The mounting inflation in Wisconsin, skyrocketing gas and food commodity prices, and increasing unemployment rates have compelled many Kenosha residents to look for side hustles and additional income sources.
If you’re lucky enough to own a house in Kenosha with an unused basement, there’s a lot you can do with this extra space to generate additional income or start your own side business.
Converting your unfinished basement into an income suite is a smart way to utilize the available space while adding much-needed funds to your monthly income. And the best way to do that is to turn your basement into a residential area for potential tenants.
You can simply leverage an existing asset – your home – to generate a sustainable revenue stream without investing your valuable savings into risky business ventures or dedicating extra hours to a side hustle.
If your home has an unfinished basement, it’s time to remodel it into a comfortable living space that meets the needs and desires of prospective renters. Continue reading as we unveil essential steps to transform your basement into an income-generating asset that can provide stability and financial freedom in uncertain times.
- Assess Your Unfinished Basement and Plan Upgrades
The first step in converting an unfinished basement of your house into a steady income stream is to meticulously assess the available space and plan carefully to ensure a successful and hassle-free renovation.
You’ll require professional help to evaluate the entire area and determine what can be done.
Start by looking up Kenosha basement finishing contractors near me on any popular search engine to find the best basement finishing professionals in your area to evaluate your basement’s potential.
These professionals have years of experience making necessary adjustments or improvements in unfinished basements while considering multifaceted factors such as the structural integrity of your home, safety requirements, and zoning regulations.
They’ll examine the size and layout of your basement to ensure it has sufficient space to accommodate a functional living area.
A thorough evaluation by a professional will help you identify any adjustments to create a habitable space within the basement.
Plumbing, electrical wiring, water sanitation, insulation, ceiling height, natural light sources, and HVAC systems are essential core aspects professionals will plan out to ensure your new income suite meets all the necessary standards and codes.
On top of that, they’ll help you get the permits and develop a well-thought-out floor plan in line with your individual needs and preferences, whether you envision a cozy studio apartment, a man cave, a functional home office, or a separate residential area inside the basement.
- Ensure You Meet Kenosha’s Basement Suite Safety & Legal Requirements
Different cities have varying rules regarding converting basements into apartments, some permitting it while others may not.
If your city allows such conversions, specific guidelines and requirements may apply, which outline precisely what your income suite should entail.
Before your basement finishing contractors start their renovation, you must understand the legal requirements and familiarize yourself with Kenosha’s local standards and regulations for building a legal basement suite.
Some common considerations include minimum ceiling height, egress window requirements, and fire safety measures.
Check the local municipality regulations and determine whether your basement suite is sustainable and that the renovations comply with the necessary safety and legal requirements for such a project.
This essential step keeps you away from the frustration of ending up with a basement conversion that isn’t permitted. It also presents an opportunity to plan only those basement elements that are legally approved and allocate a budget accordingly.
- Create Separate Entrance and Exits
Among the primary legal requirements for creating a separate residential area in your basement is providing the tenants with individual exterior entrances and exits.
Separate entryways ensure fire safety compliance and grant your tenants the added convenience of having independent access. However, giving a separate entrance doesn’t have to be an expensive upgrade.
You can use your garage door or backyard to create a couple of access points to the basement, and if you already have a basement door connected to these areas, consider yourself lucky!
However, suppose you want your basement residence to be an attractive rental property. In that case, we recommend installing a separate entrance closer to the front door or anywhere on the forward-facing side of the home.
- Plumbing and Sanitation are Crucial
When converting your basement into an income suite, pay meticulous attention to your basement’s plumbing and sanitation systems.
Inadequate plumbing leads to many problems, including water leaks, mold growth, and damage to your home’s structural integrity and belongings.
Leaky pipes not only waste water and increase utility bills but also create a damp and mold-prone environment that can be hazardous to tenants’ health. Moreover, during rainy or snowy seasons in Kenosha, insufficient sanitation can pose serious challenges, including water accumulation, flooding, and health and safety hazards due to lack of proper drainage.
Professional basement contractors are well-versed in tackling these plumbing and sanitation challenges. Work with them to carefully design your basement’s plumbing system, considering the placement of your bathroom and kitchen and the overall depth of your basement.
- A Well-Equipped Kitchen and Bathroom is a Necessity
Your recipe for an attractive and desirable basement income suit is incomplete without the key ingredients – a well-equipped kitchen and bathroom.
A functional and aesthetically appealing kitchen and bathroom increases your chances of finding tenants quickly and allows you to command higher rent for your income suite.
Ensure your bathroom has all the essential elements, even within a limited space. Install standing showers instead of bathtubs and use floating vanities to maximize the use of limited space.
Resort to a half-kitchen with an open floor plan to use the space best without compromising comfort and functionality. But if your basement allows, opt for a fully functional kitchen equipped with an appropriate-sized stove, exhaust, oven, and refrigerator.
Full-size fridge, stove, and microwave. Maximizing the available space with ample counter area and potentially adding a dining area can enhance the convenience and usability of the kitchen.
- Acoustic Insulation and Soundproofing
Invest in acoustic insulation and soundproofing measures to create a peaceful and enjoyable living space for tenants and the household.
Basement areas often transmit sound easily, which can be disruptive. Incorporate soundproofing materials in walls, floors, and ceilings to minimize noise transmission and enhance the privacy of the income suite.
Homeowners in Kenosha have a rewarding opportunity to turn their unused and unfinished basements into a dream haven for potential tenants and generate monthly income without a tedious side hustle. However, make sure your basement income suite is properly planned. Consider the legal and safety regulations and ensure your basement has an efficient water drainage and ventilation system.
These essential design components will produce a pleasant and appealing living area for potential renters, transforming your home into a valuable resource.