Todd Talbot

8 Ways to Unlock the Potential in Your Basement

Here are my Top Tips for maximizing your basement renovation. To read the HOSS article online click the link here: HOSS Magazine: Todd’s Top Tips for Your Basement

Make sure to invite John

Incorporate a bathroom. If you can’t do this, you eliminate the possibility for this area to be used as a guest suite or an income suite. It doesn’t have to be fancy. A simple three-piece is perfect.

Get cooking

Check the city by-laws and consider roughing in a kitchen so it can be added later. This opens up the possibility of having this space pay you. An income suite is one of the best ways for families to help manage the high price of real estate and also live in the area they desire most.

Turn it up

Heat sounds basic but, in my experience, it’s the biggest reason people don’t use the basement. It’s chilly down there! For an extra $100, you can invest in a few electric baseboard heaters that give some extra warmth.

Add a fireplace

A fireplace is the perfect addition to draw people in and make the basement inviting. Put it on a thermostat so that it’s not freezing when you or the kids decide to run downstairs. (Using the ducting from the ceiling to ‘push’ warm air down never works as well as you would like it to.)

Keep it light

Make sure your layout maximizes any natural light and be generous with multiple lighting sources. Recessed lights are great because of the height restrictions in so many basements. Remember, the lack of natural light kills a space, so take care not to add too many walls or hallways or you’ll kill what little light there might be.

Invest in waterproofing

Make sure to invest in waterproofing and fix any water ingress. As much as it hurts to pour money into areas you can’t see, make sure your repairs are done right or you will be throwing the rest of your money away. If you’re fixing any water damage, consider using soundproof materials to minimize the noise transference in both directions.

Build to code

Before you start your reno, review and understand the rules and regulations. You have to make the space safe for yourself and for future buyers. The first question a buyer asks is “did they get a permit?” If you answer ‘no’, people think that it wasn’t done right.

Don’t over renovate

There is a tendency these days to put high-end movie rooms, fancy bars, and spa-like bathrooms in the basement. While these can be luxurious upgrades, understand that you are unlikely to get your money back. Quality and workmanship are the areas to focus on. Save the luxury for upstairs