A Guide to Building Apartments in The Sims 2: Apartment Life

Use a cheat code to build condos, townhouses, and connected apartments

The Sims 2 Apartment Life Screenshot

 Electronic Arts

The Sims 2: Apartment Life is the eighth and final expansion for Electronic Arts' popular life simulation video game The Sims 2. Despite the name, there isn't an easy way to create your own apartment building in it, but it really only takes one cheat code and the right doors to create one of three different building archetypes. Condominiums are separate apartment buildings, townhouses are connected but each unit has a separate garage and roof, and connected apartments are buildings with multiple apartments inside. Here's how to build one of your own.

This guide specifically applies to The Sims 2: Apartment Life on PC.

How to Build an Apartment in The Sims 2

Building a custom apartment building in The Sims 2: Apartment Life begins with an empty residential lot. If you're building connected apartments, choose a 3x3 lot. For condos, go with a 3x4 lot. Townhouses are best built on 5x2 lots. Once you have your lot, follow the below steps:

The lot must be empty and can't have an occupant. 

  1. Enter an empty residential lot in Build/Buy mode.

  2. Design your apartment building. Plan on three or four apartments on each lot. Lay the foundation and build the exterior walls.

  3. Buy and place the essentials including plumbing, counters, doors, windows, stove, fridge, smoke alarms, ceiling lights, security system, and any build mode objects. 

  4. Decorate and fully furnish each apartment. NPC families will use the furniture once they move in.

  5. Add wallpaper and floors.

  6. Add an apartment door—a unique separator door—to each apartment. A rug should be in the hallway. This must be the only entrance or exit to the apartment. Each apartment has a lobby; decorate it.

  7. Landscape with gardens, fences, outdoor lighting, and perhaps a pool. 

  8. Do a "walk-around" and be sure all objects are in place.

  9. Open the cheat box by pressing Ctrl+Shift+C and enter this command: changelotzoning apartmentbase.

  10. The residential mailbox changes to a multi-slot apartment mailbox. An error message appears if there's a problem with the apartment. If this happens, you should check for multiple entrances and door placement. Fix the problem and type the cheat code again.

  11. Save and exit the lot, then move a new family into your building. 

Do not change a lot back to residential from an apartment after you move a family into your new building.