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How to Build a Basement Suite in West Toronto



On top of being a great way to host guests, adding a basement suite to your home can also positively impact its value and provide you with the opportunity to earn extra income. Thanks to these unique benefits, basement suites have been a popular renovation project among West Toronto homeowners in recent years. 

As you might expect, adding a basement suite to your home involves a few more variables than other renovation projects. However, with the right planning, insights, and expert assistance, you can create a basement suite that meets your budget and vision. 

If you’re thinking about building a basement suite in your West Toronto home, here are a few key details to consider before you get started. 

Looking for information about selling a home with a secondary suite? Click here for Everything You Need to Know About Selling a Tenanted Property in Ontario

Work With Your Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re looking to add a basement suite to your home as an investment asset or to host guests and family, your real estate agent can be a great resource throughout the project. Based on your unique goals, your agent can help you create and execute a plan of action. 

Offering end-to-end assistance, an agent can:

  • Help you draft a strong budget
  • Navigate the red tape 
  • Connect you to trusted local contractors and builders
  • And more

Plus, depending on how you intend to use your basement suite after it’s built, there may be logistical or legal considerations for you to be aware of. As your long-term advisor in all things real estate, your agent is there to guide you through the process from start to finish. 

Gearing up to sell your West Toronto home? Explore these resources from our blog to learn how you can maximize your sale. 

Establishing Your Budget 

Like any major renovation, adding a basement suite to your home requires careful financial planning. If you choose to start building without a thoughtful budget, you could find yourself in hot water fairly quickly. 

Establishing the best budget for your project will depend on your unique vision. For instance, if you plan on using your basement suite to earn income, there will be specific regulatory costs to account for after you’ve finished construction. During this step, you can work closely with your agent to ensure you have a quality financial plan that covers all of your bases. 

Permits & Red Tape

Like any major home upgrade, adding a basement suite to your home will come with some red tape. In addition to acquiring a building permit, there are a variety of codes and bylaws you’ll need to be aware of. In some cases, you may not even be permitted to add a basement suite to your home due to zoning or other restrictions.  

Although it could be tempting, it’s important to avoid taking shortcuts during this step. Choosing to not get the right permits could lead to expensive setbacks, legal issues, or the removal of your completed suite by the city. 

Looking for more information about value-building home upgrades? Check out these blog posts.

Tenant Management Basics 

In West Toronto, the demand for compact rental units (such as a basement suite) continues to climb each year. If you’re looking to host tenants and use your basement suite as an income generator, there will be more regulations you’ll need to consider. 

While a basement suite is directly attached to your primary residence, you are still considered to be a professional landlord by the province and city. As a landlord, you’ll have a distinct set of responsibilities (and rights) to follow – just like your tenants. For a crash course on the legalities of being a landlord in Toronto, the Residential Tenancies Act is a great place to start. 

Additionally, if you wish to use your basement suite as a short-term rental property on platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com, or Vrbo, there are even more financial and regulatory variables to adhere to. Once again, a real estate agent is your best resource in navigating these complexities and accomplishing your overall goals. 

Thinking about adding a basement suite to your West Toronto home? As local real estate agents, we can guide you through the process. Send us an email or call 416-769-6050 to get started. 

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