Project Checklist: Things to Do Before Starting Your Rental Home Improvement

Rental Home Improvement

Should you upgrade your rental home? Making improvement and upgrades to a rental home can pay off by allowing you to charge higher rent and attracting quality tenants. But it’s important to remember that you’re losing money every month that the property isn’t rented. If an improvement is going to take a long time to do then it’s probably not worth it in the long run. If you’re planning on making improvements to your rental home in the hopes of increasing the value of the property you should:

Choose Improvements That Add Value

When it comes to upgrading a rental property choosing improvements that add value is the most important thing you can do. The upgrades that renters want might surprise you, but keep in mind that these improvements aren’t for you. They are to increase the value of the property and allow you to maximize the potential of the rental. The rental home improvements that will bring in the highest value for landlord include:

  • Update the kitchen cabinets
  • Replace the kitchen counters
  • Add a kitchen island
  • Add in-unit laundry
  • Get rid of carpet and install vinyl flooring
  • Open up the floorplan
  • Add storage
  • Create a mudroom
  • Update the bathroom
  • Update light fixtures
  • Upgrade wiring
  • Add a security system and outdoor lighting 
  • Adding energy efficient and eco-friendly appliances

When you’re thinking about rental home improvements think about what will benefit renters most now and in the future. jersey city apartments for rent , Updating and upgrading the kitchen, bathrooms, and flooring is a great investment. So is upgrading the wiring in the property so it can handle people working from home, plugging in many devices, and adding smart home devices to the electrical load. Adding functional elements like an in-unit laundry will make your rental stand out and make it more attractive to renters willing to pay a premium for better functionality. 

Find A Good Contractor

If you don’t already have someone that works with you on your properties, you will need to find a good contractor that understands that time is money for landlords. Getting any improvement projects done quickly is going to be essential to making these upgrades profitable for you. The faster you can get the improvements completed the faster you can get renters in there at a higher rental rate that reflects the upgrades. 

When you’re searching for a contractor ask specifically if the contractor and their team have worked on rental properties. The best contractor for this type of job will have experience making a rental home look better and function well for renters and be able to turn the job around quickly. 

Set A Project Deadline

As everyone knows deadlines and completion dates for home projects are always just guidelines. But it’s still important to set an expectation by making a firm deadline for the upgrades to be complete. Setting that expectation will add a sense of urgency to the project which may help keep the contractor on schedule throughout the upgrades. Keep in mind that if there’s no tenant renting the property, you’re losing an opportunity to make money. 

Research Rents For Comparable Properties

Once you have thought about what improvements you’d like to make you should do some research on what property owners with similar rental homes charge for their property. Look for properties that are comparable in square footage and that have the improvements you’re planning on making. Seeing what other property owners are charging for upgraded rentals will give you a good idea of what a good market rate in your area is. 

That will make it easier to see if a particular upgrade is going to be worth the cost or if you’re better off putting that money into something else. Talk to some other landlords in the area to see what improvements they have found that really paid off such as installing vinyl flooring or having an Ohio plumbing company adding a half bath. Adjust your list of projects to include only the improvements that will allow you to charge a higher rent or improvements that will help protect your property such as a security system and mesh fence.

Set A Rental Home Improvement Budget

Setting a firm budget for any improvements is also important. When you’re setting a budget make sure that you’re weighing the cost of the potential improvements against the return that you’ll get in higher rents and less tenant turnover. It makes sense to spend a little money to perform some improvements and upgrades now so that you can retain tenants at higher rents in the future. 

However, keep in mind that at some point the cost of the renovations will be higher than any return that you will get.  Don’t choose upgrades based on what you would want in your own home, choose upgrades that will attract renters without costing you a fortune. Once you have a budget stick to it, even if it means that some finishes won’t be top of the line or that not all of the improvements that you had planned on will get made. Always keep an eye on the bottom line. 

Let Your Property Manager Handle The Project

The best thing you can do to make rental home improvement projects run smoothly is to let your property manager handle the project. Your property manager will be on site day to day and can keep an eye on the progression of the project. They can communicate with the contractor, check to make sure the project is staying on deadline and on budget, and start making the necessary preparations to get a tenant into the property as soon as it’s ready. Your property manager will know the best time to start advertising the property and they can field any calls from interested potential tenants. 

Your time is too valuable to spend it making small decisions and overseeing some rental home upgrades. Your property manager can also handle any issues that come up or give clarification if the contractor doing the improvements needs a decision to be made on the fly about an upgrade. 


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