Duplex Conversions, Hamilton

  • Luxurious modern apartment on second floor of Hamilton home


Duplex conversion is converting a property that is typically a single-family house with one unit into a multi-family property that has two separate units in it. These separate units make up what is called a duplex. 

Many real estate professionals see benefits for an investor in creating multi-family homes as an investor or homeowner could create a secondary unit in their basement, making it a legal basement apartment in the lower level that can be rented out to tenants. Being able to lease out the other unit and make some rental income can help you manage mortgage payments or it can be saved for a rainy day.

Duplexes often consist of a main-floor unit with a second unit or living space in the lower storey of your home. Depending on your location, finding a piece of real estate that is suited for renting can be tricky as there are a few considerations you have to keep in mind including lot size, required parking spaces, residential zones, and property code; these can all affect your ability to build a legal apartment from a bungalow or two-storey home.

Many properties are undergoing construction to be converted into legal basement apartments. Brokerage companies or realtors may work with prospective buyers who are looking at centrally located homes for sale that are ready to be fully renovated into secondary units.


These brokerage companies ensure your home or duplex is up to the requirements before buying. However, if you’re forgoing the brokerage aspect of homebuying, our planning consultants will be here for you throughout your renovation and can point you in the right direction. You don’t need a brokerage company when converting a duplex!


We’re here for you every step of the way and look forward to working with you on every aspect of converting your single-family home into a duplex. Whether you plan on living in the home, or see it as an investment opportunity, creating a rental unit within a house is a new opportunity when purchasing a home.

We will meet your budget and work with your cash flow throughout the planning process. Our renovation consultants will help with permits and legal needs and ensure that your house is up to code and meets the regulations of the law. 

Unfortunately, finding or creating an illegal unit is actually quite common. Illegal duplexes are considered illegal for various reasons as they can affect the quality of living over time if the ceiling is too short or there is no separate entrance between two tenants. As well, there has to be some sort of window in each room in case of a fire emergency.

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Legally, properties must have separate entrances and each ceiling must be a proper height. Each unit must also have its own metering system and you must make sure the unit provides adequate space in terms of bedrooms and square footage. As well, units require at least one bathroom and a certain number of fire escapes depending on the size of the unit. You also have to consider the furnace room when converting a duplex. 

A legal nonconforming unit is a legal multi-family home that was built before new zoning or property laws were put in place. So, while the legal non-conforming apartment may not meet every current law or set of codes, it is still technically legal. Additionally, with multi-family homes, at least one of the two units of the multi-family home has to be rented out. 

A legal lot size is an important component of conversion as well. Lots being considered for remodeling must be 270 square metres, or 2906.3 sq. ft. Units on the property must be in accordance with the law. Creating enough bedrooms to fit your space is also important since having multiple bedrooms creates value in your secondary suite or lower apartment. One bedroom can also be a good option for owners who decide that they only want to rent to a single person.

Depending on the type of home or lease agreement you have with your tenants, you might consider installing separate meters for utilities. Especially if the other unit is your family home, it might be easier to split the utilities into two different meters.


In the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA), the duplex conversion is a great investment as you can make some extra money and keep your costs down. One of the main hubs for the conversion is in the city of Hamilton, specifically the Hamilton mountain and Gage Park area. The mountain is a sought-after area in the city due to its lower housing cost than that of central or downtown Hamilton. Many mountain dwellers live in units in houses, and some houses would be built to specifically be multi-family homes due to their side doors, or separate walk-out entrances.

We can help make your bungalow or investment house into a beautiful, unique home for two units that meet the requirements of the law. Our building services are top-notch and will help you achieve a rentable unit you and your tenants can be proud of! We understand as a homeowner or investor this is a life-changing experience and a big purchase, so we want to help you make the most of it!


At Honest Renovations, our team of well-trained professional tradesmen are here to get the job done efficiently, affordably, and exquisitely. For the past five years, we’ve been providing top-quality renovation services at an affordable cost. 

Our mission is to provide customers with 100% satisfaction in their property renovation endeavours. We specialize in a variety of renovation projects and have a passion for every project we do.

Contact us today and we will assess your home and provide you with a free, no-obligation quote for secondary basement apartments you can rent out. We’re honest with our estimates and work to meet any budget. We are totally transparent about cost and there will be no surprise fees.

We’re proud to serve customers across the Lake Ontario region and throughout Hamilton, Hamilton Mountain, Flamborough, Oakville, Stoney Creek, Mississauga, Niagara, and Dundas!

Call Honest Renovations or fill out a form for a free, no-obligation quote today!

Our availability is limited, don’t wait to contact us!