Home improvement ideas for your rented property

Home improvement ideas

Competition in the rental industry has many owners looking to improve their odds of attracting a quality renter. However, a full-scale renovation is costly, and not all improvements truly add value. In a market where profit margins are tight, to begin with, extensive renovations could be financially damaging in more ways than one. Thankfully, some simple home upgrades would benefit any owner.  Join us below as we discover top home improvement ideas on a budget along with a few renovations to avoid as to protect your financial well-being.

8 Budget-Friendly Home Improvement Ideas

When it comes to rental home improvements, getting a healthy return on investment while appealing to a vast pool of renters is vital. However, not every improvement is the right choice, and landlords must evaluate the local market before making costly decisions. Let’s review the top eight home improvement ideas on a budget below!

  1. Add Office Space
  2. Replace Cabinet Doors
  3. Fresh Paint
  4. Boost Curb Appeal
  5. Upgrade the Flooring
  6. Add a Backsplash, New Fixtures, or Lighting
  7. Install a Washer and Dryer
  8. Invest in Home Security

    Upgrade the Flooring

    Average Cost: $1500 to $10000

    Typically, landlords believe that carpeting is the cheaper option for rental property flooring. However, consider the long-run cost of frequent deep cleaning and replacement expenses owners are likely to incur. Instead, invest in a more durable option such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, or tile. Still out of the budget? Consider upgrading the flooring in high traffic areas such as the living room and kitchen while retaining carpet in the bedroom areas. Not only will better quality flooring hold up better and save money, but it also increases the home’s rental value.

    Add a Backsplash, New Fixtures, or Lighting

    Average Cost: $200 to $2000

    Adding new fixtures is one of the best home improvement ideas on a budget. For a moderately low cost, property owners can transform and update the look of a space. Check out these suggestions below –

    • Add a Kitchen Backsplash
    • Upgrade Dated Hardware on Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinetry
    • Install Modern Lighting Fixtures with Energy Efficient LED Bulbs
    • Swap Out Work Faucets for a More Contemporary Look
    • Install a Ceiling Fan

    Remember, any upgrade landlords make should shy away from personal or bold styling. Instead, stick to neutral features with timeless design for the broadest appeal. Therefore, this allows renters a blank slate to insert their own personality while avoiding trendy design fads.

    Install a Washer and Dryer

    Average Cost: $400 to $1500

    As a landlord, installing an in-unit washer and dryer is a valuable and convenient amenity renters are willing to pay for. In fact, on average, the rental rate for a unit with a washer-dryer is around $25 to $75 more than one without. That makes this one of the most profitable home improvement ideas on a budget. Furthermore, check holiday sales at retailers or look for well-maintained used units on online marketplaces for added savings.

    Invest in Home Security

    Average Cost: $150 to $3000

    Everyone wants to feel safe and secure in their home, and tenants are no different. So, a huge selling point for rentals is added security. Whether owners utilize Wi-Fi cameras they can install themselves or employ an alarm system specialist, this is one home upgrade everyone will appreciate. Furthermore, the added security serves as a deterrent to squatters and thieves that may take advantage of a vacant unit between tenants. Check out some of the budget-friendly home security options on Amazon or other online outlets! However, ensure the rental agreement stipulates that the tenant is responsible for any fees or damage related to a home security system.

    Top 3 Rental Home Improvements That Do Not Add Value

    Not every upgrade or renovation is well-suited to a rental property. In fact, there are several improvements that not only cost a lot but do not add any rental value. Continue reading below to determine the top three rental home improvements that do not provide a healthy return on investment.


    • Inconsistent High-End Upgrades – Updates are great, but not if they are inconsistent throughout the home. For example, if landlords invest time and money into a brand-new kitchen, but the rest of the house is stuck in the ’70s, it will not appeal to renters. Instead, owners should carefully select minor improvements throughout the home that provide maximum impact for minimal cost.
    • Overbuilding for the Neighborhood – Thinking of converting a garage to added living space? How about finishing off a basement or building a sunroom? Before landlords hammer the first nail, it is vital to research the local rental market thoroughly. Especially as the industry still recovers from the pandemic, these improvements will likely not be something owners can recoup in the monthly rental rate.
    • Invisible Improvements – Some improvements are viewed as assets to buyers, but not necessarily renters. These upgrades are known as “invisible improvements” and can be things such as adding insulation, installing a new furnace, or updating the HVAC unit. Therefore, these will not net the added profit landlords are looking for and instead should be considered regular home maintenance.

    How to Maximize Marketing Your Property’s New Upgrades

    Whether you need home improvement ideas on a budget or help effectively marketing your rental to prospective tenants, a property manager can help! Dedicated property management companies have the industry expertise, technology, and connections to minimize vacancy and find a qualified renter at a reasonable rate.

    Bay Property Management Group is the area’s leading full-service rental industry expert, with more than 4,000 units currently under management. Our team can guide owners in upgrade decisions to improve ROI, setting the right rent price, efficiently generating leads, and thoroughly screening all applicants to find the best option. Once rented, we step in to handle all day-to-day operations and maintenance, leaving owners with peace of mind. Give us a call today for a free no-obligation rental home analysis.