Vancouver’s Enzo Design Build is a one-stop renovation, interior design, staging and construction management services company renowned for its quality, diverse skills and exemplary customer service. We took the time to talk to owner and head Project Manager, Meysam Pourkaram, and ask, based on his extensive experience, which renovations are most likely to boost rental revenue.
If you could only renovate a kitchen or a bathroom, which would you choose?
First I’d ask a client some key questions. Which space is more worn out or out-dated? What is the budget? If it is a rental unit, I would recommend focussing on areas that will see heaviest use and prioritize them for improvements. Consider, too, where people spend the most time.
The kitchen is often the first space people see whereas bathroom doors are usually kept shut. In addition to being highly visible, the kitchen is where people congregate so a kitchen update or full renovation is likely money well spent. Even though it may be costlier than other property improvements, the ROI is better as prospective tenants and buyers value kitchen space and thus, are likely willing to pay more.
The kitchen it is! Can you provide some tips and tricks on kitchen improvements?
Here are some simple (and more involved) ways to improve your kitchen:
- Consider painting cabinets vs. replacing them. White is neutral, clean, minimal and appealing to most. But be aware that refinishing/repainting can sometimes cost more than purchasing new factory-made doors because it is quite labour intensive. In other words, collect some quotes and run a cost comparison before deciding on repainting or replacing doors. You might also consider installing new veneers or wood on top of existing doors.
- Pay attention to the condition of the ‘box’ (cabinet) as well. Are they in good condition or are they broken? Are they melamine or plywood. Particle board and melamine are the cheapest materials on the market while plywood is the most durable, locally available product used for building cabinetry. There is no use in replacing doors if the boxes are in bad shape.
- Generally speaking, you will be saving 50% on your kitchen update by refacing rather than replacing cabinets.
- Replacing the countertop also makes a difference. Bigger, chunkier square countertops (vs. bullnose edging) will immediately update a kitchen
- Engineered stone (quartz) is probably the best choice. There are so many options to choose from and it is cost effective, easy to maintain and resistant to spills – ideal for rentals.
- Granite is another good choice but may look a bit outdated depending on where you use it and what piece you select. It can also be pricey.
- Corian is a solid surface material created by Dupont and composed of polymers. It can be created in any shape or form as one solid piece and is non-porous, stain resistant and easily repaired when scratched.
- DO NOT use tile (grouted tile). They are hard to clean, impractical and not aesthetically pleasing. Also, do not use marble for a rentals. It is expensive and does stain.
- For some industrial spaces like lofts, you may consider concrete counters but it can be costly to form and pour.
- Update your hardware. Replacing knobs, hinges and pulls with new ones are an easy DIY fix.
- Consider installing soft-close hardware in drawers and cabinets to prevent future damage from heavy handed closing/shutting.
- Replacing plumbing fixtures with something more current will also enhance your kitchen’s look and feel.
- Update appliances – new appliances are costlier but they’ll reduce the number of repair calls from tenants. If you buy a package of appliances (fridge, stove, dishwasher), you’ll typically pay less than buying items separately.
Other Kitchen Updates
- A new back splash can brighten up a kitchen and improve the look of the cabinets and entire space.
- Lighting can vastly improve any room. No one likes a dark kitchen so this could be a worthy investment. Consider under cabinet lighting too.
- If you have the time and inclination (and the funds), consider removing walls to open up the space. Many apartments have galley kitchens that can feel cramped and isolated. Given that open concept living is here to stay, knocking a wall down integrates the kitchen with the rest of the living space and make most apartments feel more spacious.
So there you have it! Enzo’s scoop on how best to improve your kitchen so you can boost the rent on your investment property! Once it’s all ready to go, follow Meysam’s lead, and list your properties on liv.rent to gain access to thousands of qualified renters, book appointments, sign leases and even accept payment.
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