How to Choose the Most Cost-Effective Options When You’re Renovating a Rental Property

How to Choose the Most Cost-Effective Options When You’re Renovating a Rental Property thumbnail

Refurbishing a property adds to its equity, maintains rentability, and maximizes your ROI. Before you spruce up your unit, let’s take a look at the scope of renovations, material selection, style, and choice of contractors. The success equation would be to make profitable choices when it comes to renovating a rental property while being economical.

Money-Saving Tips for Renovating a Rental Property

As quoted by ApartmentList, the national rent index is up by 0.7% month-over-month. The pandemic and remote work have spurred demand for space and affordability everywhere. This makes it challenging for the unit owner to prioritize renovations to the rental property to attract tenants at the market rate. So, let’s look at some ways to enhance the appeal of your property at an affordable price.

1. Re-Paint a Rental Unit 

Your unit’s walls might have gotten damaged from several move-ins and move-outs. Either way, a coat of paint helps improve the appeal of the unit to make it feel new and fresh. Paint is one of the most cost-effective renovations to rental property.  

Pro Tip: Neutral shades work well with most properties and appeal to a wider range of audiences, making them a better choice. Also, as a cost-friendly alternative,  you can deep clean your walls, baseboards, etc.

2. Install New Windows

Upgraded windows are known to affect the insulation of your unit, making electrical bills more cost-effective! Owners can also consider adding storm inserts or re-caulk existing windows to keep the renovation cost low yet enticing.

Pro Tip: You can opt for Vinyl windows, they are cost-effective and require less maintenance. For elevated aesthetic appeal, fiberglass windows are the best.

3. Improvise the Curb Appeal

Create a warm, friendly vibe and let the landscape do the talking. There is nothing as pure as setting up a beautiful panorama in the surrounding of your architecture. Install a picket fence to add quirkiness or choose reclaimed brick pavers or well-worn stones to enhance the appeal instantly.  Don’t go overboard. If you have multiple units, stick to a universal shade for exterior paint. Also, pick plants in similar hues like orange or pink that contrast with the exterior of your unit.

Pro Tip: It’s advisable to hire a professional property manager to set up the outside appeal as this is a great way to increase tenant satisfaction. It might also improve your chances of setting a higher lease. 

4. Renovate the Kitchen

Turn your average kitchen into the “heart of your home”. Appliances complete the look of your kitchen. Replace aged appliances of your unit with modern and energy-efficient devices. Cabinets can be remolded with new hardware for a more cohesive look. Add some inexpensive touches: replace the faucet and/or add a glass tile backsplash to provide a nice cost-effective lift for the kitchen.

Pro Tip: Ingeniously, before claiming renovations on a rental property, check into rebates and tax credits from the local government for savings on anything you supersede for energy efficiency!

5. Remodel the Bathroom

An outdated bathroom with pink and blue hues is a big no-no for any rental unit. A minor overhaul is all you need to modernize a bathroom that recoups all the invested money and will help in leasing at a higher rate. Install eco-friendly products to save on utility costs. Unwind in a new jet tub or replace faucets and opt for low-flow showerheads and fixtures with magnificent colors and textures that are relaxing.

Pro Tip:  If you have a small bathroom, maximize the space and storage capacity to give a functional place to your tenants.

6. Install New Flooring

You can embrace various flooring options but renters appreciate hardwood or engineered wood flooring to carpet, tile, and linoleum, as hardwood flooring is durable and easy to clean. It also gives the property a classic look. It’s a wise decision to seek various suppliers and check in the market if you qualify for bulk pricing to renovate the flooring.

Pro Tip: When you’re working through renovations, replace the floors at the end to keep them looking their best as other work can produce a lot of dirt and dust. 

As you can see, if you maintain your rental unit in bits and pieces, the renovation costs for a rental property will be invariably higher and you will end up passing up the rent for those months as rental property will be vacant while renovating. So, it’s important to expedite the renovation process and adapt a cost-effective strategy to save on those losses. Think renovating your units on your own is a tedious task?

Renovate the ‘Beach Front Property Management’ Way

We help in property optimization & renovations

At BFPM, we have in-house, well-trained, and experienced maintenance teams to manage the renovation of your property. We also have access to third-party vendors and contractors throughout Southern California, so you get the best results and your project is in expert hands.


Trevor Henson is the founder of several property management companies and is the current Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Beach Front Property Management in Long Beach, CA. He is a CMO, entrepreneur, Trojan, EO LA member, investment property addict, change agent, and bourbon aficionado.