Kimbourne Ave. – How to Renovate a Small Basement on The Toronto Danforth

Make Your Basement Bigger Than It Actually Is

This basement is a pretty typical layout for homes on the Toronto Danforth that need renovations. The space has a narrow steep stairway; the ceilings are very low with interfering ductwork; there’s limited space for rooms; the mechanical areas take up considerable room; the bathroom is tiny; and the floors are way out of level. In some instances the best thing to do is underpin and create more height to the basement. However, this involves a considerable amount of cost and time. It’s not uncommon for underpinning in the basement to be more than $60,000. So what can you do?

There are a number of strategies you can implement to help make use of a previously really unusable space. We start by giving a lot of thought to the framing. You need to ask how do we minimize it as much as possible. Really in small basements every inch counts. If you can eliminate an area of framing, or cut back the size of specific areas, then do it. However, you do need to keep in mind there are minimums that are required in bathrooms, and walkways. After you’ve determined the footprint install a Dricore insulated subfloor, which will help the room feel warmer and make it feel like a main floor of the home. Minimize bulkheads were possible, and relocate ductwork they just won’t work in the space too.

During Construction

After you’ve completed your framing, see where you can have large sliding doors that are typically used for closets they can act as a wall. This will make sure that you have access to your mechanical room without the need of a door way that takes up space. We also recommend using flat panel doors and trim. This will help open up the space. More importantly, use flat panel LED lighting with white coloured walls. Light colours will keep the space open, and the lighting will keep it bright. For flooring that is uneven we recommend carpeting that will contour much better, and use a walk-in shower that will eliminate the need of a curb that takes up extra space. You may also want to invest in some high-quality porch and stair paint to clean up an old stairway rather than endure the expense of a new set of stairs.

Product Features

Some Helpful Tips

  1. Use LED panel lighting as much as possible to really illuminate your small space.
  2. Paint the entire basement white to make it appear a large as possible.
  3. Install flat panel doors and trim that simply the basement and give the appearance that they are part of the wall.

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Mark Ashton

Kitchen & Bath Designer
AKBD, CLIPP, B.A., B.A.S. (Mgmt.)

For over 25 years, Ashton Renovations has offered an innovative and professional approach to home renovations. From kitchens and baths to whole house projects, we can transform any room in your home.