According to recent data from the Pew Research Centre, young people today are more likely to rent than ever before. In 2016, 74% of millennials were living in rental properties and only 22% owned a home. With millennials dominating the workforce and the real estate market, developing your basement ideas into your rental property has never been more lucrative.

Before committing to a basement renovation and to opening your home to a young stronger, it’s important to consider your potential ROI. ROI for a rental property can be measured in a few different ways: the equity you build into it, the type of tenants you attract and the cash flow you generate. With the right renovations and finishing touches you can add value to your basement and increase your overall ROI. Our basement ideas focus on the right finishes, durable materials and features that add value to the renter. Put these basement ideas into practice and you’ll have a profitable rental property in no time!

Powerful Finishes to Your Basement Suite

Enhance the Appeal with Modern Hardware & Lighting

This simple change can have a huge impact. By switching out the original or builder-grade hardware and light fixtures to something more stylish and modern you instantly make your basement feel more current and valuable. Also, as ceiling height can be an issue in basements, pot lights are a good option to get uniform lighting that doesn’t lower the sightline.

Create Space and Light with Fresh Paint

When painting your basement the least expensive option is to make everything white or a light neutral colour. Also, white or light neutral colours make the space feel bigger and brighter. This is especially important for a basement suite.

Embrace Durability: Opt for Quality Materials

Smart Cabinet Choices

When developing or renovating the kitchen in your basement suite, we recommend going for mid-grade cabinet materials. By selecting cabinets that are slightly nicer you are ensuring they last. Keep in mind the general wear and tear they will experience and the fact that renters are less likely to pay the same attention to the care of materials and appliances as you would.

Elegant and Resilient Countertops

When it comes to countertops for your basement kitchen, quartz is the way to go. Compared to natural stone materials, quartz needs far less maintenance. Compared to other synthetic materials it is much more resilient, durable and expensive-looking.

Value-Boosting Basement Ideas

In-Demand Dishwasher

One key basement idea for renting is making room for a dishwasher – no matter how small the space is. This addition can give you a competitive edge against other basements for rent. It also weeds out the renters who are looking for the cheapest option out there.


This value-adding basement idea is the only one without an aesthetic impact. It’s one of the most practical changes you can make. By topping up the insulation in your basement suite, you add value to the renter by making the space more soundproof. You also make your home more energy efficient. It’s win-win for you and them!

Prioritize practicality with improved insulation in your basement suite. Not only does it provide better soundproofing for renters, but it also enhances energy efficiency—a win-win for both you and your tenants.

Navigating Legal Requirements

First of all, legal basement suites are required to meet Alberta safety codes which are designed to protect tenants in emergencies. The three mandatory safety features are:

  1. There must be at least one window in each bedroom that you can open from the inside.
  2. Each unit (bedroom and common areas) must have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors that are connected.
  3. Each unit must have one exit leading to the outside.

Further, to build a legal basement suite in your home you need to apply for a building permit.

  1. Make sure you have prepared the items set out in the building permit complete application requirement checklist.
  2. Book an appointment online.
  3. Fill out the application forms and submit it for review at the Municipal Building.
  4. After completing the steps, you may begin construction on your legal basement suite. Make sure the suite is built according to the legal requirements outlined in the building regulations assessment checklist.

Unlocking the Door to Potential

Developing or renovating your basement for renting is one most cost-effective home improvement projects. Hopefully these basement ideas have shown you the benefit of having a rentable space in your home and the ways to increase the value and your ROI.

Keep in mind, there are a lot of details you need to consider when developing your basement into a rental property that you don’t have to worry about with other renovation projects.

We’ve provided a few key things to consider, but before you start a basement suite development project, be sure to do your research to make sure your potential ROI is worth the initial investment.

Check out some of our basement renovation projects and services.
Have a project in mind? Contact us for a quote!

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