How to Turn Your Basement into an Apartment

calander Jan 25 , 2022 user-icon Nash Painting

Your basement can be whatever you wish to make it, even a full-fledged living space. Whether you want to establish a guest room for friends and family members or you plan on collecting some rent on your property in the future, transforming your basement into an apartment may be a worthwhile investment. Of course, a lot of planning and effort go into such a renovation, and while interior painting will be involved, there’s a lot more to it than just coating your basement walls with fresh paint.

Here’s how to turn your basement into an apartment step by step.

Look into the Legal Stuff First

Establishing a unique dwelling place inside your existing home can come with some red tape, especially if you’re going to rent it out to tenants. Basements can be particularly tricky in this regard considering their location and propensity for moisture, heat loss, insect intrusion, etc. Depending on your location, you may need to seek permission from your local zoning board before embarking on this process. It’s a good idea to look into these matters and seek legal counsel well before you purchase materials or make serious plans so you don’t waste time or money. Of course, if your basement transformation will merely be for personal use, you won’t need to worry about these strict zoning requirements (some restrictions may still apply).

Establish a Budget

Next, you must determine what this project will cost and how much you’re willing and able to spend on it. Many factors play a part here, both short- and long-term. In the short term, you must calculate what it will cost to tackle construction, cleaning, residential painting, installations, and more. If you hire professional interior house painters and other services, you’ll have to dish out more upfront, too.

As for the long-term, you must also think about the potential return on investment (ROI) that may come from turning your basement into an apartment. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can see what the average cost of a basement remodeling project is across the country; HomeAdvisor has this national average somewhere between $10,000 and $28,000. Consider that this cost might be much higher when you include all the additions necessary for creating a full living space (which we’ll discuss further in the next section). Ultimately, this conversion might run you upwards of $50,000.

The good news, of course, is that such a major renovation can have a massive ROI (70% on average). Moreover, if you plan to collect rent on this space, you might recoup your initial investment in a matter of years. After that point, you’ll turn a profit. All of these short- and long-term factors must be kept in mind as you come up with a budget for this project.

Know What’s Needed to Make a Complete Living Space

If you wish to turn your basement into an apartment, you need to consider all of the components that make up a living space. At minimum, your basement-turned-apartment should feature a dedicated living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, dining area, and storage space. As for utilities, the space must also be outfitted with independent electricity, running water/plumbing, HVAC, and internet (optional but required for most people these days). Your basement must also be accessible on its own, which means entry/exit doors may need to be installed. You must also properly insulate the space for energy efficiency and comfort. And lastly, you have to consider whether or not you’ll furnish the apartment or leave it up to the tenant(s). Keeping track of all these important details will also help you create a budget, as mentioned above.

Design with Lifestyle in Mind

The job won’t be complete until you’ve turned the space into a place people actually want to stay – this is where interior design comes into play. The way you configure the apartment will have a major impact on how one navigates and enjoys the space. Moreover, the floors and paint colors you choose will make a big difference in terms of atmosphere (and function as far as flooring goes). If you’re not sure of how to select interior paint colors for your basement apartment, look online for inspiration and think about the type of living space you wish to create. If the space is personal, lean on your preferences; if you’re renting it out, provide it with mass appeal to attract the widest range of potential tenants (i.e., neutral colors, modern design).

Basement Dwelling

Forget the stigma of living in the basement. With the right approach, you can transform your basement into a modern, highly sought-after apartment for you, your people, or eager tenants. At Nash Painting, we know that residential interior painting is only one of many necessary steps to completing this major project. As such, we offer our Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN clients a wide range of renovation and design services in addition to our painting offerings, including wallpaper removal, color consultations, refinishing, surface preparation, and much more.

To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!