In real estate, the basement is often synonymous with unexploited potential. Forgotten in favor of kitchens and bathrooms, the basement quickly becomes a simple and humid storage place that holds our grandparents' antique furniture, our travel memories or our children when they are not wise (no one is judging you!). However, if done properly, transforming your basement can significantly increase the resale value of your property and become a useful and pleasant living space. So, ready to give your basement a facelift and make it a centerpiece of your home? Before embarking on renovation work, several important factors must be taken into account.

 1. The health of the occupants

Before transforming a basement, a few basic checks must first be done. For example, is your basement habitable according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) standards?

CMHC uses 4 criteria to judge the habitable aspect of a space:

  1. Do you have to bend over to avoid a beam or duct?
  2. Are there any traces of moisture and mildew?
  3. Do the clothes or objects in storage have a musty smell?
  4. Are there cracks on the walls and floor?

In the basement, humidity is a big concern. To overcome this, the walls of your basement must provide a waterproof barrier and reduce the risk of mold. Do not hesitate to call on renovation professionals to find out more about the right approach.

2. Energy efficiency

Transforming your basement is also an opportunity to improve the insulation of your home to reduce your heating bill and reduce shivering in winter. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), there are several things to consider to ensure that your basement does not consume too much energy. Here are some suggestions:

• Improve the insulation of walls and floors.

• Provide an effective air barrier.

• Insulate the cold and hot-water pipes.

• Install energy-efficient lighting fixtures. Provide the lighting concept for work surfaces and optimize the natural light when available.

• Install energy-efficient windows.

3. The resale value of your home

The average recovery rate of your basement transformation work will vary depending on the work: another reason to ask yourself the right questions before you start.

What are our current needs? What would be most valuable to potential buyers? All these choices should guide your thinking.

 As for the basement transformation project itself, there are many options available to you and here are some ideas:

A secondary apartment or “bachelor” apartment

Do you want to have a separate place to welcome your friends and (especially) your in-laws? Transforming your basement into a second home can increase the market value of your home while providing you with a higher level of privacy. 

A cellar or wine cellar

cellier sous-sol

As Epicure so aptly puts it: “Pleasure is the beginning and end of a happy life.”

To please yourself, what could be better than to have a cellar built to store your good bottles of wine. However, be careful to insulate this space in order to respect the ideal temperature for storing the wine (10 to 14 degrees Celsius).

A Gym and/or SPA

Gym sous-sol

Discouraged from having to travel to run on the antique treadmill of your gym?  Maybe it’s time to turn your basement into a state-of-the-art training room. Let’s look at the big picture: why not have a sauna or hammam built at home? 

A Workspace

Do you often work from home and your home environment is not stimulating enough? Transform your basement into a soundproof home office that perfectly meets your needs for quiet and space.

A Home Theater

sous-sol cinéma maison

If you are not looking to create a quiet space, but rather a place of entertainment, a home theater can also be a very interesting option. With a home theater, enjoy moments of emotion and greater than life action while staying in the comfort of your home!

As Albert Dupontel so aptly put it: “The goal is not to make cinema, but to make your cinema”.

The possibilities are unlimited! Would you like to transform your basement to create a pleasant, sanitary and multifunctional living space? Entrust your renovations to the professionals at ESPÉ and also benefit from valuable advice for your interior design. Contact us today.