You may be one of the lucky ones who finds a house hack ready to go with a separate entrance to the basement, added kitchenette, and a second set of washer and dryer so there is no shared laundry. For the rest of you out there, the house could require some form of renovation.
Below is an overview of some of the most common renovations we run across with our house hacking clients. Along with the most common, we’ve included some less common renovations.
Most Common Renovations: #
Most of these common renovations can be a DIY (Do It Yourself) project with some help from YouTube videos.
Framing a wall to create a separate entrance- In the Denver Metro, it is very common to have a basement entrance located close to an exterior door, such as a door leading to the backyard or garage. With some simple framing and drywall, this can be built for around $2,000.
Here is an example of a home where a separate entrance can easily be created:
Using existing plumbing to create a basement kitchenette- Basement utility sinks can easily be converted to functional kitchenettes. All of the plumbing is already there. You will just need to update the sink, cabinets, flooring, etc. Make it look pretty and functional! We have seen prices range from $5,000- $15,000.
Here is an example of a basement with a utility sink that can easily renovated into a small kitchenette
Adding a Second Washer and Dryer– Most single family homes only have 1 washer and dryer. Sharing can be an inconvenience. It is common to add a small stackable washer and dryer so laundry is not shared and will make renting after moving out easier. When all said and done, this can be done for around $5,000-$10,000. Some can be more expensive than others
Less Common Renovations: #
ADU Build Out- Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) from the ground up in the Denver Metro Area is an expensive and time-consuming process (costing over $200,000 and taking 2+ years to complete). In our years of experience, we have only had a few clients execute a full ADU buildout. While it is possible given the investor’s goals and lifestyle, I would not recommend this for a first time investment.
If you would like more information, here are some recent podcasts you will find value in:
- Not Sure Where to Start with an ADU? That ADU Guy Shares His Best Strategies and Tips
- Navigating Denver’s ADU Zoning Updates: What You Must Know 
Building a basement kitchenette from scratch- Building a basement kitchenette can be quite expensive if there is not any existing plumbing. All depending on the level of finishes you go with and amount of work needed cost can run anywhere from $15,000 – $70,000. We have had a few clients go through this process and were pleased with the outcome.