Eastview Homes’ Twelve Steps to a Flawless Renovation are evidenced below in a series of Before & After pictures. The images were snapped over the course of six months while our crew improved a basement in Burlington. In this case study, Eastview Homes did all the work over the winter of 2022 / 2023. The property was spray foam insulated in October, which is when the first series of pictures were taken, and the ‘After’ images were snapped when the basement was professionally staged for pictures in April 2023.
Initial visit and evaluation was, and is always the first thing that happens. Eastview toured the site with the homeowners to evaluate the project. We inspected the whole space to determine its suitability for renovation and the proposed budget. We considered factors such as ceiling height, ventilation, natural light, plumbing access, and structural integrity. Whatever was to be created, we needed to ensure the space met the minimum requirements for safety and habitability.
Design and layout: Eastview drafted a new floor plan based on the homeowners’ preferences. We considered many factors such as the number of rooms, bathrooms, living areas and offices. The homeowner wanted a private study and better laundry facilities.
Obtain necessary permits: The third step in the process is where Eastview helps the homeowners obtain the required permits and approvals from their municipality. We submit architectural plans, construction details, and other relevant documents.
Prepare the basement: Eastview demolished almost all of the existing partitions and we even ripped out the old stairs; we removed all materials not needed for the new apartment. We striped the place right down to the studs so we could look at the foundation walls.
Plumbing and electrical work: Sub contractors installed new plumbing and electrical systems in the empty shell. We switched around the bathrooms and added electrical outlets, and lighting fixtures, and an HVAC system. We hired tradespeople who are very experienced licensed professionals for this work to ensure its quality and compliance with safety standards.
Framing and insulation: Build or modify walls and partitions according to the approved floor plan. Eastview arranged to have all the foundation walls reinsulated with spray foam insulation to improve the basement’s energy efficiency and also to better soundproof the cieling that separates the basement apartment from the rest of the house.
Flooring and ceiling: Eastview laid down an inch-thick composite subfloor under the laminate wood flooring you can see in the pictures. The colour was selected in accordance with the designers’ masterplan. Some parts of the ceiling were shaped to provide access to plumbing, electrical, and ventilation components. In Ontario, 6’5 feet is the minimum ceiling height for a basement apartment.
Windows and natural light: Eastview enlarges and maximizes the daylight from the basement windows wherever possible.
Finishing touches: Eastview’s finishing carpenter and interior decorators added lots of flourish and their work includes painting walls, installing baseboards, trim, doors, and other fixtures. The homeowners picked out their lighting fixtures, and selected spots for switches, and outlets to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space.
Safety measures: Eastview oversaw the installation of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers according to local safety regulations.
Inspections and certifications: Eastview coordinates with inspectors who visit the site at different stages of the construction process to ensure compliance with building codes and regulations. We help obtain the necessary certifications and clearances from relevant authorities before allowing occupancy.
Furnish and decorate: Once all necessary approvals are obtained, furnish and decorate the basement apartment according to your design preferences and the needs of potential tenants or occupants.
Exterior doors must be at least 32″x78″ in size and be of solid wood or metal, with a minimum thickness of 1.75″. Interior doors must have a 1/2-inch gap at the bottom to provide air movement within a basement apartment, unless return air ducts are installed in the room.
Are Fireplaces Allowed in Basements in Ontario?
Yes. Fireplaces are allowed in basements in Ontario. Fireplaces are an excellent addition to any home and they’re especially warm and inviting in the basement where they almost always become the centerpiece of the room. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they also offer warmth and vibrancy. They excite the room and can replace the television.
In addition to maximizing the window light, Eastview Homes likes to install LED pot lights in the ceiling, controlled by a dimmer switch. LED lights are best for basement applications because they’re able to illuminate an entire room while consuming the least amount of energy.
In the bottom right corner of the bathroom photo above, the high-quality exhaust fan is visible. A bathroom exhaust fan helps eliminate odors and improves indoor air quality throughout the apartment. The ventilation system will also remove moisture and humidity. Not using an exhaust fan could lead to structural damage or mildew and mold growth. Depending on your basement layout and the local code, a window may be deemed sufficient for ventilation, but Eastview always recommends installing some manner of exhaust fan system. In the basement, these fans can be vented horizontally out to the home’s sidewall, similar to a dryer vent.
Crown molding adds elegance and sophistication to a basement renovation.
Crown molding is a decorative element used to enhance the overall appearance of a room. It adds a touch of sophistication to the transition between the walls and the ceiling, making the space feel more complete and visually appealing. The intricate designs and architectural details of crown molding can elevate the basement’s aesthetics, creating a more upscale and inviting atmosphere.
Crown moulding can help define the space as basements can sometimes feel cavernous or lacking in character. By adding this decorative element to the top of the walls, Eastview creates a sense of proportion and elegance which makes the basement feel more like a finished living area rather than just a utilitarian space.
The process of creating a basement apartment is more complicated than simply finishing a basement, but the same twelve steps would form Eastview’s approach. Consult with professionals – Eastview Homes’ own architects, engineers and tradespeople will ensure you follow the correct procedures and adhere to all legal requirements.