An Expert Guide to Apartment Remodeling in Los Angeles

An entire apartment remodel is rewarding as it is involved. Whether you’re an apartment owner looking to spruce up your space or a landlord making renovations for your tenants, this guide will discuss everything you need to know about apartment renovation. From how often you should do it to how much you can expect it to cost and where to find the right contractors, we’ll cover all of the most important topics.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable residential contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about planning for a residential renovation – here are some considerations, ideas, and tips to get you started.

apartment remodel

How Often Should You Renovate Your Apartment?

The frequency at which an owner or landlord should renovate apartments largely depends on various factors such as the condition of the property, tenant turnover, market trends, and budget considerations. Generally, it’s essential to maintain a balance between keeping the property up-to-date and avoiding unnecessary expenses.

For apartments in good condition with satisfied tenants, major renovations may not be required frequently. Cosmetic touch-ups and regular maintenance, like painting, flooring upkeep, and fixture replacements, can suffice. However, if the property is older or showing signs of wear and tear, more significant renovations might be needed every 10 to 20 years.

Tenant turnover is a key consideration. When a tenant moves out, it’s an opportunity to assess the apartment’s condition and consider necessary updates to attract new tenants or retain existing ones. Market trends and competitive rental offerings should also influence renovation decisions to ensure the property remains appealing and competitive in the rental market.

a boyfriend and girlfriend working on their apartment remodel

The Cost of Renovating an Entire Apartment

The cost of renovating an entire apartment can vary widely based on several factors, including the location, size of the apartment, extent of renovations, materials used, and the contractor hired. On average, a comprehensive renovation can range from $15,000 to $60,000 or more.

Minor renovations, focusing on cosmetic upgrades like painting, flooring, and fixtures, tend to be less expensive, typically ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. For a moderate renovation, which may involve kitchen and bath upgrades along with some structural changes, the cost could fall between $15,000 and $30,000. Major renovations, involving a complete overhaul and restructuring of the apartment layout, can exceed $30,000 and may reach well into the six-figure range.

It’s essential to plan the renovation budget meticulously, considering all aspects such as labor, materials, permits, design fees, and unforeseen expenses. Obtaining multiple quotes from reliable contractors and having a clear renovation plan can help manage costs effectively and ensure a successful apartment transformation within the defined budget.

electrician working on breaker for apartment remodel

The Apartment Renovation Process and Timing

The apartment renovation process and timing can vary based on the scope and complexity of the project. Typically, the steps involved in apartment renovation include the following:

  • Planning and design (1-2 months): This phase involves envisioning the changes, setting a budget, creating a renovation plan, and hiring professionals like architects or designers.
  • Demolition (1-2 weeks): This step involves removing existing fixtures, flooring, and walls as needed, preparing the space for new installations.
  • Construction (2-3 months): The duration can vary depending on the scale of work. It includes structural modifications, plumbing, electrical work, and installing new features.
  • Installation (1-2 months): Installing new flooring, cabinetry, appliances, lighting, and other fixtures to complete the renovated look.
  • Finishing touches (2-3 weeks): Adding final details, painting, touch-ups, and ensuring everything is in place for a polished finish.

Factors like the complexity of the remodel, availability of materials, permits, and unexpected issues can influence the timeline. A well-planned project with a reliable contractor can help streamline the process and ensure timely completion.


a couple painting their apartment remodel

Challenges of Renovating an Apartment

Renovating an apartment comes with a set of challenges that demand careful planning and execution. One major challenge is budgeting appropriately to cover unforeseen costs. Unexpected issues such as hidden structural problems or outdated electrical systems can increase expenses.

Coordination and scheduling can be difficult, especially if multiple contractors and professionals are involved. Ensuring all parties work in harmony and on schedule is crucial to avoid delays. Limited space in apartments can also be challenging, impacting logistics and storage during the renovation process.

Balancing the needs and preferences of tenants or future occupants can pose difficulties. Striking a balance between personalizing the space and maintaining a broad appeal is also crucial for maximizing the apartment’s value.

Compliance with building codes and obtaining necessary permits is another challenge, often requiring detailed knowledge and bureaucratic navigation. Finally, maintaining quality throughout the renovation amidst time and budget constraints is an ongoing challenge, necessitating vigilant oversight and a skilled team to ensure a successful outcome.

contractor working on ceiling for a home remodel

How to Find a Great Apartment Remodel Contractor in Los Angeles

Finding a reliable and skilled apartment remodel contractor in Los Angeles involves several key steps.

  • Research and recommendations: Start by researching online, reading reviews, and seeking recommendations from friends, family, or local real estate professionals. 
  • Check credentials and experience: Look for contractors with proper licenses, insurance, and relevant experience in apartment remodeling. A contractor with a good track record and experience in similar projects is more likely to deliver satisfactory results.
  • Interview multiple contractors: Don’t settle for the first contractor you come across. Interview multiple contractors, discuss your project, and obtain detailed estimates. Pay attention to their communication skills, professionalism, and willingness to answer your questions.
  • View previous projects: Ask for a portfolio of their previous projects or request a visit to a completed renovation. This allows you to assess the quality of their work and gather ideas for your project.

Overwhelmed by the process of finding a great apartment contractor? GreatBuildz has your back. We can help match you with one of our trusted, pre-vetted apartment renovation contractors in the Los Angeles area. Contact GreatBuildz today at (818.317.3567) or visit our website for more information.


Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

How can we help with your project?

Explore More Remodeling Topics

Remodeling Cost Guides

Cost Guides

design ideas

Design Ideas

Finding a Contractor

Finding a Contractor

Picking Materials

Selecting Materials

remodeling advice

Remodeling Advice