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Turning a basement into a legal flat

Beacon Construction have renovated a lot of homes for growing families, but more and more we are getting customers who have a property that they wish to retire in. Some are buying smaller units and renovating while our latest client has decided they love their family home so much they would put a legal flat in the current basement to retire to when they are ready, or rent as an income source in their retirement.

The house is a typical 1970's double storey home with a rumpus room in the basement. There was enough existing space for lounge, dining, kitchen, bathroom/laundry, further space was made for the bedroom by pushing out one of the basement walls. Initially the client wanted to try and retain some of the existing linings, but it was cheaper and quicker to remove and replace all the wall linings. For the flat to be legal it also needed to be fire rated with no internal access, meaning fire rated GIB board needed to be installed.

The flat has a separate private access and off street parking. Heating has been installed throughout in the ceilings and underfloor in the bathroom to make sure it is always warm and light. The owner wanted to achieve a beach feeling of having sand on your feet, just coming in from the beach. To achieve this TG&V plywood paneling has been installed, matched with light timber laminate floors. Large ranchsliders create an indoor/outdoor flow and provision has been made outside for a spa pool. A landscaping plan gives privacy from the existing house while still allowing a stroll down the lawn to sit and enjoy the extensive sea view.

Everything went smoothly with the alteration of rumpus room to independent self contained flat. The owner wasn’t sure whether they should Air BNB the space or rent out full time.

Just prior to the Covid 19 lockdown permanent tenants moved in and the owners are very pleased to have a passive income in their home. There was a little uncertainty whether the investment would be worth the return. But the owners are very pleased with decision to make the investment.

In the future the owners may retire into their beautifully appointed flat, with ample provision for heating, and rent out the main house. There is a storage unit built into the back of the garage so that the whole house could be rented if the owners choose to spend extended time travelling. A very good outcome.

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