Case Study: Converting a Single-Family home into a 3-Unit Rental

Our latest project was a property that instantly stood out to a group of savvy investors.


Why? It had all the right ingredients: a basement with a walkdown, ample parking, and a spacious detached garage that promised the potential for a third unit. These investors saw an opportunity to transform this single-family home into a multi-unit residence that would not only build out their portfolio but also provide a more stable income stream.

In this article, we’re going to detail how we helped our client reach their goals. Let’s get started.


Client Background

Originally, this property was a classic single-family home. It was the perfect canvas for maximizing potential by creating three distinct living spaces: a main floor unit, a basement secondary suite, and a detached accessory dwelling unit (ADU).

The motivation for this move was driven by the desire to ensure a more consistent income from the property; with multiple units, the property could continue to generate revenue even if one tenant moved out or faced difficulties with payments.

By converting this property, the owners aimed to create a more resilient investment, transforming a single-family home into a thriving, multi-unit asset.

Design and Planning

When approaching the design for this project, we started by carefully evaluating the existing elements of the property. We took into account the placement of mechanical equipment, the position and size of windows, and the walkout basement. These elements were pivotal in shaping our design strategy.

One of the key considerations was the accessibility of the property. The walkdown basement made access incredibly straightforward, which significantly streamlined our planning process. Given this ease of access, we could efficiently organize the renovation in stages in accordance with the owners' preferences.

The owners opted for a phased approach to the project. We began by completing the secondary suite first, ensuring it was fully functional and up to their standards. Concurrently, we laid the groundwork for the detached ADU by roughing in the plumbing, setting the stage for its future development. This staggered approach allowed the owners to manage the project more effectively, balancing immediate needs with long-term goals.

Main-Floor Kitchen (Before)
Images Courtesy of She Shoots 3D Tours



Features and Amenities

One of the standout features of this project is the thoughtful design of the basement suite. Rather than squeezing in three small bedrooms, the owners chose to create two large, spacious bedrooms. This decision has proven to be very popular with tenants, offering them comfortable living spaces that feel open and inviting.

Although the garage is still in the rough-in stage, its potential is another highlight of the project. The existing structure is quite large and includes an attached workshop. We've designed a plan for a substantial two-bedroom suite that promises to be a fantastic living space for future tenants. This customization showcases our commitment to making the most of existing spaces while ensuring they meet the needs and preferences of those who will live there.

Results and Impact

The feedback from our client has been very positive. The basement suite is now leased, and the tenants have already moved in, settling nicely into their new, spacious home.

The main outcome for our client has been a more stable income stream. By converting the property to accommodate three separate units, they’ll ensure a steady flow of rental income, making their investment more resilient and financially rewarding than most. This project has not only met but exceeded their goals, setting a strong foundation for their future endeavours in property development.

Main-Floor Kitchen (After)
Images Courtesy of She Shoots 3D Tours



In Conclusion

Reflecting on this project, one of the main challenges that we faced was navigating the zoning requirements for the existing garage. The need for a minor variance due to setback issues was a significant hiccup. Although the city has since relaxed these regulations for existing garages, we would advise others to be prepared for potential zoning hurdles.

Overall, this project was a tremendous success. The property was rented quickly and easily through Three Step Property Management, and working with the owners has been a pleasure. We're excited to see the final touches on the garage once it's completed.




Create your own triplex today!

Contact us now to learn more about converting your property into three units!