Help with the basement layout
December 6, 2012 in Other
I've been trying to make a decision about how to re-finish the basement for a few YEARS, so I would really appreciate your input. The key dilemma is - is it possible to split a 1250-1290 sq ft of space + some 100 sq ft of cold cellar into a 1BR rental unit and also keep a significant portion of it for our own use. Given the stiff code requirements and countless anecdotes about problems with renters, the dilemma has morphed into: rental suite + our space, no rental, or a layout that could easily be turned into a rental.

A real estate agent suggested that 1/2 of the basement + the laundry could be turned into a 1 bedroom rental, while the part with the fireplace + the storage room could remain for our use. She thought that the rental would be "big enough" given the size of the condos in the metro area.

We need a laundry in the basement and, since an office needs to go there too, a powder room for our use would be a very useful feature.

I have since talked to more than a dozen people in the building/renovation business and spent countless hours trying to figure out a layout that could work (and meet the code requirements) - so far with no success.

Stumbling blocks: cinder block walls which separate the laundry/utility area and the cold cellar from the central section of the basement and locations of "door" openings in them, no room for any alterations of the staircase, a large deck that makes it impossible to open another window on the south side of the house, a huge stone-faced fireplace, steel posts, fuse box, and the furnace. There is at present no separate entrance. Hot and cold water supply run to under the stairs, where a rental hot water tank is (no drain there - so it will either have to be relocated or a drain opened next to it - to meet the code).

We'll appreciate any suggestions.
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