Have you ever been scared of buying rental properties just because you are worried about spending lots of money on renovations?
One thing is sure if you ever decide to buy rental properties or even houses in countries like Canada or US, you will become Handyman within 1-2 years. I have been investing in rental properties for the last 6 years. While working on many things over time, It helped me to learn some basic renovations.
Recently we did a mini renovation project in one of my Studio rental units. I just worked on weekends and it took me 3-4 days to finish all the work including first cleanup.
WHY HAVE I decided to spend little money for renovations?
- Previous tenant stayed for 10 years, so it was time to do some upgrades
- There was not much choice, the apartment was in a bad state.
- Rent increase, it was the best time to give a little push to rent.
WHERE TO START?
Throw out everything outdated, broken or Mismatching –
There was a mini fridge and small portable oven, and both looked very old and rusty, there is no point in keeping this kind of stuff.
I do not know why there was a small kitchen cabinet with a completely different color and design, it looked new, but it does not match with anything. It is important to have a consistent look for the kitchen.
There was an old wardrobe without any doors and was sitting just next to the kitchen. It was making an apartment to look very small. There was no reason to have an incomplete wardrobe with missing doors.
Clean the walls, ceiling and doors for dust and webs –
There is always some dust sitting on walls and doors regardless how clean or dirty your tenant kept the place. You would like to clean up the dust before starting paint to have good finishing.
Check out the picture below, I found something similar to this at my local Canadian Tire store and it’s amazing to go over all the walls and ceiling so quickly with this.
Give a quick clean to Windows and Tub
It is not my favorite part to clean the tub but sometimes you got to do what’s needed. You need to go over these small things to get your apartment ready.
Below is the list of some very basic tools and none of them is very expensive, I have collected all these tools over time. But as you can see, these are basic tools and you do not need to spend lots of money for any of these.
- Paint Brush, Rollers, Tape and Container.
- Mud\Plaster, Drywall Tape, Joint Knife
- Nails and Screws
- Pliers for new light wiring
- Caulking Gun and Caulking
- Measuring Tape
Let us get to the business and talk about all the actual money spent on the renovations. Basically, the idea here is to give lift to the looks of the apartment to be able to rent it with some increase.
All the work was done on the weekends by me and my friend, we spent around 3-4 days to complete this renovation project which includes cleaning, changing Kitchen cabinets, Plastering and Paint.
1. Kitchen Cabinets – $450 (RENO DEPOT)
These are very basic level kitchen cabinets, but they work just fine and look new and good. Reno Depot is one of my main shop for buying stuff for renovations. They also have a 15% discount from time to time, and I am also getting a 5% discount for every purchase as a PRO account holder.
2. Appliances – $300 (KIJIJI)
Nothing can beat used stuff at Kijiji, I bought a stove and Fridge for $150 each, I could have even gotten that cheaper, but I wanted them in decent condition. So, I went with the best deal I could find and I avoided getting into too much negotiation, I am sure I would have saved maybe another $20-$40 but instead I just paid the asking price to make things simple for me.
It was already a very good deal, so why wasting time and why to bother people for small change.
3. New Paint – $100 (DULUX)
I have been buying all my paint from Dulux stores in Canada, I am not really a judge of quality, but I believe Dulux has pretty good quality paint.
One of the main reasons to buy from Dulux, I get a 40% discount as a member of CORPIQ group for Rental Property owners. This membership is around $250 per year but I get a lot of discounts like from 40% at Dulux or 5% at Reno Depot which kind of covers the cost of the card and probably saves me some money. On top of that, I can call professionals at CORPIQ to get any help with issues related to tenants or rental properties. It has helped me immensely; I highly recommend this membership to all new rental property owners.
4. New Light Fixture – $40 (IKEA)
Previous light fixture in the kitchen was in good condition but it did not match with anything and it felt completely outdated.
Ikea seems to have very good collections of trendy light fixtures at very good price. I bought a beautiful light for $40 and which is also easy to install. You will definitely need some basic skills and tools to change this light yourself.
5. Caulking – $8 (RENO DEPOT)
There was some caulking that needed to be redone in the washroom and around the kitchen sink. It’s a good idea to check from time to time if any retouch is required otherwise any leaking water or mold can cause big damage to your property.
6. Curtain Rod – $25
You do not have to install curtain rods in your apartment, but I notice tenants create a lot of holes in small units with a lot of people moving often.
It wastes lots of time filling the holes or redoing the paint job compared to spending $25 on the curtain Rod.
It took me probably 10 mins to install but it will save a lot of time in future.