There are a number of reasons to renovate your basement into an apartment or suite. Many people do it for added rental income to help cover the cost of a mortgage. Other people have elderly parents who need a little help with daily chores or adult children who need to pay down students debt. Whatever the reason, turning basements into apartments is a very common practice these days. However, before you start calling a basement interior decorator in Calgary, here are a few tips for getting started on the right foot.


Know Your Zoning Laws

Calgary is a city that has limits on what you can do with your residential property. Depending on your exact circumstances, this might mean limits on the number of occupants in a home, parking requirements, and fire escape plans. Before you start planning out your renovation, make sure you know all the relevant codes.


Think About Your Available Time

Both the renovation and managing of tenants are activities that will consume substantial amounts of your time. The renovation in particular can be a stressful experience, but then there is also the marketing, checking backgrounds, interviews, paperwork, contract agreements, and so on. Be sure that you are fully aware of just how much work this project is going to be.


Decide On a Landlord

Do you want to manage the property yourself or hire a professional property management company to do it for you? Both options have their pros and cons, so you need to decide if you would rather have the added money from being your own landlord and taking care of all the associated duties, or have less income with a lot less stress.


Think Like a Renter

As you go through the process of planning your renovation, never forget that it will not be you who is living in the space, so do not design it to your tastes. Always keep in mind what the most likely prospective renter is going to be looking for in terms of both function and style.


Outside Access

Neither you nor your tenant is going to want them coming through your living room to get to the basement. Make sure that you have a safe and secure entrance that will allow your tenant to come and go with privacy for both of you.


Add Natural Light

One of the biggest drawbacks for basement apartments is the lack of natural lighting, which can be uncomfortable and even lead to depression. If you are looking to attract quality renters, then you need to find a way to get ample natural light, and even air, down into the basement of your home.