3 Tips for Developing Your Secondary Suite into a Profitable Rental Property

With the right finishes, durable products & materials, & features that add value to renters, your secondary suite can become a profitable rental property.

In the modern “sharing economy” characterized by major players like Airbnb and Uber, adding a secondary suite to your home has never been more lucrative. These can be in the form of a basement suite, carriage house (or laneway house) or another home addition with a private entrance. The potential benefits are straightforward. With the income you can make renting out a secondary suite on an ongoing basis or occasionally on Airbnb, you can offset your mortgage and other expenses while also adding resale value to your home.

In the case of rental properties, ROI can be measured in a few different ways: the equity you build into it, the type of tenants you attract and the cash flow you generate. With the right renovations and finishing touches you can add value to your secondary suite and increase your overall ROI. The key is focusing on the right finishes, durable products and materials and features that add value to the renter.

  1. The Right Finishes

New Hardware & Lighting

This simple change can have a huge impact. By switching out the original or builder-grade hardware and light fixtures to something more stylish and modern you instantly make any room feel more current and valuable.

Fresh paint

When repainting a space, least expensive option is to make everything white or at least all the same neutral colour. For high traffic rooms like kitchens and bathrooms, high-gloss or semi-gloss paint are ideal since the higher the shine, the easier it is to clean and maintain.

Glass Shower Door

If it works within the layout of your bathroom, adding a frameless glass shower door can instantly make a bathroom more luxurious. This finishing touch opens up the space that a shower curtain would normally cut off, making the bathroom feel bigger.

2. Durable Products & Materials


When renovating the kitchen in your secondary suite, we recommend going for mid-grade cabinet materials. By selecting cabinets that are slightly nicer you are ensuring they last. Keep in mind the general wear and tear they will experience and the fact that renters are less likely to pay the same attention to the care of materials and appliances as you would.


When it comes to countertops for your rental property kitchen, quartz is the way to go. Compared to natural stone materials, quartz needs far less maintenance and compared to other synthetic materials it is much more resilient, durable and expensive-looking.


When looking for a space to rent, renters often don’t like the idea of the dirt, dust and stains that can accumulate in carpet from previous tenants. Rather than break the bank with brand new hardwood floors, we recommend luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP). LVP flooring is extremely durable, waterproof and can last in high traffic for years without any issues. It comes in a wide range of colours and patterns that can mimic hardwood. It looks upscale, is durable and affordable – making it a foolproof choice for your secondary suite!

3. Adding Value for the Renter


One key piece of advice we can give you is always make room for a dishwasher – no matter how small the space is. This addition can give you a competitive edge against other secondary suite rentals as well as weed out the renters who are looking for the cheapest option out there.


This value-adding addition is the only one without an aesthetic impact – but it’s one of the most practical changes you can make. By topping up the insulation in your secondary suite, you add value to the renter by making the space more soundproof while also making your home more energy efficient. It’s win-win for you and them!

Private Laundry Space

A foolproof way to add value to your rental property and increase the amount of rent you can charge is by including a washing machine and dryer in the secondary suite. This is ideal if you can tie it into the existing plumbing, so you don’t incur too much additional cost.

Adding a secondary suite to your home or renovating an existing basement suite or carriage house is one of the most cost-effective home improvement projects. Hopefully these tips have shown you the benefit of having a rentable space in your home and the ways to increase the value and your ROI.