DIY Upgrades For Kitchens And Bathrooms That Will Add Value To Your Rental Property

Fall is a great time of year because as many tenants are planning on moving out around the first of next year you can be spending this time thinking about which upgrades you want to make to your rental property that will also add value to your property.

Don’t think you can do-it-yourself? Making upgrades to your rental properties will be a lot easier than you think, scroll down to learn more about the upgrades that you can make to your rental property even if you’re on a budget.

DIY Bathroom Upgrades

1. Paint the walls. A little paint can go a long way, and this is particularly true when a bathroom hasn’t been repainted within the past five years. A fresh coat of light-colored paint will make the bathroom feel fresh and airy. Try a neutral color like a soft white, or a universally appealing color like pale blue.

2. Re-grout. After years of wear and tear, the grout between tiles and surrounding the bathtub can start to look icky. The simplest solution is to use a bleach solution to scrub the grout clean, but that doesn’t always do the trick–sometimes, the grout will still look discolored.

Instead, consider re-grouting your bathroom. We like this DIY tutorial, courtesy of The Family Handyman Magazine. As the article explains, re-grouting bathroom tile only takes about a day and requires few tools and supplies. The easy, 3-step process will make your bathroom feel like new.

3. Replace light fixtures. Have one of those Hollywood light fixtures hanging above your bathroom counter? You know the type–the kind where the bulbs are staring you in the face in a straight line? It’s time to retire it. Light fixtures can be replaced for as little as $20 and are often on sale at local hardware stores. Even better, light fixtures can be replaced fairly easily–just be sure to turn off the power before you get started!

4. Install a new vanity. Upgrading your vanity can completely change the vibe of your bathroom. They can be expensive, but they don’t need to be. Try looking for a vanity that fits your requirements at a building supply warehouse, where you can find perfectly good pieces for far less than they cost in the store.

This is another one of those projects that can be finished in a day, but we’d recommend having a friend give you a hand, since vanities can be heavy. Here’s a great DIY tutorial to guide you.

If a new vanity isn’t in your budget, consider painting the vanity that’s already there. One of the benefits to painting a vanity is that you can get creative with color schemes. You can even use stencils to add fun accents that would otherwise be hard to come by with generic, store-bought vanities.

5. Replace hardware. There was once a point in time where floral-printed ceramic drawer pulls were considered high-end. Nowadays, those remind renters of grandma’s house. If you haven’t done so already, upgrade your bathroom’s hardware. This includes the drawer/cabinet pulls on your vanity, as well as the toilet paper holder and towel rack. These are relatively inexpensive bathroom updates that will make the space feel more sleek and modern in a single step.

6. Upgrade your showerhead. Rainfall showerheads are all the rage right now; but as good as they might look, they’re not very functional. Try opting for something equally as sleek but more useful, like a dual-head showerhead that includes the removable wand. This is an easy, inexpensive bathroom update that you can make on your own to give your bathroom a spa-like feel that residents are sure to enjoy.

7. Invest in a low-flow toilet. When it comes to bathroom upgrades, the potty talk is inevitable! The All Property Management blog recently published a series of posts about energy-saving upgrades that landlords and property managers should consider, and low-flow toilets made the list. Similarly, low-flow showerheads are an inexpensive bathroom update that can save you money in the process. (For more suggestions, check out the posts: Part IPart IIPart III)

This is one of the more expensive projects that we’ve profiled given the hardware that’s required (e.g. a whole new toilet). You might also need the assistance of a plumber to install it properly. That said, low-flow toilets are sleeker than ever before and can save you hundreds of dollars each year on your water bill. This is definitely an upgrade to consider if there are multiple people living in your rental unit.

8. Re-glaze the bathtub. If your cast-iron bathtub is starting to look shoddy, consider having it re-glazed. This can cost anywhere from $500 to $800, but it’s a lot more affordable than having the entire bathtub replaced. Use a crisp white glaze to make the bathtub feel brand new.

DIY Kitchen Upgrades

Feeling adventurous? There’s no doubt that you can make simple upgrades to your rental property yourself even if you’re on a budget. Here are our favorite DIY kitchen upgrades that you should consider making to your rental property:

1. Add or change lighting.

If the lighting in your kitchen is dim or you hate the overhead fixture, change it! Switching out an overhead light fixture is much easier than it sounds. It doesn’t have to be super expensive, either. I bought a vintage light fixture for $20 on Etsy, but before that I was eyeing a few options at IKEA. Don’t forget about under-cabinet lighting! That might be all you need to feel like you’ve seen the light, literally.

2. Change drawer or shelf liners.

When was the last time you changed those shelf liners? Or maybe you don’t have any at all? Putting down a fresh nonstick liner will give you an opportunity to take everything out of your cabinets (and put them back in an organized way), and clean the cabinet or drawer so you start out fresh. There are simply so many uses for a non-slip liner. Bonus tip: You don’t have to stick with white. My favorite nonstick liner is this non-adhesive version from Duck ($11.49 from Amazon). I have it in black, and I love how it looks. For drawers, you could also insert oil cloth.

3. Add a rug.

I used to have ugly, gray laminate floors in my kitchen, and it made a huge difference when I first put down a red 4×6-inch cotton rug a couple years ago. I’ve since upgraded to FLOR tiles, which were easy to install. I vacuum them frequently, and they’ve held up well.

4. Replace the faucet.

This is a very simple, straightforward way to upgrade your kitchen, particularly if it’s a rental. Really, anyone can do it! Yes, faucets can get pretty pricey, but as Faith wrote here, you can find single-handle faucets for as low as $80, and nicer, high arched faucet spouts for about $150 — a small investment for something you use multiple times a day.

5. Update the hardware.

Switching out your old knobs or pulls for something more modern or decorative can really transform the look of your cabinets, particularly if they’re bland contractor-grade.

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