Turning a basement into an apartment can add livable space for adult children or elderly parents. It can also be added for extra income if you would like to rent it out.
Converting a basement into an apartment takes a few steps, said Jim Stratton, marketing sales manager for DreamMaker in South Ogden.
First of all, "There really should be a master plan," Stratton said. "The biggest problem we see is that people just start throwing walls up with no game plan. That just creates chaos."
Stratton said designing a master plan that meets building code requirements, getting a bid and then selecting your products will lead to a successful, beautiful basement apartment.
Most basement apartments have at least one bathroom and many even have kitchenettes. Installing either of these takes a little bit of knowledge and usually a professional to guide you in the right direction.
According to eHow.com, before installing a kitchen or bathroom, you need to know where the plumbing is located in your home as well as making sure you have adequate electrical circuits for major appliances. An electric stove requires at least a 240v circuit.
The cost of a kitchenette really depends on your taste and the products you choose, Stratton said.
"You are in control," he said. "Your budget will dictate what goes into the plan. You can spend very little and get the results you're looking for, or you can really go elaborate and spend a lot more."
Brian Wyatt, owner of Wasatch Custom Cabinets, said prices for cabinets are more competitive than they have ever been.
"Most kitchens we are doing right now average $6,000 to $10,000, including countertops," he said. "This can vary of course on size, design, wood types, hardware and the type of countertop."
Thisoldhouse.com suggests if you're looking to build a small kitchen, installing a small sink at the very least with an under-the-counter refrigerator will get you off to a great start. A U-shaped countertop can add a bar-type effect.
Cabinets are also worth considering when you add a kitchenette to the basement apartment, because you will need space for dishes, flatware and food items.
The best way to get started, Wyatt said, is to have a designer come out to your home and look at the space available and then discuss your options.
"From there, we can design our custom cabinets on the computer so customers can see what their kitchen will look like before it gets started," he said. "Also, homeowners can bring their room measurements into our showroom and one of our designers can give you a bid from that."
"Another thing to consider, especially if you have an elderly parent moving into the apartment is a modified shower or bathtub," Stratton said. "Adding a railing or lift can really make it easy on an aging individual."