Keeping a rental property looking modern and attractive to tenants is a chore, and often an expensive one. However, with a bit of clever planning, you can introduce smart renovations that build aesthetic appeal, add functionality and best of all, are completely reversible so there’s no lasting impact on your investment.
Short on storage? No worries. Floating shelves are ideal for expanding the storage capabilities of your rental. You can use them virtually anywhere too—kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, lounge, even the garage! Between $50 to $60 a pop, they are far more cost effective than installing additional cupboards and cabinets, and you won’t use up valuable floor space either.
If the sight of your rental’s floor makes you cringe, chances are it’s the same for your tenants. Rather than letting it date your property, consider installing a floating luxury vinyl floor over the top of your old one. This wood lookalike product can utterly transform a room. Just make sure that the floor underneath is smooth and level before installation.
Many luxury vinyl boards are water resistant—although not waterproof—which makes them ideal for kitchens, laundries and high-traffic areas. Better still, if it gets damaged or you decide you want to get rid of it down the track, you can simply pull up the boards without damaging your original flooring.
If you are looking at installing vinyl flooring in the bathrooms, we do recommend installing a waterproof product like COREtec to achieve longer durability.
Read more: How to install luxury vinyl plank flooring
Easy-clean window furnishings
New blinds or curtains can transform a home for the better. Moreover, if you decide to change it at a later date, removing a curtain rod or blind box from the wall is a fairly straightforward task.
Aluminium blinds are an excellent option for rentals as they are simple to clean and are easy to match to appliances, door handles, and furniture. A few other good options include:
- PVC or timber venetian blinds.
- PVC roller blinds.
- Timber roman blinds.
Don’t bother with custom-made shades. You can pick up new curtains from $35 and aluminium blinds from $20 at The Warehouse.
Painting the window frames a light colour is also worth considering. This will help draw the eye outside and build the sense of space in a room.
New lighting fixtures
Dated light fittings equals dated home in the eyes of your tenants. Luckily it’s easy to swap out unsightly fixtures, ugly lamp shades and track lighting for a more modern equivalent—or even pendant lighting if that’s your jam. They can also serve as an aesthetic feature in a room. So not to clash with your tenant’s furniture, consider simple neutral lighting fixtures that are easy to match to a variety of furniture.
Tip: brighten up dark areas with high wattage light bulbs.
If it’s a furnished rental, you may also opt to include mirrors to lighten up dark corners.
New handles and knobs
This cheap and easy do-it-yourself upgrade can provide a nice, neat finish to your rental. You can even match them to your blinds and appliances. Costs can vary depending on the style and where you source your new knobs, but usually they are in the vicinity of $20 to $90 per knob.
Sometimes the tiles aren’t the problem, it’s the grout. Light coloured grout is prone to showing dirt, mould and mildew, however, there are ways to change that. Your first, and simplest option is to stain your grout a darker colour—all you need is some grout paint and a free afternoon.
A second and more time consuming option is to regrout your tiles. If your tiles are still covered in stubborn mould and dirt after cleaning, then this is a better choice and will result in a cleaner finish. If you are fixed on using a lighter grout, make sure that you seal the grout after cleaning it to help keep the filth at bay.
Fresh paint and wallpaper
As any builder can attest, a fresh coat of interior paint can do wonders. Stick to neutral colours to give your tenants an easier time of matching their furniture to it. If your walls have any imperfections, a flat, low-sheen paint can help hide these. Otherwise, a gloss or semi-gloss finish is easier to keep clean.
If you’re after something more durable, consider wallpaper. While paint can chip and scratch, wallpaper can weather children, pets and tenants for as long as fifteen years. New removable wallpaper also means you don’t have to go through the rigorous pains of removing it anymore either. This self-adhesive, washable paper can spruce up various areas of your house, from the lounge to bedroom and even your kitchen splashback.
Tip: before applying wallpaper, make sure your walls are clean and haven’t been painted in the last 20 days.
The key to all these renovations is that none need be permanent. Should you choose to change the look and style of your rental, or simply want to move back in, you can always undo the work you’ve done (but we don’t think you’ll want to).
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