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Renovation Tips for First-Time and DIY Landlords

Whether you’ve just bought your first rental property or have been running it as a do-it-yourself landlord, you’re going to have to tackle renovations.

Renovating your property makes it more appealing to new and current tenants. It saves you from bigger problems down the road. If you’re planning to make some impactful changes to your rental today, it’s important that these changes maximize your income potential. Here are five helpful tips:

1. Get at least three bids.

Don’t hire the first contractor you speak with. A good rule of thumb is to get several bids, at least three, because this helps you make an educated decision. You want to end up getting the best deal. When checking a bid, pay attention to essential aspects of a project such as the people involved, materials, payment terms, and proof of licensure.

Read: How to Find a Reliable Contractor for Your Rental Property

2. Paint all walls with the same color.

Wall painting is a common home improvement task. If you’re going to do it, choose a neutral color and paint all your walls with that color. Doing so will create an elegant and uniform look. Also, when it’s time to do some touch-ups, you can always reach for one can of paint or simply buy one -- not many.

3. Repair and clean first.

Not everything in your rental apartment deserves to be replaced immediately. Have a “repair and clean first” rule. This will save you a lot of money. For example, let’s say you have a one-year-old dirty carpet, consider a professional steam service rather than buying a new one. If your gutters are leaking and don’t have serious damage, have them repaired.

4. Opt for energy-efficiency appliances.

You don’t have to tackle a huge renovation project. Start with smaller yet important ones such as replacing old appliances. This time, choose an energy-efficient appliance, whether it’s a new refrigerator, water heater, or washing machine. Look for Energy Star rated models as they work toward reducing energy costs as well as pollution (think about contributing to a better planet).

Related: Eco-Friendly Rentals: How to Make Your Property Greener

5. Consider storage

Storage is one aspect of a home that leads to less clutter. It will also save everyone a lot of time in searching for missed items. The right storage solutions maximize space and the design of your rental home. Utilize dead spaces in the kitchen for mobile carts. Install larger cabinets to hold pots and food storage containers.


Keep these basic tips in mind when renovating your rental. If you know of property investors in your location, it would be wise to seek their advice as well. It’s best to be prepared for renovation to keep your costs down while meeting your style needs.

If you’re ready, make Landlord Prep your go-to resource for landlording education. Here, we offer a complete DIY landlording course to get you on the right track. Join our academy today. If you want, you can check out Flavia’s real estate investing webinar first!