Upgrading basement suite

Question Icon
Posted by: from Edmonton
8/24/2012 at 2:01:35 PM

I recently bought a home which had an illegal secondary suite, which I am now looking to legalize. I have not had the building/fire code inspection yet, but have an idea of some of the things that would need to be done. I will need to finish the ceiling in the furnace room to meet fire code. I am told that a certain type of fire retardant insulation can be used in areas where it is too difficult to drywall. As well, I need to have smoke detectors wired in that are connected between the main floor and suite. The suite has adequate sized windows, ceiling height, etc. to meet code.

I realize that is likely not enough information for an estimate, but perhaps a range from best case scenario to worst case scenario?


User Icon
Paul from Paul's Contracting in Barrie
Date/Time8/27/2012 at 6:45:17 AM

Hi J,

It would be best (if you haven't already) to confirmed your property is zoned for a multiple-residential dwelling. I can't really give a cost ball park without knowing all the issues. There are to many things to consider. A reputable contractor in your area should be able to give you some advise on the things that will require modifying, and their related expenses. Make sure they are licensed to work in your area, insured, and that their staff are WSIB (or equivalent in your area).

If zoning isn't an issue, I would suggest going into the City to file for a building permit to complete the modifications outlined by your contractor, and schedule a fire marshal inspection to better understand what they want to see. You may also need a fire damper switch in the duct work depending on your situation. Using Roxul insulation is great for between the floor joists in your furnace room to stop smoke traveling, but will not be sufficient on its own to protect the joist themselves from burning; so you may need to install a sprinkler head if the ceiling can not be fully dry-walled in the furnace room.

I hope you find this useful information, and wish you well on your project!


Paul Counter


Paul's Contracting

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.