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Converting a basement into a legal basement apartment requires specialized skills, effort, experience, and money. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done or that you must spend thousands of dollars to finance the project. RenoDuck Renovations is a reputable company offering the specific services you need to convert your basement into an excellent Toronto legal basement apartment successfully.
Our experts will help you turn your basement into legal in accordance with the building codes, applicable fire codes, and electricity safety authority regulations. Generally, illegal basement apartments in Toronto are known to be a risk to the tenants and other people living in the property as well. Therefore, it is best for you, the homeowner, to adhere to the strict guidelines for converting a basement into legal.
Converting Basement into Legal Apartment in Toronto
Converting a basement into a rental space: is it feasible?
Check with your municipality before you begin converting your basement into a rental apartment. Building codes and other relevant regulations vary depending on the location of the property. Some municipalities allow these conversions while others don’t. By getting the right information from relevant authorities, you will avoid investing your money and time if the project isn’t feasible. Besides, it will help you budget effectively if the regulations allow the conversion of basements into a legal basement apartment.
Sure, you can make a few basement renovations to look like an apartment, but that isn’t enough. Your legal basement apartment must pass professional inspections, and that means you must plan accordingly to ensure this new living space has everything your future tenant needs. If the basement conversion project is feasible, it’s time to get it started.
Plan out your basement
It’s time to ditch your DIY skills and hire an experienced technologist, engineer, or architect to draw up the basement apartment plan. RenoDuck Renovations is a trusted company with a valid Building Code Inspection Number. Our professionals take into consideration all safety precautions and legal requirements when designing our clients’ basement conversion plans. Once the plan is ready, the property owner will be able to request a permit to follow through with the project.
Unless you have a good plan, it’s impossible to get the right permits to get the project done. Thus, it’s best to get a qualified, skilled, and experienced building contractor to draw out the basement renovation or conversion plans. Our experts know what must be included and what specific permits you require for your legal basement apartment in Toronto.
Basement conversion requirements
The entire basement conversion project must follow specific regulations to ensure the apartment is safe for your tenants. RenoDuck Renovations can help ensure that your legal basement apartment meets all these regulations.
A legal basement apartment is regulated under Chapter 150 of Toronto Zoning By-Law 569-2013. The law states the following:
- ● Secondary Suites are allowed in townhouses, detached and semi-detached homes
- ● Townhouses can only have one secondary suite
- ● There are additional entrance, parking as well as building requirements which can be more restrictive than the Ontario Codes. You should go through Chapter 150 of the By-Law to get more information.
Areaway and all other forms of egress
All new basement apartments must have emergency exits. A safe, unobstructed exit from the apartment to the outside is essential. Depending on your location, there are specific regulations regarding the size and number of exits your newly converted apartment must have. An entryway, commonly known as an areaway, is a must-have for your apartment.
For your suite to be a legal basement apartment, you have to include a common exit. Legal basement apartments are allowed to have a common exit with the main dwelling unit, but only if they both have an interconnected smoke alarm. If the primary entrance is through the main unit, the second unit must have a second means of escape. There are several common violations in basement apartments. Our team will help you ensure you do everything right. We will also help you provide proof to the authorities and new tenants that show your basement apartment is legal.
In addition to fire escapes, your legal basement apartment must have all other fireproofing aspects in accordance to your municipality requirements. Ideally, the authorities will demand a fire-rated entry door. The same applies to all basement windows, though there might be a limitation to the number of windows necessary.
Some municipalities might require the fire-rated entry doors to close automatically. This lets tenants evacuate quickly without worrying about closing a door in case of a fire. Since the door is fire-rated, it can successfully contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to outdoor areas.
It’s recommended to enhance the privacy of your future tenants by soundproofing your legal basement apartment. You can choose an effective soundproofing option depending on whether you need quick fix soundproofing or a long-term solution. Converting a basement into an apartment is a challenging task, and it is in your best interest to discuss your options with an expert. The building contractors can help pick the right materials, and you will never regret choosing to work with us.
What should you do with your basement? Rent it out, transform it into a bi-generational home, or keep it for other uses?
Once our professional building contractors ensure your legal basement apartment adheres to all rules and regulations, you can use it in different ways.
Plumbing Requirements for Legal Basement Apartments in Toronto
When it comes to plumbing, a legal basement apartment must have the following:
- ● Sink
- ● Hot/cold water
- ● Access to the laundry. The laundry can be shared.
- ● Kitchen sink
Your basement apartment should also have a separate water shut-off valve. Depending on the situation, a backwater preventer valve might have to be installed. While a legal basement apartment can be in a home with a septic service, the existing septic system should be able to support the additional load.
Heating and Cooling System
It is okay for a legal basement apartment in Toronto to share a furnace and ducts with the main unit. It is, however, required to have a special smoke detector that complies with UL268A. The detectors should be able to shut the furnace off in case of an emergency. The kitchen and bathroom in the second unit must have adequate ventilation. Ventilation can be an exhaust fan or a window.
Renting Out Your Legal Basement Apartment in Toronto
Renting out your legal basement apartment can be a source of an extra income. You can use the extra dollars to repay your mortgage, pay your bills, or save it. Note that there are specific laws that may come into play in such a situation. So, it makes sense to consult with an expert.
Convert it into a bi-generational home
Your eldest son/daughter is probably growing fast and needs privacy. Did you know that your basement can serve as a separate space for your adult kids? After all, you and your adult kids will enjoy some privacy while remaining close by.
Your basement is part of your property. If you have decided that the transformed basement looks good and want to use it then why not? Go for it. You can always rent it out later if needed. The bottom line is, you should get your basement conversion project done by an expert.
RenoDuck Renovations is among the most reputable building contractors in Toronto. We take pride in providing reliable services and expert guidance when it comes to choosing building materials. Our experts work with the client from the moment they contact us to the completion of the project to ensure the newly converted basement apartment adheres to all building codes and other relevant regulations. We work round the clock to offer our clients the highest possible level of satisfaction.
Contact a Basement Renovation Expert
RenoDuck Renovations is among the most reputable building contractors in Toronto. We take pride in providing reliable services and expert guidance when it comes to choosing building materials. Our experts work with the client from the moment they contact us to the completion of the project to ensure the newly converted basement apartment adheres to all building codes and other relevant regulations. We work round the clock to offer our clients the highest possible level of satisfaction. Contact us today.
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