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Tips for a Kitchen Renovation in a Rental Property


 Kitchen Island Layout

Making a success of your renovation in a rental property involves a careful balance between the costs of managing the property and the income from the asset. Most times, your costs will be limited to paying for everyday items that help to keep the property operational.

But occasionally, you will need to do major projects that cost a lot of money. You may find it necessary to renovate parts of the home to make it more attractive. This is often necessary because of the highly competitive nature of the rental market.

The challenge is when you have to renovate a rental, how can you do it in a way that makes the home more appealing and yet not overspend on the project? This is important because the ROI on renovation projects won’t always keep in step with the cost of the project.

You cannot simply raise rents to match your costs. therefore, you must keep an eye on what other landlords are charging in order to stay competitive. In short, how do you handle the following challenges when renovating a rental?

  • The need to choose designs that will appeal to the majority of your prospective tenants
  • Finding that sweet spot between high-quality upgrades and low renovation costs
  • Doing the renovation in such a way that you don’t need to do it again in the foreseeable future

In this article, we explain how you can overcome these difficulties when renovating your rental property’s kitchen. Below you will find important tips to keep in mind when trying to update the look of your rental’s kitchen but also trying to do it without going broke.

Design guidelines for rental property kitchen renovation

  1. Choose an overall design with mass appeal
  2. The kitchen should look nice, not from your own point of view but from the tenants’ perspective. You must remove personal preferences and make your choices based on what will appeal to renters. Two of the most important considerations are durability and ease of use. Every element must be able to withstand mishandling by tenants. The kitchen must be easy to clean and things must be within easy reach.

  3. Avoid complicated designs
    This follows up on the first point; extra details complicate the design and make it feel cluttered. Adding personal touches, like your own décor, will make it hard for potential tenants to visualize themselves in the space. Your goal should be to provide everything that makes the kitchen functional. Leave the details to the renter; just create a clean canvas that they can impose their décor on.
  4. Choose the right materials
  5. Don’t be tempted to use cheap materials. They devalue the rental and will need replacing sooner. All surfaces should be reasonably priced, hard-wearing, and stain-resistant. For all surfaces, use laminate or if you can afford it, use stone, granite, or quartz for countertops. For doors and drawer fronts, melamine is the recommended material. Do not use cheap particle board for under-sink cabinets, use plywood; it handles water better.

  6. Color of the paint and lighting
    Wall and cabinet colors are one area where things can easily go wrong. Choose neutral colors that allow the tenant’s dishes and curtains to blend in. For the cabinets, do not use dark colors, they make the kitchen look gloomy. Lighting should highlight paint colors, but more importantly, it should make working in the kitchen easier. When planning a renovation in a rental property kitchen lighting, pay attention to task lighting and illuminating dark areas.
  7. Hardware, plumbing fixtures, and backsplash

    You may be tempted to use basic plastic hardware. Resist that temptation; they make the home feel cheap. Invest in durable drawer pulls and door handles that make a good first impression. The same goes for plumbing fixtures; spending money on quality plumbing fixtures is an investment in your own peace of mind. Lastly, make sure you add a backsplash in the kitchen, even if it is tiny.

  8. Maximize space and pay attention to storage
    Rental property kitchens never have enough storage . Installing extra tall cabinets will add more storage. Lots of drawers and smart storage ideas (roll-out shelves, hidden pull-out trash bins, spice racks, floating shelves, and towel hooks) will give renters several options for storing things. A wider countertop is a plus, but if this is not possible, simply keeping things off the counter will make it look more spacious.
  9. Appliances are very important

    If appliances are old, replacing them is the only option. But if they only look old but are working fine, repainting them will work just as well. If you buy new appliances, don’t buy cheap or high-end appliances. Cheap ones break down fast and unless you own an upscale rental, the cost of high-end ones may not be justified by the rent. Built-in appliances are better because there are no hard-to-reach places to clean.

  10. Reface or repaint cabinets, don’t replace
    If cabinets are still in good order, they will only need a facelift. You can do this efficiently by refacing them. The cabinets will look new and your pocket will be happy. You may also repaint cabinets that are still in perfectly good condition. For a renovation in a rental property, the effect will be as good as refacing or replacing them.

The Renovation is Finished – Now What?

Once your renovation on the rental property is complete, having a proper rental agreement in place will be your next steps to happy tenants. Here is a great example of the proper steps to setting up your rental agreements, and be sure to include the repairs and maintenance section to keep your renovation looking it’s best for as long as possible.