Renovating Rentals on a Budget
Budget Tips for Rental Property Renovations
One of the most important ideas to keep in mind is that tenants are not homeowners. Even the best of tenants do not have the same feeling for your rental property as the home they will own in the future. Providing a temporary home that is clean, inviting, and easy to maintain fits the bill for most rental renovations.
Investors should conduct a walk-through of their rental properties and compile an inventory of what needs to be completed. Create a list with materials needed and sort the tasks into “must do,” “could do,” or “optional upgrades” in order to determine what can be renovated based on the available budget. Here are some ways landlords can save some money on important renovations typically done to rentals, so they make the property move-in ready without breaking the bank.
While it is not necessary for multiple units to be exactly the same, duplication can help cut costs during replacement or updating. Using stock paint colors that do not have to be matched will be much less expensive for spot touch ups. Also, basic colors like beige carpets, white walls in the living areas, pale blues for bathrooms, or pale yellows for kitchens create a general color pallet that will not turn off potential tenants who may not enjoy flashy shades for paint or dark carpeting.
Kitchen cabinets that can be refurbished, repainted, or refaced help make kitchen updating less expensive. If the cabinets still have their gloss, updating the pulls and handles can give a kitchen an inexpensive boost. Large appliances can have new facing panels added to update the look without the expense of replacement. Providing overhead storage for pots and pans can add functionality and a sense of warmth. Updating faucets, lighting, and backsplashes can be inexpensive and create a fresh look.
Granite countertops may provide a wow effect in a high end rental asset but is overkill for most properties. Composite materials can provide the same look without risk of cracking, chipping, or staining. Composite materials come in a wide range of solids or patterns and can be more resistant to damage than granite. Sectional countertop divisions can be replaced without requiring a full countertop replacement.
Bathroom fixtures such as sinks, toilets, and tub surrounds should be basic colors (white or almond). Having custom colors can change the price of a tub surround or toilet replacement by hundreds of dollars. Many times toilets can be rebuilt rather than replaced. New faucets, shower rods, doors, and sprayers can liven up a dreary bathroom. Keeping vents clean and in good working order can help to combat mold and mildew.
Flooring is another often replaced item for rental properties. Laminate flooring is fast replacing carpeting in many units. Laminates are easy to maintain, can sometimes be spot replaced, and hold less allergen than carpeting. Tile for kitchen and bathroom is always a good choice to make cleanup easier for the tenant.
Everyone enjoys technologies. Offering simple yet durable technologies can make a rental property stand out to prospective tenants. Solar outdoor lighting, smart (programmable) thermostats, USB enabled outlets, motion detectors, room to room audio monitoring, security systems, programmable door locks, keyless entry panels, will be noticed and appreciated.