Makeover for Rental Property


Hoping someone may be able to help me out here.

Have a rental property in the High Country that needs 'freshening up' however I only have a limited budget and figure if I fix one thing something else needs fixing and a 'little tidy up' may end up being a big tidy up. :(

Needing help with colours/styles to try and bring a theme through the place It is a tiny two storey 2 bedroom 1 bath place. It is also fully funished.

Any ideas on home stylists that wont break the bank but could help with some guidance?


Go white trim, white ceilings, very very slightly off-white warm neutral walls just so its not stark. White or alabaster or some other very pale warm neutral blinds (very cheap at places like spotlight/kmart/bigw) - either venetians or those fake wood wide bladed ones - real wood ones aren't as cheap, and the cheap Ikea wood ones are flimsy.

If you're doing floors, go with lighter coloured beige carpet or beech laminate flooring. The floor stuff Ikea sells is very cheap and quite easy to lay yourself. Got wood floors? Consider polishing them - same price as carpet, looks great. Don't want to do the floors? Your house is furnished, go to a discount rug outlet, pick up some neutral coloured but fairly busy rugs - the traditional 'persian' style - that cover up as much of the floor as possible.

You'll find the paint will set you back about $300 or less, blinds are about $10-50 each depending on size and if you can get them on special, and laminate flooring can be had for $15-20 per square metre. Cheap rugs can be had online or at a discount store for < $100 each. You might be able to squeak in a complete cosmetic facelift for under $1000 IF you do the work yourself.
I know it's only a rental but you get what you pay for. And the few times you have to go through a cosmetic reno the better.

I've recently had a rental painted, new light fittings, window treatments and floors.

I got a contractor to paint, he was cheap and he cut corners. Now I've got skirting boards that need to be repainted already (it was done 6 months ago).

I decided on cheap laminate floors with the cheap underlay. Laminate will expand when exposed to too much water, so joins around wet areas are already lifting and creaking.

I've had really cheap blinds before and they fall apart and stop working so, those fake wood venetians are very heavy, which means you have to get mulitple blinds for bigger windows, which means more cords more wear and tear and more problems. I went with real wood venetians to main rooms, and roller blinds and curtains elsewhere.

Just be careful going cheap, it is usually worth it to pay a little extra.
Sounds good advice. Thanks

I also need help with bathroom. It is bathroom/laundry/toilet all in one. Shower screen has a crack needs replacing however tiles could do with updating and possibly floor...see what I mean..if I fix the screen I may as well do the whole thing properly (sigh)

Then there is the kitchen...needs a dishwasher (tenents these days in this area expect it) This means redoing the kitchen as it will take up valuable cupboard space. That then means redoing floor...also could do with cupboards above the bench in one corner... and bigger fridge...

Not sure on style and cheapest way to update kitchen - can I use existing cupboards and put new doors and bench on top? If so I'm looking for help with colours and design. :)

If I redo Kitchen shouldn't i update complete bathroom to match?

Then there are the pictures on the wall ! :) and soft furnishings, doona's etc..

Not necessarily... fix the screen for $200 or do entire bathroom for 10k? A new screen and a fresh paint job might be enough if the rest is functional.

It really depends what you're trying to achieve and whether it's worth it. Are you looking to get $50/week extra in rent? If so are you willing to wait 4 years to make your money back (on a 10k reno for example).

Or are you looking to increase equity to refinance for example...

All needs to be considered before you decide what to do.

Other thoughts...

better to have a new kitchen and an old bathroom than an old kitchen AND bathroom.
Kitchens are a bigger drawcard than bathrooms.
Make sure you do your kitchen/bathroom before you do your floors.
Make sure you do your painting before you do your floors and after your renos.
I find replacing kitchen cupboard doors is not cheap (unless you make them yourself out of customwood). I wouldn't spend too much money on a patch up kitchen job as you will still need to replace it down the track.
I have a timber laminate kitchen which I'm going to paint.
Hopefully it looks OK. The benchtop isn't that bad.

Some photos will help get replies regarding colours and what you could do to tidy it up.

Adding a new vanity can make a huge difference to a bathroom. On one of our units we just replaced the vanity and shower screen and it looks great (and paint the ceiling).

Paint is a great place to start.
What's your budget? You've gone from 'not much money' to spend (which puts you down in the cheap-and-won't-last category) to wanting to replace kitchens and bathrooms, which could put a decent reno up around $20-40,000, even more if you start replacing furniture and soft furnishings too. Next thing you'll be mentioning you could use a new roof, and the exterior needs recladding.

Which is it?