, plus a large flat screen. These components, some lights, and a good sound system can turn your basement into a home movie theatre.

A wine cellar is a stellar idea

Since basements tend to be naturally cool, they serve as great places for wine cellars. If you want to upgrade your basement apartment, it will not be a bad idea to transform it into the wine cellar of your dreams. You can spice things up a bit by adding a tasting table.

Bring the music home with your basement

A great idea for your basement apartment upgrade is to turn it into a soundproof music room. If you have a great taste for music and hate disturbing your neighbours, then your basement represents a great place to satisfy your cravings. You can install soundproofing on your basement walls and ceiling, thereby giving your sound speakers the freedom they deserve.

A basement is a good place for a home gym

Your home basement is a great place to have a gym. With its cooler temperatures, you can install a gym, yoga room, or other forms of fitness centers. A good tip is to use a mirror, which can make the basement apartment feel even larger. It also ensures you have proper alignment while working out.

A game room in the basement

If you and your friends enjoy playing games, then your basement can serve as your game room. You can turn your basement apartment into a game room by bringing in dartboards, poker, table tennis, and pool tables. You can also set up a video game hub in your basement if that’s your preference.

game room in the basement The basement can become your home library

Another idea for a basement apartment upgrade is to turn it into a home library. If you love reading, you can bring in some cabinets, your favourite books, tables, chairs, and reading lights. All you’ll have to do is section off a corner of the basement apartment.

A swimming pool is a wonderful upgrade

If you have a big enough budget, you can have a spa-like indoor pool in your basement. Other possible fittings include a steam shower, massage room, or a free-floating tub.

Art lovers can upgrade to an artist studio

Basements are dark, but if yours receives some natural light and you love art, you can section a corner of it into an artist’s studio.

A tip to making this work is to paint the basement floor, ceiling, and walls white. Doing this ensures you maximize the available natural light in your basement. However, if you rely on artificial light, you can create a crafting room rather than an artist studio.

art lovers can upgrade to an artist studio Average Cost of Upgrading Your Basement

If you decide to upgrade your basement apartment to a rental property, you will incur some expenses. Most times, basements are without electricity, plumbing, and insulation fittings. As part of your basement apartment upgrade, you’ll need to install these fittings.

There are different methods of calculating the average cost of a basement upgrade. If you calculate the cost per square foot, you must consider plumbing, walls and insulation, and electrical expenses. These expenses are between $25 and $45 per square foot.

However, if your basement is new and has sufficient weatherproofing, you can upgrade the basement apartment without changing many things. In this case, you may spend close to $20 for each square foot.

On average, the cost of upgrading your basement ranges between $12,000 and $50,000. This average is for a remodel with a floor size of about 1,500-2,000 square feet.

However, if you want to add other luxuries like a full bath, a place for entertainment, a pool, or other amenities, you may have to spend between $50,000 and $80,000. You may spend even higher for a fully furnished and exotic basement, with costs reaching $100,000 for such projects.

Cost variables

If you use top-quality materials, you will spend higher on an upgrade. However, when you use low to medium quality materials, you will spend lower.

Related Article: How to Choose a Reliable Basement Renovator in Vaughan


A basement upgrade is always a good idea. You just have to figure out a way to get the best value for your money. To do that, take advantage of the basement remodel ideas and tips in this article.

As you now know, you’ll gain many benefits by upgrading your basement apartment. Besides these benefits, you’ll also enjoy the good feeling of knowing you have a wonderful space.

If and when you decide to upgrade your basement apartment, you’ll have to cover certain expenses. These costs depend on the size of the project and the quality of materials you use. Hence, you should work according to your budget. If you’re on a low budget, limit your expenses to lower-quality materials. You can use higher-quality materials if your budget allows it.

Whether you’re on a budget or not, you deserve the best services when upgrading your basement apartment. That is why you should trust only our basement design and finishing services for all your basement upgrades and remodelling.

Here at Basement Finishing Company, we have multiple years of experience providing high-quality basement upgrades at affordable prices.

We are one call away and will be right there when you need us. Call us today and let us help you turn your basement into a living paradise.