Category: Basements

Category: Basements

4 Steps to Recovering from Flooding in Your Home

Flooding is one of the most devastating ways to sustain damage to your home. It can destroy memories, belongings, and make the safety of your house debatable. However, ensuring you take the proper steps to recovering from flooding can make all the difference. Save yourself some money and heartache by being proactive in your flood recovery. Here are the 4 steps that will help save your home from permanent ruin.

Assess the Damage

The first step is assessing the damage. This part can be difficult, as it involves coming face to face with the extent of it. Once you’ve salvaged any belongings that fell victim to the flood, it’s time to take stock of what’s happened.

Furniture that has been soaked in flood water needs to be removed from the house and put somewhere to dry. This furniture may be possible to save, with proper drying and decontaminating, but may succumb to mold or rot. It’s best not to use this furniture until it’s successfully recovered.

Find out what areas of the house have gotten water damage. You’ll need to take stock of:

  1. How high up the damage to the walls goes
  2. If any areas of the floor feel weak or squishy
  3. If water has reached any electrical sockets (Do not use any of your home’s electrical until you can confirm it’s not wet)

Get Professional Help

The next step is getting professional help. Recovering from flooding is not a one man – or even one family – job. If there’s still water pooled in your home, you need to have it removed. This is possible to do with a shop-vac, but is easier and more efficient to do with a pool vacuum.

Have someone come out and assess the damage from a professional viewpoint. You know what’s obvious, but a professional will spot the less noticeable things. They’ll also know how to check for moisture in your insulation, how extensive flooring damage is, whether or not your drywall will need to be replaced or simply repaired, and more.

Replace Ruined Flooring

More often than not, recovering from flooding will mean replacing ruined flooring. It’s rare for any floor to survive a serious flood. Carpet gets soaked and cannot be dried enough to prevent mold. Hardwood coating is damaged and the wood underneath can become soggy or rotted through, making it hazardous to walk on.

Premier Group Contractors does flooring replacement for the GTA. If you’re in Toronto, we’ll be happy to help in the flood recovery process by ensuring your floors are safe to traverse. If that means putting down clean carpeting or tearing out old hardwood to replace it, we can make it happen. 

The important thing is not minimizing what damage has been done to your floors. These are one of the most important parts of your house structure. Even if the damage is tolerable to look at, if water has made it to your subfloor, it could completely rot the floor structure of your home without you realizing until much later.

Follow Up on Damage

And, lastly, the most important step to recovering from flooding is following up on damage later. Moisture is incredibly insidious. It can get into cracks and begin growing mold and rot in tight spaces without your knowledge.

2-6 months after the flood, have an inspector out to your house to check for any remaining damage. If mold has begun to grow, this will give it enough time to come out into the open, and give you enough time to cut it off at the source. It’s not infrequent that people recover from a flood only for it to come back to haunt them years down the line in the form of structural rot or mold growth. Keep your home safe with some extra cautionary measures.

3 Great Uses for an Empty Basement

3 Great Uses for an Empty Basement

If you’ve got yourself an empty basement, you might be wondering what to do with it. Basement spaces are a fantastic opportunity for a lot of different things. It’s really just a matter of what’s right for you. So, here are 3 uses for an empty basement that can all be achieved with the help of Premier Group Contractors.

Entertaining Space

If you love having friends over and want somewhere you can really enjoy bringing company, an entertaining space might be the right choice. Trying to host parties are gatherings when you just don’t have the space for it is a huge bummer. However, get your empty basement turned into an entertaining space and friends will be flocking to your place in no time. 

Use the wide open space to add a kitchenette and wet bar. Mount a TV for watching movies and playing games. You can even put in a pool table or any other kind of entertainment that suits you. Do what’s right for you and your circle. The possibilities are endless. 

Some fun additions that Premier Group can help with are:

  • Dimmable lights. These are perfect if you have a bar and TV combo, allowing guests to get themselves drinks without interrupting the room’s lighting for the movie you’re all watching.
  • Integrated shelving. These shelves can line the walls beside your TV. These provide ample space for game and movie titles as well as consoles.

Individual Suite

If you don’t find yourself hosting friends much, you might find turning your basement into a suite is more useful. This move can make renting out your basement space a possibility. Plus, if your basement is exposed to the outside on any wall, we can add an exterior door. An exterior door will make it so you and your tenants don’t have to share space.

This is an easily achievable space. Putting up additional walls makes adding a bedroom and bathroom easy. Giving your future tenants a bedroom, bathroom, living space, and kitchenette is enough to charge apartment rates. Just remember to be good neighbors too!

Room for Kids

If you’re uninterested in the more entertaining uses for an empty basement, you might be thinking about kids. Whether you have kids already or are waiting to start a family until you have more room, the basement is an incredible asset. An empty basement can turn into multiple additional bedrooms, a new bathroom, and even a playroom, depending on the size. Give your family what they need to grow into individuals and have their own space in your home. 

If you already have kids and they’re getting older, giving them their own space downstairs is also great. You may be able to give them an upgrade in room size and you can say goodbye to sharing a bathroom with them. Plus, every couple likes having more space to themselves. With the kids downstairs, you can worry less about someone stumbling in when you’re looking for privacy. Plus, you can even take down the wall between your room and one that’s just been vacated. Turn your master bedroom into something truly worthy of the title. You can even make or expand an existing on-suite bathroom. 

Hire Premier

Premier Group Contractors is the best group in Toronto for doing this kind of job. Everyone on our team has varying skills. That means they can all work together to make a cohesive crew of experts. Give us a call if you want to set up a consultation.

Make Your Basement the Ideal Hangout

When it comes time to renovate your home, it’s a great opportunity to breathe life into previously unused spaces. An example of one such space is the basement. So many people have basements that are unfinished or are used as a storage space. Oftentimes, the latter happens because the basement wasn’t outfitted with any useful features when it was finished. No matter what the situation, when you’re ready to renovate your basement, here are some ways Premier Group Contractors can make it the ideal hangout.

Make It Spacious

The first thing you want to consider when renovating a basement to accommodate socializing is the space. Ensuring your finished basement has enough space for company is important. Because, once the basement has been renovated, you’ll need to be able to fit in seating, entertainment, and plenty of room for moving around.

Planning on making your basement into a home theater? You’ll need lots of floor space for a sectional, multiple couches, or many recliners. Don’t forget about the space you’ll need for end tables or coffee tables. If you want the ideal home theater experience, include a kitchenette in the design and outfit it with dimmable lighting. This makes getting popcorn or a drink easy – without disrupting the movie or ruining the mood.

Not keen on a theater? Consider the space you’ll need for other types of entertainment then. A pool table required lots of room around it for cue sticks and movement. Prepare adequate shelving around the TV if you want a lot of gaming consoles and games displayed. For this reason, among others, you should also carefully consider where you put power outlets.

Prepare for Guests

You should also take guest accommodation into account. If you plan on making your basement the ideal hangout, you need a bathroom on the same floor. If you ever have overnight guests, you’ll definitely want to make it a full bathroom. Plus, don’t make your guests sleep on the couch. If you have the space to spare, include a guest room in the renovation plans. Having a room for family or friends to sleep over comfortably is a wonderful asset.

Not to mention, making the basement able to accommodate guests with a guest bedroom and full bath is a huge price point if you decide to sell. That’s not only because people like to have guest space, but because a basement that can accommodate someone can be turned into a suite. Basement suites can be use for subletting, family, or live-in nannies.

Additional Facilities

A completely functional basement hangout isn’t complete without a kitchenette. Sure, you could go upstairs every time you want a drink or snack, but why would you want to? Having a kitchenette in the basement makes throwing a party a lot easier. Include a bar and you can really make your nights memorable.

Plus, adding a kitchenette and a bar doesn’t just make your parties more fun. A kitchenette makes your basement guest space even more well-rounded. A kitchenette more than pays for itself in the price boost your house gets. People love having self-sufficient basement spaces. With the addition of a basement exit, your basement could function as its own apartment, allowing you to sublet without sharing an entrance.

If you have any questions about how Premier Group Contractors can help make your basement the ideal hangout, give us a call. We’re happy to help and can even give you an estimate on how much the whole project would cost.

Bring Your Old Basement to Life with a Basement Renovation

A great many homes have a basement in them and it’s not at all uncommon for those basements to get neglected. After all, most people need some storage space or a common area and the basement, if it’s finished at all, is usually it. When all is said and done, your basement may need a little bit of a facelift. Here’s how Premier Group Contractors can help you bring your basement back to life with a basement renovation.

Years of Use

After a number of years using your basement as a den or storage space, it can get a little worn out. Flooring may get worn down or dirty, paint will naturally start to chip, and your basement may not have been much to begin with.

Years of Disuse

There’s also the very real possibility that your basement is nothing more than a raw cement floor and a whole lot of cobwebs. Unfinished basements are one of the most unfortunate wastes of space in a home. There’s so much lost potential in an unfinished basement. Not to mention, because they haven’t been given the attention they deserve, they often lead to mold or pest problems.

Renovation Benefits

Hiring a competent team of contractors to renovate your basement comes with a lot of great benefits. Here are just a few:

  • There’s a boost in your home’s resale value. Having a basement that’s actually functional can add a hefty sum to your home’s resale value. No one likes an unfinished basement. The space is completely useless and a huge eyesore. Making sure there’s something worthwhile downstairs can be a selling point.
  • There’s more room. This seems like a given, but you should take into consideration the number of things you can do with an entire floor of additional space. Basement renovations don’t just cover visual changes; you can have additional walls put up if desired. That means potential bedrooms, bathrooms, and storage space.
  • There’s new potential to sublet. Basement renovations, being able to add additional bedrooms and bathrooms, means potential basement suites. With that, you can rent out individual bedrooms or turn the entire basement into something like an apartment. After all, a functional kitchen, bathroom, and living space are all you need to get a tenant for the downstairs. You can even separate the upstairs with an exterior-type, locked door if there’s a separate entrance for the basement.

Hire Premier

Premier Group is the best company in Toronto for basement renovations. That’s because we have an entire team of contractors who specialize in all aspects of renovation. That means we cover everything from electrical to plumbing and so much more.

If you’re planning a basement renovation in the Toronto area, contact us at Premier Group Contractors. We look forward to hearing from you and are more than happy to answer your questions.

You’ll Never Need to Go Out When Your Basement Is The Party Hotspot

 

 

Walk into any bar and you’ll find three basic elements that draw people in: drinks, counter, and music. What if you can replicate that in your own home and never have to go bar-hopping again?

 

Here are the three essentials to turn your basement into the party hotspot:

 

Drinks

Every bar out there knows that if you want to get a party started, the drinks have to keep flowing. To get started on your own bar, first think about the kind of drinks you and your friends enjoy.

Are you all wine connoisseurs? You’ll need a wine cooler to keep all the bottles at the perfect temperature. Better yet, consider partitioning a dedicated wine cellar room behind or next to the bar counter.

Is beer where it’s at for everyone? Keep a mini-fridge stocked full of beer or go as far as to install some of your favourite beers on tap. If you’re into crafting your own beer, you may even want to set aside your own room for that in the basement.

Or perhaps cocktails and martinis are your drinks of choice? In that case, you’ll want to build an impressive liquor display shelving behind the bar. You should also put in an icemaker as well as a mini-fridge to chill your drink garnishes.

By starting with your drink sources first, you’ll lay down a much more practical basement bar setup that you can design around. This takes us to the aesthetics of the bar counter itself.

 

Counter

The counter is often the centrepiece of most bars as that’s where the party fuel is kept. This is why they spend a tremendous amount of effort into designing their bar counter to be attractive.

For a more traditional or refined feel, use natural materials like wood and stone with polished finishes. If you want your bar counter to have a hip vibe, use engineered materials like quartz or porcelain. Another trendy bar counter material is backlit onyx.

 

Music

Now, let’s get the music pumping! Besides hooking up a thumping surround sound system though, make sure you insulate the basement with quality acoustic panels. Your household members and neighbours will thank you for that if your parties go late into the night.

Next, build a stage at one end of the room and a dance floor right in front of it. If you like to jam with your friends, this is where it can happen. It’s also the stage where you can DJ your own mixes or host a karaoke night. Finally, for the finishing touch, wire the main lights and party lights to dimmers so that you can adjust with ease to create the dance mood you want.

 

And that’s how you have a good time!

Don’t Make These 7 Mistakes If You Want to Attract Homebuyers

 

 

There’s so much you can do to attract homebuyers that you can get sidetracked by the small details. Sometimes, it’s just easier to figure what not to do first:

 

Missing out on renovations that increase resale value the most

If you’re going ahead with renovations, make sure you focus on the rooms that will bring you the most return when you sell your house. The kitchen is, by far, the most crucial room to renovate and it’s definitely worth it to make that the priority. The bathroom is next on the priority list and will boost your home value with the right attractive features. The basement is another golden opportunity as long as you renovate it into a practical space.

 

Sweeping issues under the rug

It’s only going to come back and haunt you because those issues will inevitably get uncovered upon inspection. Then it’s back to the negotiating table again or worse, the buyer just walks. The bottom line is if it’s an issue you would want to know about if you were the buyer, then be upfront about it. Either fix the issue before putting the house on the market or disclose it to buyers and lower the price accordingly.

 

Forgetting to boost curb appeal

First impressions are everything so if the front of your house doesn’t look inviting, no one will want to come knocking. Take a moment to cross the street and really scrutinize objectively how your house looks from that vantage point. Could it use a new coat of paint? Do you need to replace the front door or any of the windows? Does the yard need some landscaping work? The curb appeal effect will stay with potential homebuyers as they view the rest of your house.

 

Neglecting a regular decluttering routine

This is to lessen the amount of mad scrambles you have to do every time there’s a house showing because your house is already practically show-ready. It’s easy to maintain a tidy house if you keep up with decluttering regularly. As soon as you let it lapse though, that’s when everything starts snowballing downhill.  It only takes 15 minutes to declutter each room in your house. On your calendar, set each day of the week to tidy up a different room. Then all you have to do is find a 15-minute window in the day to declutter that room.

 

Leaving a house smell to linger

We often forget our houses have a smell until someone drops by and mentions it. It may not be a bad smell, but then again, not everyone has the same tastes. So don’t leave it to chance! Start dealing with the kitchen scents first and use similar techniques in other areas of the house.

 

Forgoing the help of professionals

Whether that’s hiring a general contracting company for renovations or a real estate agent to market your house, it’s the professionals who’ll give you peace of mind that everything is done properly. Selling your house is a major life-changing decision and it makes a big difference to have some of the workload taken off your plate.

 

Getting emotionally attached to your house

You love your house and understandably think very highly of it. But if you are open to selling it though, you have to check your emotions. Emotions will lead to an instinctive clinging to prices or conditions that are beyond what the current market favours. In the end, you’ll only shoot yourself in the foot by leaving your house stuck on real estate listings for too long, which will further alienate homebuyers.

 

Avoid these mistakes and you’ll be ready in time for the next home buying season!

8 Extra Storage Ideas to Tack on During Basement Renovations

 

 

Let’s face it: there’s a lot of stuff that gets accumulated throughout your lifetime. Much of that stuff eventually make their way into boxes stashed in your basement that you may or may not ever see again. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

 

If you’ve decided to take the first step to turn the basement into a useful space, then it’s time to take a hard look at all the stuff down there and start de-cluttering. And you can do that starting this weekend. Once you’ve got everything down to what you truly need in your life, put them all in their proper places throughout the house.

 

As for the remaining items you still want to keep but don’t belong anywhere else other than the basement, sort them into plastic bins and label everything. Then store them with one or more of these ideas you can tack on during your upcoming basement renovations:

 

Deep shelving

If you have a lot of essentials or memorable keepsakes even after you’ve gone through an honest de-clutter, deep shelving is the best storage workhorse to stack bins. Make sure the shelves are built on a sturdy frame of 2-by-4s. The shelves should be deep enough for at least one large plastic storage bin placed length-wise or two smaller bins.

 

Floor-to-ceiling cabinets

The advantage of using floor-to-ceiling cabinets is that you get to both maximize storage space as well as hide your items out-of-sight behind cabinet doors. In addition to solid shelves inside the cabinets, include deep pull-out drawers as well. They’ll give you better access to your items instead of straining to reach for things at the very back of the cabinets.

 

Cubby-hole shelving units

On the flip side, having all your collector’s memorabilia displayed out in the open may be exactly what you want. In this case, you can opt for cubby-hole shelving units. It’s a versatile set-up that allows you to arrange the items however you want without sacrificing storage space.

 

Under-stairs storage closet

Don’t underestimate how much you can fit beneath the stairs to the basement! It’s a great place to convert into a storage closet, inside which you can build shelves supported by each stair step. You can even turn each step into a pull-out drawer from the side.

 

Partitioned storage room

You can always dedicate an entire room to storage, too. Put up walls and a door around an unused corner of the basement. That way, you can design custom storage units for the interior to suit your needs. When guests come over, all you have to do is just shut the storage room’s door.

 

Wall storage

This idea is perfect to support your hobby and all the supplies that go with it. Find creative ways to store or organize your hobby items with wall-mounted magnetic strips, pegboards, and wire racks. Remember to always secure any weight-bearing organizers to wall studs.

 

Locker row

To safely store expensive or delicate tools, consider getting a row of lockers. Keep the key or combination code on your person or somewhere hidden and go about your day with peace of mind.

 

Furniture with built-in storage

There are furniture specifically designed with extra storage in mind. If you’ve renovated your basement into a den or entertainment area for guests, make use of furniture with built-in storage drawers.

 

With all these ideas, the end result is less stuff and more space. Not to mention a big sigh of relief.

Guide to Bringing Holiday Cheer to Every Room in the House

 

 

You may be part of the annual neighbourhood tradition of keeping the holiday spirits going with front lawn decorations. But what if you also want to do the same on the inside this year?

 

Fear not, we’ve got you covered – with ideas for every room in the house:

 

Basement

The decorations you choose for the basement depends on what kind of room you’ve turned your basement into.

Den or home theatre

LED strip lights running along the baseboards are a great feature for the den. They give the authentic theatre experience of guiding people to their seats. What’s even better is that you can customize the lighting colours you want at the flick of a switch. So come Christmas time, you can change the LED colours to patterns of red, green or white. If you’ve got framed posters of your favourite films on the walls, swap them out with framed posters of your favourite holiday movies. Finally, border the television screen with tinsel garlands. Or you can flank it with two Christmas trees decorated with everything but string lights. You don’t want any lights to distract you from the movie, after all. For a simpler décor, just mount a large festive wreath above the television screen.

Playroom

Whether the playroom is for the kids or the “kidults”, this is where you can throw in all the whimsical holiday decorations you want. Stick on cartoon wall decals of classic holiday characters. Create a giant, wall-sized advent calendar with fabric pockets for different days of the month. Hang colourful homemade stockings on the side of every basement stair step. And don’t forget to put up framed photos of your favourite past holiday party moments.

 

Bathroom

After converting the bathroom into your very own personal spa, you want the holiday decorations to be subtle and not too intrusive. Keeping with the spa theme, you can first get candles in holiday colours or designs and do the same with the towels. Next, hang up a framed painting of a winter landscape or a holiday theme.

If you want a little more, set a poinsettia flower arrangement on a back corner of the bathroom vanity. Not a fan of poinsettia? Fill a large glass jar with Christmas tree baubles instead. You can also arrange evergreen boughs around the edges of the vanity mirror.

 

Bedroom

For the bedroom, choose decorations that bring out as much of its cozy feeling as possible. For example, change the pillowcases, blankets or bedsheets into ones with holiday patterns or colours. Add to the coziness with a couple of thick oversized stockings hanging on the two lower bedposts. Next, border the ceiling with colourful string lights to create a sense of magic in the air just before you go to bed.

The finishing touch can be a mini Christmas tree on a corner of the dresser. Or as a cute gesture, arrange a mistletoe above you and your significant other’s bed.

 

Kitchen

With the kitchen being the centre of holiday feasts, decorations should be all about making the room appeal to the appetite. Bring the Christmas-themed cookie tins out onto the counter and fill them with baked goods throughout the holidays. Then, place a holiday-inspired centrepiece on the kitchen island. It could be something as simple as a fruit bowl with festive carvings or even a tiny Christmas tree with edible ornaments.

Still focusing on the kitchen island area, take inspiration from the shape of the light fixture above to decorate it for the holidays. If they’re pendant lights, you can use tinsel garlands to create Christmas tree outlines. If they’re built in a square or rectangle shape, transform that into Santa’s sleigh. Top off the kitchen decorations by changing the bar stool fabric upholstery to ones with holiday designs. Make sure that you’ve also got tea towels in place that have festive embroidering.

 

Living Room

As the main room that’s the hub of holiday festivities, decorate the living room in a way that you and guests will find warm and inviting. The big Christmas tree in the corner is probably a given, of course. Up next is the window display. It’s nice if you can make it fun to look at from the outside and the inside. Macy’s holiday window displays are famous in New York so it doesn’t hurt to take a page or two from their designs.

You’ll also want to change the throw pillows and quilts on the couch to ones with holiday-themed designs or colours. The best way is to get throw pillows with removable fabric covers. That way, you just have to store fabric covers for whatever occasion and switch them out as needed every year. Hook up a sound system in the room and pipe in a broad range of holiday music – from classic carols to pop songs. Just make sure to keep the volume level down to background level. Last but not least, decorate the fireplace with stockings and ornaments on the mantel. After that, stock up on firewood because nothing complements winter holidays best than getting a lively fire going.

 

From all of us here at Premier Group Contractors, we hope you make merry and enjoy your holidays!

How to Turn Your Basement into an Inviting In-Law Suite – Part 2

Part 1 was all about peace of mind in maximising accessibility and minimising risks in the in-law suite. Now we make it comfortable and inviting:

 

Privacy and independence

This part is actually just as important because you don’t want the suite to seem clinical nor do you want it to be merely an extension of your house. Your parents or in-laws would definitely appreciate your efforts to provide them their own space to maintain their lifestyle. That way, they won’t feel like they’re burdening the family, which no parent or in-law ever wants to do.

One way to give them privacy is to soundproof the suite. You can shore up the insulation, which will also help maintain a steady room temperature. You can also use dual layers of dry wall or even special soundproofing mats behind the walls, doors, and ceiling. Solid soundproofing will allow both households to carry on their day-to-day lives without disturbing each other.

Even if the suite is small, try to set aside a sitting area with armchairs and a couch. This will give them a place to read and watch television. Above all, they’ll have an area to entertain guests while keeping up with their social lives.

Providing them with a spacious walk-in closet is a great way to increase their storage space. After all, they’re now packing their entire life into one suite and a large walk-in closet would help a lot in de-cluttering their living space.

For convenience, make sure that cabinets, shelves, and drawers are no higher than shoulder-height. This is so that they don’t have to reach too far up and risk injuring themselves. Also, give them independent control of light switches, heat, and air conditioning. It’s another way they can adjust the environment to their liking on their own.

 

Kitchen

Check first with municipal authorities to see if you’re allowed to have a full kitchen in the in-law suite. A full kitchen – including a stove, fridge, and sink – would give the greatest independence to your parents or in-laws. If it’s not possible to install a full kitchen, then include these at the very least: fridge, sink, microwave, and a portable double-burner cooking plate. Remember to also set up a table and chairs for taking meals there.

 

Bathroom

For the bathroom, make sure that the shower stall doesn’t have a curb that’ll present a tripping hazard. It’s also a good idea to include a stable, waterproof seat inside the stall so that your parents or in-laws have the option of sitting down during showers. Install a showerhead that has both an overhead fixture and a hand-held extension. The hand-held extension is great for when they’re sitting down for their showers. It’s a nice luxury touch, too, if the showerhead has a spa-like body-spray function. Handrails – with reinforced wall backing support – in the shower stall and around the toilet are essential for safety. However, they don’t have to be the cold, stainless steel hospital-style types either. To make the bathroom feel more stylish and warm, choose handrails with designs and materials that match the rest of the bathroom hardware. The handrails will then serve not only a functional safety purpose, but also as a decorative feature.

 

It can be challenging having your parents or in-laws move back in with you. But as long as respect is at the core of every interaction, solutions can be found for everything and everyone will appreciate one another’s company. Take the time to ask them what they need and really listen to them. By all means, voice your own needs as well. What’s most important is always keeping a dialogue going so that nothing ever gets lost in assumption.

How to Turn Your Basement into an Inviting In-Law Suite – Part 1

Life is circular and it’s natural when the time comes for us to take care of our parents, just as they had taken care of us when we were little. This is also the time when our parents want nothing more than to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Having your parents or in-laws move in with you merges both needs together into one convenient location.
The best way to do this is by creating an in-law suite. If you already have basement space available, work with your contractor to prepare it for remodelling. Part 1 of this two-part series will give you some ideas on how to convert your basement into an inviting in-law suite:

 

Accessibility

It’s always a good idea planning ahead to help your parents or in-laws get around easier in the suite as they get older. This is not to say you’re expecting their health to decline; it just doesn’t hurt to have everything in place and hope for the best. Things like wider, 36-inch doorways are easy to install if you do it right from the start. If the suite has its own entrance from the outside, make sure it’s accessible via a ramp or at least a paved gentle slope. For the closet inside the suite, locate it directly under another closet upstairs in case you ever have to install an elevator one day.

 

Health and safety

Although you’d like to do your best to keep your parents or in-laws safe, don’t go so overboard that you might as well wrap the whole suite up in bubble wrap. That wouldn’t be inviting at all. Instead, think of it simply as managing risk. You can’t foresee every potential harm so just focus on minimising risk in the general environment.

First of all, let in as much natural light as possible so that the suite doesn’t feel like a basement. That means putting in large windows, which is mandated by law anyway if the suite doesn’t have its own exit outside. In addition, you can install a sun tube that’ll focus sunlight from the roof all the way down to the basement suite.

The basement is always prone to humidity even with all the proper vapor barriers in place. High humidity often increases the chances of getting sick. For that reason, an automatic dehumidifier should be set up to maintain the humidity at a preferred level.

The flooring should deal well with basement humidity. Above all, to minimise the risk of injury from falls, it should have a non-slip surface that’s not made of a hard material. That pretty much narrows it down to vinyl for the bathroom and kitchen as well as cork for the bedroom and sitting area. Cork is technically not water-resistant, but it’s a good compromise for safety since it’s got a springy surface (unless they don’t mind having vinyl laid down for the whole suite). Just make sure to clean up any spills right away.

Whenever you can, opt for rounded corner and edge finishes of the suite’s countertops and furniture.

Consider also installing an intercom or emergency call system so that your parents or in-laws can easily reach you on your side of the house if there’s an emergency.

 

Now that you’ve taken care of the crucial safety and accessibility issues, stay tuned for Part 2 where you can make the suite feel like home for your parents or in-laws.

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