Project Description

A basement gets converted to a quality rentable apartment


When life circumstances change it often necessitates rethinking real estate needs. For our client, a recent divorce caused her to rethink the amount of space she needed.  Instead of selling her Wallingford home, she converted a partially finished basement into a rentable one bedroom apartment.
The design incorporates an open kitchen, dining and living room to allow the tenant flexibility in furniture layout depending on their needs. A large bedroom with ample storage includes a new egress window exit. A bathroom with tiled shower is located nearby, yet is also convenient for guests to use. A shared laundry and mechanical space allows the owner access to mechanical equipment without having to enter the tenant’s space.  A new heating system was installed for the basement incorporating radiant heat in a new stained concrete slab.

Project Info & Tips

  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) are sometimes called Mother-in-Law Apartments
  • In Seattle, ADU’s can either be attached or detached, and there are specific and different requirements for each
  • An attached ADU usually requires modifications to the existing house to provide separate controls for heat and electrical for each individual unit.   In this particular design the electrical panel was located in a shared laundry area.  Mechanical equipment was relocated to spaces accessible to each unit
  • An attached ADU will often require a fire separation between units, and construction of approved assemblies between units to reduce sound transmission
  • An additional parking space is usually required when adding an ADU, however there are some exceptions in Seattle.  This project qualified for an exception due to its location in an Urban Village
  • It is usually more costly to design, permit, and build an ADU than a standard basement remodel
    The City of Seattle requires a full review of the entire house and site to permit an ADU
  • To learn more, see our article on Basement Remodels
  • Level of Design Services: Full Services
  • How do I Estimate Construction Cost and Design Fees?
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