How to Prepare Your Basement to Become a Downstairs Apartment

Do you have an unfinished basement that you’d like to transform into a comfortable living space? If so, enjoy this list of practical ideas for preparing your basement to become a downstairs apartment:

Consider Possible Traffic Patterns

Ideally, a basement apartment would have its own entrance that can be accessed apart from the main entrance to the home. The door should be lockable from both the inside and the outside.

You also have to evaluate whether you want the two living spaces to be accessible from one another. If it’ll be a closely related family member who’s living down there, you probably do want this access. However, if you’re planning to rent the space to a stranger for some extra cash, it might be preferable to make your main living space inaccessible from the basement apartment.

Integrate Space-Saving Appliances 

The apartment dwellers in this unit will presumably need to be able to prepare meals, wash dishes, and do laundry. A washing machine and dryer are optional if there are good laundromats in your area. Otherwise, you’ll want to consider installing appliances that will make daily chores convenient for your basement tenants.

You don’t need to buy brand new appliances to serve this purpose. As an alternative, you could likely save money by buying used appliances locally. Another option would be to repair broken appliances you might already have hanging around in your basement or garage. If you’re handy, you can sometimes do that type of repair work yourself; if not, you can enlist the help of a professional service like Northshore Appliance Repair Inc.

Assess Whether a Dehumidifier Is Needed

If people are living in the basement apartment, it’s ideal to use a dehumidifier when needed to remove excess moisture in the air.

Perhaps you don’t recognize the signs indicating that a dehumidifier would be beneficial. A musty odor is one of the key warning signs that use of a dehumidifier is warranted. If the basement is prone to experiencing condensation issues, a dehumidifier is likely to be helpful for improving the situation. If you notice that your double-pane basement windows look foggy or have moisture trapped in between the panes, those are some additional signs that a dehumidifier would be useful to have.

Install Livable Flooring

Standard basement flooring is practical, but it isn’t known for its charm or eye appeal. Your basement tenants are sure to appreciate it if you give them a more livable flooring material. Tile and carpeting are both fantastic flooring options for basement apartments. You may also want to consider durable options like luxury vinyl plank flooring that will withstand wear and tear.

If installing new flooring isn’t a viable option for you right now, you could consider area rugs as an alternative. A few well-placed area rugs in the apartment could make it seem much more enticing.


There are countless other possible renovations you could make when transforming an unfinished basement into a livable apartment dwelling. However, the suggestions mentioned above point you in the direction of the highest priority steps you might want to take when preparing your basement to become a downstairs apartment.

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