Home Improvement: Converting a Basement into an Apartment

Converting a Basement into an Apartment

Hello everyone. I’m Caleb with Dansie Design Build in Draper, Utah. Today, we’re talking about converting a basement into a legal accessory dwelling unit, an internal accessory dwelling unit (IADU), or a basement apartment. There are five simple steps we’ll discuss below.

The Benefits

So the first thing is to keep family close. Many enjoy having their parents or older children in a portion of the home and ensuring a second space is available for some time. 

Aside from that, people also want a basement apartment or a second unit in their home that can generate additional income streams. It’s a good return on investment and a large home improvement project. 

Furthermore, converting a basement increases the value of the home over time. So if and when you ever did sell the property, that value would be there.

The Process

What is the process of making an unfinished basement into a legal second suite or basement apartment

These are called IADUs in Utah. Internal Accessory Dwelling Units is what that stands for.

Step 1: Verify the Property

The first step is to verify that you can do that kind of project on your property. Checking your property’s codes, covenants, restrictions, and zoning will give you an excellent idea if that’s possible in your area. From there, we’ll be jumping into the preliminary design phase of the project.

Step 2: Scope the Location

We will identify the best spot for an external entry and determine the placement of the kitchen. What would be a perfect layout of the basement? We’ll draw some preliminary plans and bring those things together then.

Step 3: Design the Basement

The third step is to develop the project design and finalize that with the person who owns the property. From there, we’ll be able to get any engineering done for the walkout or any load-bearing walls inside the basement that may need to be moved.

From that step, we can pull together the project estimate and what it will cost to build. In that process, we’ll also be going through selections, choosing flooring, cabinetry, paint, carpet, tile, and all the variable items involved with this type of construction.

Step 4: Create a Project Estimate

From that step, we can pull together the project estimate and what it will cost to build. In that process, we’ll also be going through selections, choosing flooring, cabinetry, paint, carpet, tile, and all the variable items involved with this type of construction.

Step 5: Apply for the Permits

Once the final design and the estimate are complete, we’ll apply for the permits. So that will be the next step, along with signing the building agreement.

Step 6: Start the Build

Once the building agreement is signed and the permits are active and ready from the local city, we jump into the actual construction.

Step 7: Verify the Basement's Safety

After the construction, the last thing we need to do is verify that the final inspection will count towards the internal accessory dwelling unit inspection. The inspectors will want to confirm that everything is safe and sound enough for the city standards to allow someone else to rent that space.

Need Help?

If you need help turning your basement into a basement apartment, you can request a project consultation with us. We look forward to talking to you soon. 

Have a great week. Bye!

BASEMENT FINISHING COST GUIDE

Have you wondered what it costs to finish a basement in Salt Lake and Utah Counties?  Our basement finishing cost guide will give you everything you need to know.

  • Pricing for 1000 and 1500 square foot basement finishes
  • Pricing to include a bathroom, a kitchen, or open square footage
  • Pricing for Basic, Average, and Luxury Level Finishes
  • Basement walkout entrance pricing
  • Real project costs for basements we have finished
  • How to avoid the most costly mistakes while finishing a basement
 

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Download the basement finishing cost guide

Download our FREE basement finishing cost guide. Inside we go over everything you’ll want to know.

  • Pricing calculation for any sized basement
  • Pricing to include a bathroom, a kitchen, a laundry room, or open square footage
  • Basement walkout entrance pricing
  • How to avoid the most costly mistakes while finishing a basement