How to Renovate Your Rental Property to Minimize Future Repairs

Renovating a rental property is essential to stay competitive and attract great tenants. However, it is not something you want to be doing too often. Renovating can get expensive and time-consuming, so it’s crucial to prioritize the right projects at the right time.

Although you may want to minimize the costs to renovate, it is essential to do any work that may impact major systems, the structure itself, and anything that may impact the health and wellness of your tenants. As long as you do proper maintenance and upkeep, you won’t have to engage in frequent repairs and will certainly save money (and time!) in the long run. The more you invest in renovating your property now, the more you’ll save/make in the long run.

Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with property owners every day who are looking to find a great contractor for a remodel in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area.

GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, pre-screened home contractors, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience.

If you’re a landlord, you should be able to account for every dollar you spend on your rental property. Also, you probably want to start earning a return within the shortest period. Thus, the remodeling projects you perform should be the kind that boosts the functions and aesthetics of the rental. As HMR Property Management explains, such renovations have the potential to attract more tenants and improving their comfort in the home. Engaging in these types of upgrades is almost always beneficial for your investment. 

Renovate rental paint

The essential thing you want to consider as a landlord is the durability of your renovations. Do not ignore the longevity of the materials you use for the upgrades. Always ensure that the materials used are long-lasting. Conversely, cheap products with short lifespans will lead to frequent repairs, thus more wasted money.

With all these in mind, how do you renovate a rental property?

Below are some areas that you should focus on to minimize future repairs on your rental property.

1. Upgrade to durable flooring

Renovate a rental Los Angeles

Rental properties experience high traffic from tenants and visitors. As a result, the floors are more prone to wear and tear. Also, some tenants may not be careful with it since it is not their property. When the floors sustain damage, it is your responsibility as the landlord to replace them. Performing this renovation can often be costly.

For this reason, it would be wise to upgrade your floors to the most durable ones. Such floors can withstand high traffic and are also long-lasting. You can consider the following flooring materials vinyl, linoleum, tile, laminate, or hardwood.

The floors you choose for your rental property should be easy to install, affordable, durable, waterproof, and scratch-resistant. Also, it should come in a variety of colors and styles so that you can choose the best one for your property.

Finally, ask your contractor if they have any recommendations for styles that are always popular – if the floors sustain any damage down the road, you’ll want to be able to order more of the same material to make repairs.  Ideally, you should purchase some extra boxes of flooring material and keep them in storage in case you have to replace a small area in the future because of damage. 

2. Replace the roof

The roof of your rental property is essential, as it protects the entire structure (and everything inside of it!) from harsh weather conditions. If you perform other renovations when you still have a leaky roof, be prepared for more repairs in the future – the leak will likely cause severe water damage to your new space! Frequent exposure to the harsh elements will also reduce the lifespan of other systems in the property, so remember – your roof should be your top priority!

When replacing your roof, choose long-lasting roofing materials that are suitable for the weather conditions of your neighborhood. High-quality roofing materials can last for a long time, often up to 30-40 years! Roof replacement is not something you want to perform frequently, so we advise that you do it right.

3. Upgrade your kitchen

Remodel rental property supplies

A kitchen renovation is both a functional and aesthetic upgrade. Tenants value the kitchen as one of the most important rooms in the house, after all, many of us even call it the ‘heart of the home’.

When you upgrade your kitchen, you’re also adding more value to your property. However, as always, consider the quality and durability of the materials you use for the remodeling. A laminate countertop is not a  good idea for rental properties throughout Los Angeles because although it’s inexpensive, it looks cheap and wears out too easily. Alternatively, quartz is a great idea if you’re looking for more of a luxury option, as it is relatively stain- and scratch-resistant.

Also, consider the size and layout of the space you have before engaging in any kitchen upgrades. The small, cramped, galley-style kitchen is long gone – renters these days prefer larger, open spaces. Your kitchen should not be crammed with appliances and fancy cookware. However, it is advisable to improve the lighting, flooring, cabinets, etc.

We recommend that you consult professionals for more ideas and suggestions concerning your kitchen renovation.

4. Upgrade the electrical system

Replace wall outlets in a rental property

Most landlords ignore the electrical system of their property for various reasons, likely because a majority of the system remains hidden behind the walls. Also, most tenants do not consider the electrical system before they rent a property.

However, the electrical system is an essential component of your property. If you ignore it, you may engage in frequent repairs… and even run the risk of a safety hazard which could end up in a small claims court case. We recommend that you replace the outdated knob-and-tube or aluminum wiring, often found in older homes. You may also want to replace the electrical panel. These days, it is advisable to install a 200-amp electrical panel because it will be sufficient for all the tenant’s needs. We recommend having an electrician inspect the state of your electrical system to evaluate what needs to be repaired/replaced.

5. Install a new furnace and water heater 

If your rental property has an outdated water heater or furnace, it is better to replace it. Believe it or not, it’s often more expensive to repair old ones than it is to just buy a new one!

Also, new water heaters and furnaces come with a manufacturer’s warranty.  That means you will not be spending more money on repairs once you install new heaters and furnaces, at least not for a while.

The Bottom Line

Landlords need to be proactive in managing their rental property – you want to always catch potential issues before they arise. Consult with professionals to evaluate what your top priorities should be when it comes to renovating your property. They’ll be able to help you understand what work needs to be completed, and how much you should budget for your various projects, and may even be able to provide you with guidance on the best projects that can increase the value of your home. 

When renovating a rental property, approach the project as an investment. Spending some money now will likely save you much more money in the long run… and can even help you earn a few more bucks from your property as well!

When it comes to finding the best general contractor for your rental property remodeling project – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura & San Diego Counties. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, thoroughly screened contractors and provides homeowners with project support from start to finish.

Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information:

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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.

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