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8 Multi-Residence Building Upgrades That Pay Off

If you own a multi-unit rental property, you know that real estate management involves attracting quality tenants, minimizing operating expenses, and maximizing rents. Upgrading your units will entice desirable tenants and encourage them to stay through multiple lease cycles.

Whether you manage a duplex or a sprawling multi-building apartment complex, you can significantly improve the look and functionality of your units and increase your building’s resale value without spending a fortune.

Here are 8 worthwhile upgrades (we don’t include things like painting and cleaning since these are considered basic maintenance):

1: New Interior Doors

Interior glass sliding doors instantly elevate the look of a space and create visual appeal. They’re also highly functional in smaller spaces. Unlike more cumbersome swing doors, sliding doors require a much smaller footprint since they don’t swing out or take up valuable floor real estaste. Sliding glass doors with aluminum frames can be custom designed with various amounts of glass opacity for privacy. This means they can be used everywhere—in bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, and laundry areas. They’re also ideal for dividing two spaces.

2: Wood Flooring

Carpet is outdated and undesirable. It looks great when it’s first installed, but it quickly goes downhill from there. At best you’ll get five years out of new carpet.

On the other hand, tenants love wood flooring. You have several choices: Traditional wood flooring, engineered wood (a quality wood veneer bonded to multiple layers of wood backing), or a faux wood laminate. Bamboo is popular for its sustainability and durability. It’s long-lasting and comes in a wide range of striations and colors.

Whichever option you choose, it will be a considerable upgrade and a better investment than carpeting. Tip: Lighter colors don’t show wear and damage as much as darker colors.

3: Backsplashes

man doing laundry in room

Modern homes and apartments feature contemporary backsplashes in the kitchen and bathrooms almost without questions. Installing attractive backsplashes is a low-cost way to elevate a room with very little effort, especially with the emergence of ready-to-install interlocking tile mosaics on mesh backing.

Tip: Choose a design that’s timeless, not trendy. White subway tiles or a mix of gray, black, and white are good choices. Avoid flashy colors or designs.

4: In-Unit Laundry

Treks to an off-site laundromat are a major drawback of being a renter. Upgrading your unit(s) with laundry machines will add instant appeal. In-unit laundry is one of the top amenities tenants look for—and they’re willing to pay more for it. Stackable units can fit into even the smallest corners. Conceal the washer/dryer with sliding frosted glass doors to make the space even more desirable.

5: Lighting

As any good interior decorator knows, you can dramatically modernize and improve the look of a space with good lighting. Switch out a dated candelabra chandelier with a multi-light pendant fixture. Replace fluorescent strip lighting in the kitchen with dimmable recessed lighting. Upgrade an exposed-bulb vanity light fixture in the bathroom with a more modern choice. New lighting makes all the difference.

6: Upgraded Appliances

Quality appliances top the list of amenities tenants want most. Make your unit more desirable by investing in stainless steel appliances—refrigerator, built-in microwave, and range. Choose ENERGY STAR-certified appliances for greater energy efficiency. Also, replace the kitchen faucet with a retractable, single-handle stainless steel model. These investments will pay off quickly. Units with upgraded appliances can pull in hundreds more in rent per month.

7: Reface Kitchen Cabinets

Ripping out and replacing cabinets and drawers is a costly undertaking and probably unnecessary. Unless the cabinets and drawers are in really bad shape or you’re redoing the layout of the space, cabinet refacing or refinishing is a better option. High-quality solid wood door fronts, a fresh coat of paint, and sleek hardware will give cabinets a fresh new look.

Refacing with solid wood doors will likely run between $3,000 and $8,000. If this isn’t in the budget, refinishing the cabinets and drawers and replacing hardware usually runs between $1,500 and $4,000. Adding sliding doors as the pantry entrance saves space and allows for easy access to everything inside from the right, left, and center.

8: Landscaping

Think curb appeal doesn’t matter to renters? Think again. If you’re trying to attract a higher caliber renter, investing in your property’s exterior is especially important. Flowering trees and shrubs attract renters and can help decrease vacancy rates. Make sure your landscaping is well maintained by hiring a regular gardener. Also, ensure walkways, driveways, and other common areas are in good condition with no trip hazards.

Space Plus: Interior Door Solutions for Multi-Unit Residences

Space Plus, a division of The Sliding Door Company, custom designs interior door solutions and glass wall dividers for every need.

Our interior glass doors and multi-family loft dividers can help you affordably maximize square footage and elevate the look of your apartment units. Our custom doors and glass dividers are ideal for living spaces and common areas like gyms and rec rooms. Let our talented team help you choose from a variety of designs, glass types, locks, latches, and frame finishes to help you achieve your desired look.

View our gallery for inspiration and learn more about our glass partitions and sliding glass door solutions for multi-unit residential environments here.