So you’ve been thinking about adding a basement apartment to add value to your home. It’s a great option because basement apartments add income through tenants, as well as add value to the resale value of the home itself. But before you start your renovations, there are some very important things to take into consideration.

First and foremost, make sure to research local ordinances to make sure that everything in the apartment area will be up to code. Fines for living areas not being up to building code can cost thousands of dollars, as well as compromise the safety of tenants. The codes for renting basement apartments out may vary from city to city, as well as must meet Michigan code requirements. That’s why it’s imperative not to skip this very important first step.

One important Michigan law is that all basements with habitable space must have an open-able window or door for emergency escape or rescue. Egress windows are an important requirement because having that means of escape could literally mean life or death in case of a fire or if the stairs become blocked for any reason when medical care is needed.

Egress windows are a great investment not only for safety reasons and meeting code, but because they add great options that can put your apartment a step above others. Egress windows add natural light to an area that might otherwise be dark or gloomy. Imagine walking through an apartment trying to decide which one you’d like to rent out. Chances are, you’d choose the one that had a more light and an open feel to it.

When deciding where you’d like your egress window installed, here are a few rooms you may want to consider.

  • Kitchen. Putting egress windows in the kitchen is a great option because they can be opened while tenants are cooking to help reduce humidity levels or air out any cooking smells. Another great option for kitchen egress windows would be as an area for the tenants to grow box herbs for easy access while cooking. Just make sure they know to make them easily movable in case of an emergency!
  • Bedroom. Another room to consider installing your egress window would be the bedroom area because it gives tenants the option of waking up to natural lighting. That same natural lighting helps make the room itself look bigger, which may be appealing to tenants. Another thing to keep in mind with putting an egress window in the bedroom is that in the case of a fire in the middle of the night, that egress window provides quick and easy access to escape.
  • Bathroom. Some people prefer putting their egress window in the bathroom due to the ability to open the window to get fresh air and help eliminate moisture in the air. Excessive moisture is a common problem in most bathrooms but can be exasperated in a basement bathroom. Another benefit having your egress window installed in the bathroom is that natural light will be helpful when tenants are getting ready in the morning. Basement lighting isn’t always the best, so having that natural light would probably be appreciated!

So as you start the process of getting your basement apartment ready, consider some of these great egress window options. Remember, if you can’t decide on a room, you could always put them in multiple rooms!