Marilyn Ypes Architect Inc.


May 5, 2022


If you’ve been on a quest to remodel different areas in your home, one space that you shouldn’t miss out on renovating is your basement. A basement renovation can add value to your home, increase living space and lifestyle value, or provide income from a rental suite.

Unfortunately, basement renovation presents more challenges than most other rooms. Since basements are generally underground, have several limitations, require permits, etc., there is a degree of planning and assistance required. Marilyn Ypes Architect Inc. has put together a list of five tips to help you get the most out of your basement renovation to shed light on the topic. 

Tip #1: Determine the purpose of renovation
The first step is to decide how you want to use the space in your basement. Do you want to create a secondary rental suite? Or do you want to extend your own living space? 

If you want to convert your basement into a secondary rental unit, you will need to apply for a building permit to address the emergency exits and fire separations. A basement rental unit will also need to exist, and you will need to provide a car parking space. Incorporating a secondary legal unit will also add resale value to your home. 

If you want to extend your own living space, consider the functions you would like your space to address. Space for a spa-style bathroom, entertaining/bar area, home theatre (sound-proofing), extra bedroom, home office, hobby space, exercise area, and/or storage are all possibilities. 

Tip #2: Consider lowering the floor 
If your ceiling is less than seven feet above the floor, it is best to lower the floor to give you or your guests extra headroom. However, you will need to extend the stairs. This way, your basement will feel more open and airy and less like a basement.

Tip #3: Consider in-floor heating
Most basements have a concrete floor below the ground, which can feel cold and damp without help. To avoid this issue, consider adding an in-floor heating system to keep your floors warm, dry, and at a consistent, comfortable temperature. A warm floor is also so much cozier! 

Tip #4: Check for signs of moisture
If you notice moisture, fix it and then continue the renovation. There is nothing worse than a flood of any size after the basement is finished. An experienced contractor can fix any moisture-related issue by installing exterior or interior waterproofing – it is worth the investment! You can also consider floor finishes of laminate, sheet vinyl, or ceramic tile, which handles the moisture that seeps in from the concrete floor.

Tip #5: Enlarge windows
Are there any windows in your basement that can be enlarged? Larger windows bring in more natural light, opens up space, and make it brighter and more appealing.  

While these tips offer valuable insight into a basement renovation project, you will still need a professional architect or firm to redesign your space and create highly functional interiors. 

As a full-service architecture firm in Toronto, ON, at Marilyn Ypes Architect Inc., we offer bespoke service and creative solutions tailored to meet the specific needs and budget of our clients. Over the past three decades, we have completed numerous retail, industrial, health care, office, education, day-care, recreational, and residential projects. 

As industry experts, we strive to deliver a consistently high standard of design that includes the smallest details as well as the overall concept. Our designs are as different as the functions they serve and the landscape that surrounds them. 

Our services include Building Design, Municipal Approvals and Review Construction. We offer our services to clients across Toronto, Mississauga, Markham, Barrie, Peterborough, Cobourg, and Hamilton, ON.

To learn more about how we can help you, please click here. If you have any questions about basement renovation or want to schedule an appointment with us, contact us by clicking here.  


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