There’s no better way to learn what works and what doesn’t work in a home than to spend a little time in it. With this year bringing a LOT more time at home, it’s no wonder that many families are looking for ways their space can work better now, and later.
“With no one going anywhere this year, and people spending a lot more time in their homes, many are exploring how we can help them get more from that unfinished basement,” says Ken Lydiatt, a Project Leader with MAC Renovation.
With many new developments also offering unfinished basements as standard, homeowners quickly find they can use that space. From a home theatre or rec room for the kids, to a home gym, guest space or hobby room, it’s valuable real estate that can be put to good use, Lydiatt says.
And with more people working remotely, MAC Renovation is predictably seeing many clients setting aside part of their basement as a dedicated home office.
Not only will this get that office clutter out of the main living area, but it offers a quiet space to focus and delineates “home” and “work.”
“Having that dedicated office lets you sit down and get right to work. At the same time, when the work day is done, you can close the door,” Lydiatt says.
Making the most of multi-generational living
Whether it’s creating a safe, inviting suite for an aging parent or giving your college student a little independence close to home, basements also provide additional options for multi-generational living.
Even if a senior parent’s expected move-in date is down the road, this can be a great time to get all those accessibility features in place, so when they’re ready, you’re ready too.
Others may use the suite initially as a rental suite , if permitted, or for an adult child. “If you have kids going to college, this can keep them close but give them their own independence, too,” Lydiatt says.
Planning for an inlaw or secondary suite
By working with an experienced local professional, you’ll also feel confident that your planned renovation will come together as planned.
Each municipality has its own zoning requirements when it comes to secondary suites, often with different allowances for a suite for a close family member, for example.
“The first step is really to find out what you can do and that’s where the pre-construction process comes in,” Lydiatt says.
It’s also essential to ensure the renovation is completed safely and that any required permits are in place.
“If you do a renovation without proper permits, you can run into problems when you go to sell and it’s discovered that the work wasn’t done property,” Lydiatt notes.