Renovating a Rental? Where to Put Your Reno Dollars

Perhaps you’ve got a fixer-upper investment property that you purchased at a steal. Or maybe your income property is a little too worn around the edges after years of tenancy without major upgrades. How to know where to put your energy for the greatest return when it comes to renovations in a rental can be tricky.

Here are some tips to get you thinking along the right lines because cosmetic renovations and improvements can absolutely work in your favour long and short term by boosting the value of your property while also getting you quality tenants who are willing to pay a top rental dollar.

rental renovation ideas

Creating an Inviting Atmosphere with Easy Upgrades

Assuming your rental property is in good overall shape, that is to say, you don’t have to worry about electrical, plumbing, or foundation issues, put your upgrade dollars into creating an environment that is inviting to prospective tenants. That means a space that’s bright and clean; you want a space people can see themselves living in and enjoying.

A professionally painted interior goes a long way to spruce up space. Consider repainting at least every five years or when a new tenant is about to move in. Replace sticky door handles, leaky faucets, and dingy blinds with modern mid-line versions in a neutral palette. These relatively small changes will instantly make a space look and feel fresh.

Investing in contemporary and attractive lighting fixtures over the humdrum ‘rental special’ is also a great way to instantly elevate a space. While lighting fixtures can be pricey, they also aren’t likely to sustain much damage from daily wear and tear, so it’s an investment that’s likely to last a long time while simultaneously creating a big impact on the look and functionality of a room.

Likewise, refinishing cabinets and replacing their hardware can make kitchens, baths, and built-ins feel new while matching appliances create a cohesive, uncluttered look.

Don’t forget about work on the property’s exterior. Simple landscaping, especially if it’s easy to maintain, will also make a fabulous first impression while also helping to boost the block’s overall curb appeal.


Kitchens and Baths that Wow

If you’re serious about renovating a major renovation, focus on kitchens and baths, as these have the highest return on investment on resale over other major improvements. They also provide the greatest wow factor to prospective tenants.

And don’t fret over high-end finishes. It’s perfectly easy to make a space look beautiful with the mid-line appliances, materials, and finishes. Between gorgeous and durable laminate flooring, sparkling porcelain tile options, and sleek modern cabinetry from big box stores, you’ve got all the component parts you need to create a truly glamorous and functional space. All you need is a keen design eye and skilled tradespeople to bring it to life.

Whether you’re going big or small or tackling the whole property project by project over the course of years, putting money into the maintenance and beautification of your investment property can yield a high ROI. Strategically renovating to get the best quality tenants and better rental amounts is also a great way to finance your improvements. Best of luck!

Sabine Ghali
Sabine Ghali
Helping real estate investors build wealth over time

Sabine Ghali, Managing Director at Buttonwood Property Management, Award Winning Real Estate Broker and an Entrepreneur at heart. Sabine is on a mission to help investors create real estate wealth over time in the Greater Toronto Area. Sabine is published in a number of media outlets, including Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Gulf News, among many others.