Do It Yourself (DIY) Renovation Ideas For Investment Rentals: Part II

Sometimes cabinets are just too far gone for painting and hardware replacement. In this case, you may need to re-face or replace the cabinets. Either can cost a pretty penny. When replacing cabinets, be sure to check out your choices in ready made cabinets before having cabinets custom made. Whether you replace the cabinets entirely or simply have them re-faced, be sure to get several bids to get the most value for your renovation dollar.

Once you’ve taken care of your cabinet refreshing, refinishing or replacing, you will want to consider the counter top. This can be a costly renovation, but an old, scruffy counter top definitely sticks out like a sore thumb next to nice, new cabinets so it’s best to do them both. You could pay anywhere from $15 to $65 per square foot for counter top. It depends on the materials you choose. I, personally, prefer the large squares of granite you can find at most home renovation stores. These are generally 18″ X 24″. They are a lot better than one foot square granite tiles. It costs between $22 and $30 a square foot to install these, and the granite, itself runs from $10 to $15 a square foot. This is costly, but incredibly durable and long-lasting. A less expensive option is a simple laminate counter top. These are quite affordable and very easy to install. TIP: When installing a counter top in a rental, use dark grout.

Just as you cannot replace cabinets without replacing the counter top, you cannot replace counter the top without triggering a need to replace the sink and the faucets. Luckily, you can usually pick up a nice new stainless steel sink with faucets in place for between two or three hundred dollars. For ease of installation, be sure to purchase the combination pack.

When you replace kitchen flooring, you really ought to invest in tile. Linoleum type options are cheaper, but they just are not durable. If you must go with a linoleum floor, be sure to select a very tough grade to get the most value for your money. Stay away from wood laminate flooring or carpeting for a kitchen application. Just as with counter top grout, be sure to use dark grout when installing tile flooring in a rental.

Appliances are usually long-lived, and your rental property may have some very old appliances that work just fine. It may still be smart to replace them, though. For one thing, they are probably not energy efficient. For another, the kitchen will just look a lot better with new appliances. Additionally, by replacing outdated appliances with moderate grade new appliances, you are saving yourself the trouble of dealing with a broken down old appliance sometime in the near future.

Think about energy efficiency in terms of lighting, too. You may want to replace old fixtures with modern, energy saving fixtures. This will improve the appearance of your rental unit while improving safety and saving energy.

If you have purchased an older property, you should also have an electrician and a plumber come in to examine your systems. Have your old water valves switched out, and have new electrical outlets and switches put in the kitchen. These should be the newer GFCI circuit type for reasons of water-related safety.

No matter how you do these jobs or have them done, they will cost you money. Be that as it may, a kitchen renovation is a smart investment for your rental property. It will help you fulfill your number-one goal of keeping your tenants satisfied and in place for the long term. Nice tenants want to live in a nice home. When you take the time and care to provide a comfortable, attractive, well-functioning kitchen, your tenants are far more likely to stay put.

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