Renovating a Sweet Basement Suite

A hands-on course* to experience what goes into a perfect, legal basement suite as well as a great opportunity to network with people just like you.

* Due to the nature of this course, space is extremely limited.


Jeff Reed, Master Carpenter, House Flipper & Seasoned Instructor
Karen Sealy, Award-winning, Celebrity Designer & Renovation Expert

Class Information

Mission Statement
Our goal is to arm you with all the most up-to-date information about: …so that you, too, can create a perfect basement suite.

Are you ready for a true hands on experience to not just learn but to SEE what it takes to create a legal basement suite? Then, this course is for you! Every class is taught by industry pros currently working in the trenches, sharing their expert tricks, tips and things to avoid. This course is heads and tails above the rest since you will learn in the studio and on the job site - every class!

To check out 'Before' and construction photos, as well as an interactive, virtual tour, CLICK HERE.

BONUS: Students enrolled in our course will get an exclusive product catalogue of pre-approved products they can purchase at below retail cost to help with their renovation.

Course Schedule

117 Dunington Drive
(south of Warden Ave. & Danforth Ave.)

Street parking available on:
Hollis Ave., Freeman St.,
and Manderley Dr.


Registration Cost

$2495* (Register before Oct 14th and save $400!)
$2895* (Register by course start)
*Plus tax
BONUS: Sign up with a family member or someone who shares your residence and we will discount you each $250.

Payment Methods We Currently Accept:

Cash • Cheques, Visa/MC Cheques • Electronic Funds Transfers

To sign up or for more information:

Contact Emily Thiffault at or call us at (416) 694-8588

Course Descriptions

Open House

  • intro to studio and jobsite before work commences-lots of pics and videos of “BEFORE”
  • Course Intro ("Can I build and what's required?")

  • intro to course
  • functional needs list
  • zoning req (legal suite vs std bsmt)
  • permits req
  • what is COA?
  • rental income targets? (furn or un)
  • where to advt?
  • where geographically can you build?
  • pros/cons of creating a bsmt suite
  • separating utilities, renting additional gas & hydro meters
  • site walkthrough-discuss progress- excavation/ foundations
    [Back to top]

    Design 101: Do's and Don'ts ("Where do you spend and save?" "What does a trade pckg look like?")

  • furniture floor plans to show RCP
  • design - lighting and plumbing
  • communicating with your trades (show trade packages) (HOUZZ, Pinterest…)
  • reinforce design limitations based on codes (egress, natural light, ceiling heights, fire separation)
  • cabinets /millwork drawings
  • general finishes
  • site walkthrough
    [Back to top]

    Scope of Work checklist ("How do you finish on time and on budget?" "Where does water go when it leaves your house?")

  • a list in chronological order by trade/task of work, with anticipated timing
  • special insurances required
  • Plumbing discussion on site- examining drains in floor under concrete- camera into drains
  • site walkthrough
    [Back to top]

    Ceiling heights ("What are my options for increasing ceiling heights?")

  • pros and cons of 4 different techniques (lifting, underpinning, bench, angle of repose)
  • concrete floors -(incd., undergrd rivers, water flow, weeping tile…)
  • structural considerations (foundations, moving a structural post, beam options)
  • site walkthrough
    [Back to top]

    Services/Trades ("How do I hire sub-trades and who to schedule first?")

  • HVAC- types and insulation
  • plumbing rough-ins,
  • electrical/wiring (extras- cabling telephone, speakers, alarms, internet…)
  • design considerations & workarounds
  • share any real quotes- materials
  • share any real quotes- trades
  • site walkthrough
    [Back to top]

    Framing, windows, stairs, blocking and walls/ceiling

  • Framing do’s/donts
  • beams- flush or not
  • windows –considerations
  • stairs - considerations (code headroom/landings)
  • blocking considerations
  • wall/ceiling treatment options
  • pros and cons of options
  • building inspector visit
  • considerations for later work on upper floors
  • details in framing- ie niches etc
  • site walkthrough
    [Back to top]


  • Staging for walkthroughs, selling vs. photos vs. TV
    [Back to top]


    Jeff Reed

    For over two decades Jeff Reed has worked in real estate related professions. To name a few he has worked as a master craftsman, finish carpenter, project manager, home designer, house flipper, investor, course designer and instructor, sought after lecturer and writer. Now he is distilling his vast experience into clear streams. He invites you to benefit from his skills and knowledge.

    Most of the time he can be found following his passion for building well designed, Distinct Properties, however occasionally Mr. Reed shares his wealth of wisdom through his courses. Developed to help fledgling and experienced real estate investors and flippers, his courses equip you with the tools, expertise and experience to plan and manage profitable renovations, redesigns and new builds.

    Karen Sealy

    Award-winning Designer Karen Sealy is equally at ease in a hardhat or heels – and her passion and deep-rooted knowledge of the two distinct sides of design set her apart in her field. Her years of unique experiences, from working side-by-side with trades on the tools, to formal education in interior design, business and psychology to an unequalled talent for space planning and a genuine love for listening and nurturing people position Sealy Design to create the most fabulous spaces for the people lucky enough to enjoy them.

    Karen is a regular design expert on the national TV show, Cityline and host & designer of HGTV’s “Summer Home”, (s.1). Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Elle Décor, Style at Home, and all of Canada’s national newspapers.