Things You'll Need:
- Vinyl Flooring
Make a list and stick to it.
Don't make the mistake of going over your budget to make it perfect. Figure out how much you will be renting the place for and how much your payments are going to be on the house. This will help you from doing want you want and doing what is necessary to rent. You do not want to get a small loan or use credit cards to fix the house up, as you will end up subsidizing for people to live in your house.
Do it yourself or hire?
You don't necessary have to do it yourself. There are a lot of licensed contractors that can come in and do a whole house paint job in a day, that would take you a week to do. Decide what jobs your are going to do, by getting a quote from contractors.
Paint and caulk cover up a multitude of sins. Neutral, lighter colors cost the least and have the widest appeal. It's important to the job neatly so as to prevent costly and time-wasting cleanup. If you decide to get a contractor to paint, make sure it includes the prep work.
You can also buy contractor sizes of paint for the painter and then keep the left over for touch ups.
Base molding is now being sold in contractor packs. It's inexpensive and freshens up the whole house. If you have spent money on paint and flooring, you need to go one more step and put down new base molding. Either rent a saw and put it in yourself (allow a couple of hours of down time as you figure out how to do it) or have a contractor bid on the job with the base molding that you have already purchased.
After the painting, shop for carpet. Let the store know that you are looking for rental carpet and stick to a medium color with some nape. Although the off white Berber may seem durable, just a few spills here and there, will ruin the look and no matter how many times you clean the carpet, the stain will always come back.
Putting in new vinyl tiles in the bathrooms and kitchen is a necessity. Even if it is not old or cracked it probably is dated, and a new box will lighten up the room and make everything look fresh. Depending on how many layers there are you can go right over the top of the existing floor with the new tile.
Although you may feel the need to replace all the kitchen cabinets, it's a very expensive undertaking. Not just for the cost of the cabinets, but for the install. In most cases, a coat of fresh white paint and new hinges and knobs will go a long way to make the kitchen look new again. This can include painting the inside of the cabinets, too. If your counter tops need to be replaced, buy precut counter tops at the store.
The stove and refrigerator usually can be given a thorough cleaning and can be used. If they are older than 10 years then consider replacing them with a used appliance off of craigslist.com. Renters are known for causing a lot of wear and tear and buying a new refrigerator for a tenant can be heartbreaking when you see the refrigerator a year later with nicks and broken shelves because they let their 3 year old use it as a ladder.
Unless the bathtub and sink are completely worn, changing out old faucets should be all you need to do. Also, change out angle stops
You don't want to have to go to your rental in the middle of the night because there is a major link in the bathroom sink. Have a plumber come in and change all the kitchen and bathroom angle stops. Have a plumber put in new toilet kit even though the toilet seems fine. Tenants will not call you when the toilet is running or there is a leak and you won't know about it till after they move out and there is a costly repair.
Fix all those small repairs. This is something you can do while everything else is being fixed in the house. Repair any broken doorbells, torn screens, cracked window panes, stained ceilings, towel bars, garbage disposals unstuck, and sticking doors, to name a few. Also, you will be able to send a message to the renter that you maintain your property and they will need to leave it the way it is.
Mow and water regularly while you are fixing up the rental. At that time decide if you are going to be getting a landscaper or ignoring the landscaping while the tenant is renting. If it concerns you, you will want to include that in your rental agreement that the tenant will be responsible for the lawn care, but don't be surprised if it is done rarely or not at all.