Do’s and Don’ts for Remodeling Your Rental

October 23, 2018

Successful home remodeling increases the value of your rental property. However, a misguided remodel will be costly instead of cost-effective. For starters, make sure you plan everything in advance. The next step is to identify all project areas that you want to achieve before starting a remodel.

  • First, start with the structure. You can ask questions like: Are there any electrical wiring problems? What about the plumbing? Is there any damage to walls, flooring, or roof? Are your heating and cooling systems updated? These are the key points to address in a home remodeling project.
  • Secondly, the next step is planning an effective layout. Your aim should be for a layout that matches the target tenant lifestyle. As a landlord, you should be mindful of hidden infrastructure like structural walls and drainage pipes. These can be costly and impossible to reposition.
  • Finally, focus on a clear picture of the final project. High-end rentals are typically modern and fresh. Their design is simple and functional. Global corporate tenants expect high-quality and fully-furnished interiors.

Let us help guide you through the process. The information below will elevate your rental property from standard to superior.

DO Check for permit requirements

Before all else, check if you need a permit. Above all, do seek out a permit before starting. Structural and foundational upgrades often need permits. For instance, demolishing load-bearing walls and installing new electrical wiring. Permits are not usually needed however for surface projects. This includes: laying new flooring, re-painting, and minor electrical work. Replacing appliances that don’t involve plumbing lines, gas mains or electrical circuits? No permits needed. Unsure if your project requires a permit? Simply contact your local permitting office to find out.

DON’T Do it yourself

Don’t attempt a project that is beyond your ability. Minor cosmetic work can be done DIY. For example, re-painting walls or replacing fixtures. However, major structural projects should be left to the professionals. Engineering and plumbing can require a lot of work. The electrical too. Compare contractors by customer reviews and price and be wary of lower cost quotes. This may result in a negative trade-off for lesser quality workmanship or materials. Hire professionals who are licensed, insured, and qualified. 

two people sitting at a table looking over a blueprint and making a plan

Don’t underestimate the power of a professional who knows what they are doing

DO Establish a budget

Once you’ve established the remodeling goals, estimate and weigh the costs of major vs minor upgrades, while keeping in mind the price of high-quality materials. There will be fees for professional services, such as contractors and designers. You can plan for a profitable return by focusing on projects that will be recouped in the value of your rental. High-quality kitchens and bathrooms are appealing for tenants, as they offer the biggest return on investment.

DON’T Use cheap materials

Durable materials are always a solid investment. They simplify the entire property maintenance process. You should certainly invest in tile or hardwood flooring and granite or marble countertops.

DO Use clever architectural solutions

When you optimize the functionality of your space, it appeals to renters. For big city dwellers, they are used to micro-living and a smart floorplan can make your unit stand out. Major remodeling upgrades can change the layout to maximize space and storage. For instance, remove or separate walls with partitions or flexible sliding panels. Opt for light, modern and reflective paneling materials in glass, mesh or wood. On the more economical side, a set of curtains can divide up space while controlling light. Separate the bedroom or living room area into open plan areas. Built-in storage, such as a wall created from shelves or elevated beds, is an effective use of small apartment spaces.

DON’T Go for bold colors

A neutral color palette will certainly appeal to the largest number of tenants. Instead, introduce elements of color with interior decor and furnishings for warmth. Hence, steer clear of bold fads and trends that will become quickly dated.

color choices on multiple palettes

Beware of bold color choices that might alienate some tenants

DO Upgrade appliances

Tenants seeking high-end rentals will often look for modern and high-tech appliances. When shopping for appliances, install quality sinks, refrigerators, ranges, and dishwashers. By having a washer and dryer in your city center unit, your apartment will instantly stand out for this added convenience. After all, who wants to spend their evenings down at the laundromat.

DON’T Forget fixtures

Upgrade cosmetic elements such as cabinet doors, handles or lighting fixtures, for a luxurious look.

DO Design lighting

A well-lit property provides a welcoming environment. By enlisting a lighting professional, they will return with a custom lighting plan that will allow your apartment to shine. Additionally, consider smart lighting to completely upgrade your rental.

DON’T Ignore safety

Landlords and property owners can’t underestimate the added value of safety features. Tenants can sleep soundly when their property is protected by an up-to-date alarm system. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a simple addition and can be installed in minutes. You may also choose to include monitor those well-lit outdoor areas with motion detectors for added security value.

There are many factors to consider when starting a home remodel. If you need professional support Blueground can help. We are experts at upgrading high-quality rental properties. Our experienced design team will transform your property into the ideal rental.

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