Adding a Separate Entrance to an existing house?

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Posted by: from Barrie
1/22/2013 at 6:31:57 PM

I am looking for a contractor who could give me a idea of cost for adding a separate entrance to the basement of a bungalow. I lack the experience in this area of expertise. I am in the city of Barrie.

Here are the questions I need answered:

- What is the cost difference of installing separate entrance to a basement on the side of a house (there is plenty of room for it) or installing it through the garage?

- What is required for permits in regards to this project? And would I need an inspector? General cost for these?

Thank you kindly.

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Date/Time1/22/2013 at 7:29:41 PM

Hello homeowner,

I operate in Halton region and GTA but I don't service the city of Barrie.

You raise some very good questions. I will try to answer you to my best ability as more information would be required to produce a more accurate estimate.

Seperate entrance to side or garage?

Depending if there is brick/stone/block on the exterior surface or inside the wall.

Does the garage have brick seperating the garage from the house or is it finished with drywall and a coat of tape?


Yes you would require a building permit for this project whether in the side of the house or in the garage.


An inspector would be required if entry was located where exterior or load bearing wall was altered to make room for the door.


Could range from free to $500

These are basic guidelines for most municipalities. Every region may have different rules involving permits and such. You can contact your local building department and they will provide you with these answers free of charge and without your personal information.

I hoped this helped you somewhat. Take care for now.



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Date/Time1/22/2013 at 7:31:10 PM

The cost of doing an exterior stairway instillation, can start around 4000 dollars and up with an older home. To install with a new home being built, can start around 1500.

I don't recommend installing through the garage, more work, more money, not very function-able.

Because you are doing some excavating and structural work a city permit is required. Price variant on city, usually 50 -250 dollars.

An inspection is required upon completion. price varies, some city's charge, some don't, again not to expensive.

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Date/Time1/22/2013 at 8:51:03 PM

It would mean drains and or a cover over the out side the house set of steps because of the rain and snow

You should not need drains in the garage.

Either of the jobs would be around $5000.

Yes, you would need permits and with permits you get an inspector the permits area percentage of the value of the job the permits are for your protection.

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Steve from Bath Revival in Oshawa
Date/Time1/22/2013 at 10:25:32 PM

Good question. You have a pretty large project or not a large project but a large number of considerations. You do need a permit 100%. I wouldn't do it without one.

You need to consider a lot of things like structural (the lintel above the door helping to hold the wall), drainage around the house (you will interrupt the weeping system, the grading of your property for water runoff, maybe even mechanical (not sure about that though). Also you may be getting into zoning issues especially if you are planning to rent out the basement and you live in single family zone.

Make sure you hire a reputable contractor to do work. It is the foundation of your house. Even an egress window needs to be tied in well or you will get hydrostatic pressure on the wall around the window. Drainage is a huge issue with the door in the basement if the lot isn't graded like a walkout.

I don't really know by what you mean about the entrance through the garage. Do you mean break up the floor to put stairs to the basement?

To be honest I don't know the cost. I would ballpark 10-15k. Considering an egress runs about 3-4k.

Hope that helps

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Steve from Bath Revival in Oshawa
Date/Time1/22/2013 at 10:27:44 PM

Sorry, maybe I was off on the price but I would think closer to 10k.

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Date/Time1/23/2013 at 8:01:08 AM

To answer your questions as simply as possible, I would recommend any time your attempting a structural alteration of any nature you attain the required permits. Without seeing the area affected by your project its hard to say the cost but to move stairs inside garage will be substantially more. The reasons for this are many but the main one is the inability to excavate easily with machinery. Also there may be more structural reinforcement needed to the existing structure.

Cost for this project will depend on your local area permit cost and affected by your market for contractors.

We hope this helps.


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R. from R2 Renovations in Ottawa
Date/Time1/23/2013 at 8:02:11 AM

I would suggest that you call in some qualified contractors to give you quotes. An accurate quote CAN NOT be given without seeing the site to determine the scope of work.

YES, you would need to have a building permit. With a building permit you will need plans drawn up, zoning would have to be checked, and YES, with a permit, a building inspector would be involved.

From my experience, if this door is going to be installed with a new stairway that runs below grade, you will be looking at 5 - 10 thousand dollars (maybe even more), depending on what needs to be cut open to accomadate a doorway rough openning, drainage issues, means of egress etc... Like I said, its not possible for an accurate quote without seeing and gathering more info.

Call the city of Barrie and speak to the people who look after building permits for more info on the application process as well as determining what the zoning by laws are in your area.

Now you can see why us contractors are so expensive .... lol ; )

Good luck with your project


R2 Renos (Ottawa)

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Date/Time1/23/2013 at 9:00:06 AM

Thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate all the great info.

Steve Rose

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Kevin from J&K Renovations in Morrisburg
Date/Time1/23/2013 at 2:57:29 PM

Hi there i seee that you want to put in a seperate entrance, either way you need to have a permit done also if you go from the garage you should have a engineer look at your house stucture.

Are your basement walls made out of cement blocks? Also how big is the garage and is there a concrete floor?

If you go from the garage you would have to cut the concrete out then dig down, put up concrete walls and pour a floor, build a set of steps then cut the wall out into the basement. The magor things good going from the garage is that there is a roof already built.

Hopefully this helps you out.


Kevin Armstrong

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Date/Time1/23/2013 at 6:29:27 PM

Hello, cost is a bit difficult to determine, there are too many obstacles to consider:

1- do you have enough room to accommodate the slope for the amount of steps required. (keep in mind that you will need to dig approx. 3 ft. past where you wall would be poured and then back fill)

2- are you far enough from the property line

3-If you decide to put it from outside, you will need a drain at the bottom landing

4-3x3 landing required for both

5-you will need your stairway wide enough to accommodate a 34" entry door to your home

6-you will need a railing for safety measures, also required by code

7- accessibility for machinery is also a huge factor

As you can see, those are only a few of the obstacles, type of railing, what the city charge is for the permit, engineered drawings. So to be able to give you a guesstimate, I would have to say you can start at a minimum of $6000.00 and could go as high as $10,000.00.

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Group S.I.S in Montreal
Date/Time1/23/2013 at 7:54:22 PM

1- Yes you require a permit. I recommend an engineer to draw a plan as to where the entrance will go and what will it affect on the existing structure.

2- cost will very. First do you need to dig the area and how far down do you go, second french drain re-routing etc., saw cuts into existing foundation walls, etc.. This question requires more then just an answer by email, but on onsite visit by your contractor. Hence why I say get an Engineer, because this way when you get your pricing all contractors are basing themselves on the same design.

Thank you


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Date/Time1/26/2013 at 5:28:54 PM

Separate entrance to your house should be from outside and not from the garage, you won't get permit for that!!!!

Cost will start from $4000.00 and up. And you need drawings and permit it will coast around $3500.00.



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Roman in Berlin
Date/Time8/29/2018 at 3:46:25 PM

On the Internet I found interesting material about the construction of spiral stairs A very interesting and useful article, the material from which I used to create the first spiral staircase.

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