Everything you need to know about basement development

Home School Building 101

Basements make up a big part of a home and there are tons of things you can do with this space. Some may use it as a playroom area for the kids or rent it out as a legal suite to offset living costs. Are you interested in developing your new basement? Here we answer some of the top most common questions we get about basement developments!

Do new homes come with finished basements?

New homes do not come with a finished basement but it’s an option that is offered in the home building process. Speak with your Area Manager and they’ll provide the options available.

How much do finished basements usually cost?

This is heavily dependent on the square footage of your home and what types of plans you have for the basement, but they start around $30,000.

Is it better to have the builder finish the basement or to do it after move-in?

This decision is solely based on personal preference, however finishing your basement with your builder provides extra convenience, especially if you want to start using it right away once you’ve moved in. Plus, you will be able to pick interior finishes that are cohesive with the rest of your home.

What is the difference between a regular basement development and a basement suite development?

When you are developing your basement for personal usage, you are free to create any space you like - whether it be a movie room or a guest bedroom area. If you are developing for a legal basement suite, there are certain regulations and criteria that need to be met in order to ‘pass the test’. These include things such as having a separate furnace for the basement.

I’d like to finish the basement myself, how much does it cost for rough-ins* only?

This depends on your home but typically costs around 7K-8K for suite rough-ins only. This includes the installation of HVac ductwork that separates the suite and the main residence. It’s important to know that legal suite rough-ins are done differently so it’s a good idea to know what the end use for your basement will be.

*Rough-In - Basic framing, initial wiring, and plumbing and HVac installations are done, but walls are still not installed.

Are you considering building a legal basement suite for extra income?

It’s common to build a basement suite for rent, but there are many qualifications and legal requirements to meet before you can put it on the market. Here are 4 things you should consider before making this decision in the home building process.

1. Floorplan - A separate rear or side entry is required for legal basement suites. Some homes already have separate entries, like the Cadence with a shared rear entry, but it can also be added to home models such as the Nixon

2. Lot Type - Walk out lots are not required but are a popular option for basement suites. Read more about the different types of home lots here.

3. Exterior Elevations - Depending on your city’s regulations, there are certain dimensions and elevations of windows and door placements that need to be met. Be sure to check with your city beforehand to ensure you’re on the right track.

4. Community - There are certain communities or community zones that allow or restrict basement suites. To be sure, check with your city and community Area Manager before you choose your home lot.

When homeowners build a new home, the basement is a blank slate with endless possibilities for development! Our team at Morrison is here to help you navigate this exciting part of building your home. Get in touch with us today!