Basement suites. 

Basement suites are our specialty, we love building these. We value adding value to our clients and adding a suite to a home is a big way to add a huge amount of value to a home and to our clients lives. There are however  some important aspects to keep in mind if you want to enjoy this added benefit. 

Here is a list of things to think about when designing a rental suite. 

Sound, this is the number one complaint of every renter or homeowner. This one item will make or break your rental experience.  Recently the code changed and while it added some more costs to the project it is going to protect the experience of everyone involved. 

Sound bar, this is a metal track often referred to as a hat track that goes between the wood structure and the drywall. It acts as a sound break While it brings down the noise transfer by creating an air space it is no substitute for insulation.  


Insulate all connecting walls and ceilings or floors. This is going to be the one thing that does the most for reducing sound. Use a minimum of a 2×6 insulation, ensure it is installed correctly and not squished into place. Insulation only works when it is fully expanded and goes from edge to edge. If the insulation doesn’t fit right in the space it is filling it won’t work right. 

Having spent time doing restoration work, I would highly suggest that in a basement suite the bottom 4 feet of all walls use rockwool insulation. Not only is this product fireproof but it is water resistant meaning it won’t fail if it gets wet. Any space where fire or water might be an issue rockwool is going to be your friend for the longevity of your suite. 


Good flooring isn’t cheap but repairing wrecked flooring is an even bigger expense.  We always suggest using vinyl plank flooring. The most important aspect is its resistance to water. No one will ever care for your home like you do. And water damage is the biggest cause of flooring disasters. It only makes sense to pick a waterproof flooring. Most vinyl will also warp less and is less likely to scratch and chip. 


Choosing your finishings is a big part of making a nice suite, keep it simple. Make sure the finishing’s can be easily replaced, or have a good warranty. Faucets like Moen come with a lifetime warranty and make for a great choice, granite countertops are probably not a wise choice. A chip or damage from a hot pot, can lead to thousands of dollars of repairs leaving everyone stressed and out of pocket. 


There are very strict codes around windows in a suite. Make sure your windows are big enough or can be added in easier locations. For instance a wood framed wall instead of a concrete wall. It’s also important to note that you can’t put a window in a wall close to a gas meter. These become very limiting factors when considering how many bedrooms your suite will have. 

Lastly laundry 

Laundry is a huge incentive for renters, but adding a second washing machine and dryer to a suite can get tricky quickly.  There are lots of creative ways to do this, a sump pump can be installed or choosing a location close to existing plumbing is alwaysideal and good way to save money. We often use an indoor vent for our laundry units so we aren’t fishing a pipe up through a second floor and through a roof. Don’t forget about the vent for the dryer, 25 feet is  the furthest distance you can run with the appropriate venting pipe. 

If you are thinking about a basement suite for your home or a rental property give us a shout for a free consultation. We would love to help you make sure your rental experience is adding the value it should to your life.