10 Cheap ways of doing cosmetic renovations

A couple of cheap ways to do cosmetic renovations.

Cheers,

Sunstone.


10 Inexpensive Ways To Spruce Up Your Rental Or Rehab Property
By William Bronchick, Esq.

It's easy to fix up your properties if you have unlimited cash. However, you need to keep your repairs to a minimum to stay profitable. You also need to keep your properties in good shape to attract tenants or buyers. There are the basic improvements, such as carpet and paint, but these can still costs thousands of dollars. The following are some inexpensive ways to improve your properties with very little cash.

#1) New Electrical Switch Plates

This is such a minor, yet overlooked improvement. Most rental owners and rehabbers paint a unit and leave the old, ugly switch plates. Even worse, some even paint over them.

New switch plates cost about 50 cents each. You can replace the entire house with new switch plates for about $20. For the foyer, living room and other obvious areas, spring for nice brass plates. They run about $5 each - not much for added class.

#2) New or Improved Doors

Another overlooked, yet cheap replacement item is doors. If you have ugly brown doors, replace them with nice white doors (you can paint them, but unless you have a spray gun it will take you three coats by hand).

The basic hollow-core door is about $20. It comes pre-primed and pre-hung. For about $10 more, you can buy stylish six-panel doors. If you are doing a rehab, the extra $10 per door is well worth-it. For rentals, consider at least changing the downstairs doors.

#3) New Door Handles

In addition to changing doors, consider changing the handles. An old door handle (especially with crusted paint on it) looks drab. For about $10, you can replace them with new brass finished handles. Replace the guest bathroom and bedroom door handles with the fancy "S" handles (about $20 each).

#4) Paint/Replace Trim

If the entire interior of the house does not need a paint job, consider painting the trim. New, modern custom homes typically come with beige or off-white walls and bright-white trim. Use a semi-gloss bright white on all the trim in your houses.

If the floor trim is worn, cracked or just plain ugly, replace it! Home Depot carries a new foam trim that is pre-painted in several finishes and costs less than 50 cents per linear foot. Create a great first impression by adding crown molding in the entry way and living room.

#5) New Front Door

You only get one chance to make a first impression. A cheap front door makes a house look cheap. An old front door makes a house look old. If you have nice heavy door, paint it a bold color using a high-gloss paint. If your front door is old, consider replacing it with a new, stylish door. For about $125, you can buy a very nice door.

#6) Tile Foyer Entry

After the front door, your next first impression is the foyer area. Most rental property foyers are graced with linoleum floors. Consider a nice 12" Mexican tile. An 8' x 8' area should cost about $100 in materials.

#7) New Shower Curtains

It amazes me that many landlords and sellers show properties with either no shower curtain or any ugly old shower curtain in the bathroom. Don't be cheap - drop $40 and buy a nice new rod and fancy curtain.

#8) Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Replacing kitchen cabinets is expensive, but painting them is cheap. If you have old 1970's style wooden cabinets in a lovely dark brown shade, paint them. Use a semi-gloss white and finish them with colorful plastic knobs. No need to paint the inside of them (unless you own a spray gun), since you are only trying to make an impression.

Americans spend 99% of their time in the kitchen (when they are not watching TV). A fancy modern faucet looks great in the kitchen. They can run as much as $150, but not to worry - most retailers (Home Depot, Home Base, etc) often run clearance sales on overstocked and discontinued models. I have found nice Delta and Price Pfister faucets for about $60 on sale.

#9) Add Window Shutters

If you have ugly aluminum framed windows, consider adding wooden shutters outside. They come pre-primed at most hardware retailers and are easy to install. Paint them an offset color from the outside of the house - (e.g., if the house is dark, paint the shutters white. If the house is light, paint them green, blue, etc.).

#10) Add a Nice Mailbox

Everyone on the block has the same black mailbox. Stand out. Be bold. For about $35 you can buy a nice colorful mailbox. For about $60 more, you can buy a nice wooden post for it. People notice these things....and they like them!
 
Jerry,

Actually it is off the article section on www.realestateinvesting.com however I thought it was one the better articles that I kept myself so I just cut and pasted.

Cheers,

Sunstone.
 
Originally posted by Sunstone
A couple of cheap ways to do cosmetic renovations.

Cheers,

Sunstone.


10 Inexpensive Ways To Spruce Up Your Rental Or Rehab Property
By William Bronchick, Esq.

It's easy to fix up your properties if you have unlimited cash. However, you need to keep your repairs to a minimum to stay profitable. You also need to keep your properties in good shape to attract tenants or buyers. There are the basic improvements, such as carpet and paint, but these can still costs thousands of dollars. The following are some inexpensive ways to improve your properties with very little cash.

#1) New Electrical Switch Plates

This is such a minor, yet overlooked improvement. Most rental owners and rehabbers paint a unit and leave the old, ugly switch plates. Even worse, some even paint over them.

New switch plates cost about 50 cents each. You can replace the entire house with new switch plates for about $20. For the foyer, living room and other obvious areas, spring for nice brass plates. They run about $5 each - not much for added class.

Yep a good move. In Australia you invariably have to replace the whole switch and power point (which should be done by a sparky) costs about $10 a point plus callout fee.

#2) New or Improved Doors

Another overlooked, yet cheap replacement item is doors. If you have ugly brown doors, replace them with nice white doors (you can paint them, but unless you have a spray gun it will take you three coats by hand).

The basic hollow-core door is about $20. It comes pre-primed and pre-hung. For about $10 more, you can buy stylish six-panel doors. If you are doing a rehab, the extra $10 per door is well worth-it. For rentals, consider at least changing the downstairs doors.

In Oz the are called pressed panel doors and cost about $35 to $50 depending on where you live.

#3) New Door Handles

In addition to changing doors, consider changing the handles. An old door handle (especially with crusted paint on it) looks drab. For about $10, you can replace them with new brass finished handles. Replace the guest bathroom and bedroom door handles with the fancy "S" handles (about $20 each).

Yep, and don't forget ALL the doors and drawers including the robes and kitchen cabinets.

#4) Paint/Replace Trim

If the entire interior of the house does not need a paint job, consider painting the trim. New, modern custom homes typically come with beige or off-white walls and bright-white trim. Use a semi-gloss bright white on all the trim in your houses.

If the floor trim is worn, cracked or just plain ugly, replace it! Home Depot carries a new foam trim that is pre-painted in several finishes and costs less than 50 cents per linear foot. Create a great first impression by adding crown molding in the entry way and living room.

Hmmm, I've seen this foam trim but would only use it above knocking height as it dents. Good on the ceilings as roses and cornices though.

#5) New Front Door

You only get one chance to make a first impression. A cheap front door makes a house look cheap. An old front door makes a house look old. If you have nice heavy door, paint it a bold color using a high-gloss paint. If your front door is old, consider replacing it with a new, stylish door. For about $125, you can buy a very nice door.

Yep, and don't forget that nice new door mat - you can take it with you once the place is let/sold ;-)

#6) Tile Foyer Entry

After the front door, your next first impression is the foyer area. Most rental property foyers are graced with linoleum floors. Consider a nice 12" Mexican tile. An 8' x 8' area should cost about $100 in materials.

Nope, unless your on a concrete slab and even then maybe. Go for the timber look instead - not as hard wearing but a heck of a lot cheaper not to mention chic and easier to replace when fashions change.

#7) New Shower Curtains

It amazes me that many landlords and sellers show properties with either no shower curtain or any ugly old shower curtain in the bathroom. Don't be cheap - drop $40 and buy a nice new rod and fancy curtain.

Yep.

#8) Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Replacing kitchen cabinets is expensive, but painting them is cheap. If you have old 1970's style wooden cabinets in a lovely dark brown shade, paint them. Use a semi-gloss white and finish them with colorful plastic knobs. No need to paint the inside of them (unless you own a spray gun), since you are only trying to make an impression.

Americans spend 99% of their time in the kitchen (when they are not watching TV). A fancy modern faucet looks great in the kitchen. They can run as much as $150, but not to worry - most retailers (Home Depot, Home Base, etc) often run clearance sales on overstocked and discontinued models. I have found nice Delta and Price Pfister faucets for about $60 on sale.

Yep if you are a competent DIY kinda gal.

#9) Add Window Shutters

If you have ugly aluminum framed windows, consider adding wooden shutters outside. They come pre-primed at most hardware retailers and are easy to install. Paint them an offset color from the outside of the house - (e.g., if the house is dark, paint the shutters white. If the house is light, paint them green, blue, etc.).

Nope, well not unless your in cyclonic areas in Oz.

#10) Add a Nice Mailbox

Everyone on the block has the same black mailbox. Stand out. Be bold. For about $35 you can buy a nice colorful mailbox. For about $60 more, you can buy a nice wooden post for it. People notice these things....and they like them!

Yep.;)
 
Last edited:
You only get one chance to make a first impression. A cheap front door makes a house look cheap. An old front door makes a house look old. If you have nice heavy door, paint it a bold color using a high-gloss paint. If your front door is old, consider replacing it with a new, stylish door. For about $125, you can buy a very nice door.

And don't forget that nice new door mat - you can take it with you once the place is let/sold

I've heard that some people hire topiary and stuff to make the place look extra good before a sale. reported results are good- but is that over the top?
 
topiary
// adjective 1. (of hedges, trees, etc.) clipped or trimmed into (fantastic) shapes.

(For us including me that didn't know what it meant.)

Cheers,

Sunstone. :)
 
Well the bottom line is do whatever it takes to get results.

I know my reaction to "The Wife" having a detachable verandah that she places on houses just to spruce them up and taking it away again after the sale. (Or charging/negotiating extra to leave it.)

All relates to results. If you can get at least get 50% more profit over the actual physical cost and labour then it may be worthwhile.

If it's less then you may have just bought yourself a job in reverse.

Anyway any other good ways of cheaply adding value to a property?

Cheers,

Sunstone.
 
The one I liked in the old forum:

I **think** it was Michael Croft, relating story of a $10 stainless steel colander he converted into a fancy looking vanity for the bathroom - got a mate to bash up a nice timber cabinet for it, made a hole for the plughole/drain...cost him very little and got it valued by QS for many hundreds of dollars, maybe even a thousand...the exact values may be incorrect, but you get the idea...

Now that's what I call wealth creation/value adding...
 
We did a reno in Melb CBD last year. 6 months and $50k later all the builder and sparky could say was that we had way over capitalised on power points of all things - go figure. I would of thought the stainless steel kitchen or mosiac tiled bathrooms may have been top of their list - but nah power points in fact 6 extra points.

As far as I was concerned people look for things to make their life easy - an extra power point costs $50 bucks per room.

For a $300 we had very workable and liveable living rooms and bedrooms.
 
Spaghetti

I agree.

A number of well-placed switchplates never look out of place, it is the extension cord spaghetti that trashes an otherwise nice decor.

Regards
Anthony
 
Apocalypse said:
The one I liked in the old forum:

I **think** it was Michael Croft, relating story of a $10 stainless steel colander he converted into a fancy looking vanity for the bathroom - got a mate to bash up a nice timber cabinet for it, made a hole for the plughole/drain...cost him very little and got it valued by QS for many hundreds of dollars, maybe even a thousand...the exact values may be incorrect, but you get the idea...

Now that's what I call wealth creation/value adding...


Wouldn't you need lots of little plugs if you used a colander for a sink?

Cheers,
 
Simon said:
Wouldn't you need lots of little plugs if you used a colander for a sink?
2 1/2 years after the last post...

I remember Michael telling the story. It wasn't a colander, it was one of those cheap stainless steel mixing bowls.

Excellent lateral thinking!
 
Hi All

May I add

Quality Light Fitting at Entry and Quality Metal Door Numbers. Definition of quality is subject to the market but cheap always looks cheap. :D

May I subtract

Brass Cover Plates :p

Bring back the orange laminex and slate floors baby.

Simple white and clean please.

But overall the suggestion esp. door handles are very good.

In todays world you must have GOOD photos by professionals for your website.

Re plants and such. yes it works.

Peter 147
 
Thanks SS
I learned a lot from Micheal Croft who always said "The biggest bang for your buck is Paint and Carpet" and I might add "garden"(user friendly).
I used some of those tricks late last year on a property(featured on the Reno Kings today show ACTsegment)
Bought $315K
$23K cosmentic reno
Rents for $540 pw
new market value around $450K+ :)
And who said the boom is over?
Kind regards
Simon
 
Other quick spruces

A bloke I heard of doing reno units in Logan did most of the things on the Aussie version of the list with great results, plus he always use to replace toilet cisterns with the nice ceramic version, and a new dunny seat. Apparently people notice the most important seat in the house.
 
Top