If you’re redoing the kitchen of your rental property, be prepared for one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Also, be prepared for the bill. It’s not an easy or cheap job, but if you do it right, it’ll pay off in increased property value, allowing you to raise the rent. However, you’ll only see a return on your investment if you choose to do a conservative remodel that doesn’t break the bank. There are several ways that you can cut costs in your kitchen renovation, and pocket the change.
1. Focus on Efficiency, Not Size
Bigger isn’t always better, particularly when it’ll cost you a few thousand dollars just to make it happen. Instead, focus on making a kitchen more efficient. This means that you shouldn’t redo your entire kitchen just for the purpose of gaining square footage. Instead, focus on using the space, and elements within that space, to achieve greater efficiency and usability. Use pull-out pot trays, Lazy Susans, and dividers in your cupboards, and add an island to the center of your space. These are just a few small renovations you can do to make a big difference in overall space efficiency.
2. Add More Natural Light (Without Windows)
Windows are expensive, and so are recessed light fixtures. Natural lighting’s a great addition to any kitchen, but with windows costing approximately $1,500 each, it might be more of an expense than it’s worth. Instead, use a tubular skylight, which funnels a narrow beam of sunshine into your kitchen. This is only about $500, and it does a great job of bringing in the natural light.
Furthermore, cut down on your recessed lighting fixtures. They’re an unnecessary cost for adding light to the kitchen and can be replaced with a simpler, inexpensive version of a hanging light, which looks just as good for a fraction of the cost.
3. Explore Countertop Options
Granite isn’t the only attractive countertop option available, but it’s one of the most expensive. Explore other countertop options to find something just as attractive but more affordable. If you love the look of granite, you might opt for a simple laminate, which can look like granite without the cost. Tile countertops are also an attractive and durable option, as are engineered stone. There may be a little bit more maintenance involved with these options, but the cost could make it worth it.
4. Do Your Own Demo
You might want to hire a contractor to do some of the more complex and detail-oriented work, but you can do much of the demo yourself if you’re careful. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to knock out a wall or to rip up countertops, after all, and you’ll save hundreds on manual labor. However, be sure to consult with a contractor first. You don’t want to accidentally take out your plumbing or electrical work just because you didn’t know where it was.
5. Repurpose Old Fixtures
Chances are that much of your old furnishings and fixtures are still in great shape and can be reused or repurposed. For example, it’s a lot cheaper simply to replace the countertop than the entire set of cabinets. You might consider refacing the existing cabinets as well to make them look brand new without the cost of replacing them.
6. Skip Delivery Fees
Delivery fees can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars. If possible, pick up your special-ordered items on your own rather than having them delivered. You might have to rent a moving truck, and hire someone to help you carry things, but you can still save a couple hundred dollars by skipping the delivery.
7. Don’t Mess with Plumbing
If at all possible, leave the sink where it is. Plumbing’s one of the most expensive fixes, and if you move the sink, you’ll have to reroute the plumbing. You can save up to $1,000 simply by leaving the plumbing where it is. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get a new sink; just don’t move the location.
8. Visit an Auction
Foreclosed homeowners and contractors are always trying to make a profit off of the stuff they can’t use anymore, so they often put it up for auction. This means that you can buy some of your building supplies and fixtures,pre-owned, for a fraction of the cost. Whether you’re looking for tile backsplash or the perfect window trim, you might be able to find exactly what you’re looking for at one of these auction events.
9. Head to the Recycling Center
The recycling center’s another great place to find fixtures and building materials that you can redo and use for your own purposes. However, it’s important to note that, for liability reasons, some contractors won’t work with salvaged items. Check with your contractor before picking up your partial bundle of insulation at the recycling center.
10. Avoid Trends
Trends come and go, and if you opt for a trendy design, your kitchen will be outdated before you know it. Instead, opt for classic designs that never get old, such as open concepts, islands, and dark-stained cabinetry. A classic design means that your kitchen remodel will look appealing to renters for years to come.
11. Choose Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets
Custom-made cabinets are beautiful, but they also cost a fortune. They’re easily the biggest cost in your kitchen. Many ready-to-assemble cabinets are made to mimic the look and function of custom cabinets, but they’re tens of thousands of dollars cheaper. Plus, most people won’t even notice the difference.
12. Cutout Instead of Open Concept
Everyone wants an open concept design, but sometimes the cost of knocking out a wall is too much. If the structure of the property won’t allow you to knock down the wall, do a cutout instead. It gives a similar feeling of open concept without the cost and work.
Property Managers at Green Residential
Once you’ve finished your kitchen remodel and are ready to market it, we can help. We at Green Residential can help you to determine the appropriate rent price that’ll pay for the renovation. We can also find you a great renter without any hassle on your part. Best of all, we take care of all of the details, including maintenance and tenant interactions, so you can sit back and enjoy the income from your newly renovated property. If that sounds appealing to you, contact us today!