Money spent on kitchen upgrades has remained a good investment for your rental property. But with the housing market is flux, saving money on kitchen upgrades makes even more sense.
There are three easy ways to add big impact in the kitchen without the bloated price tag of an overhaul:
Resurface Kitchen Cabinets for Less Than Replacement
Resurfacing means replacing the doors, drawer fronts and hardware, and covering the sides and framework with stick-on veneer or glued-on plywood. According to home improvement guru Charles Bryant with How StuffWorks.com, what you get is:
- A new-looking cabinet at about half the cost of replacement.
- You also avoid the mess and inconvenience of completely removing and replacing your cabinets.
“If your cabinets are in good structural shape and you like the existing layout, then you’re a good candidate for refacing. Craftsmanship was better in the “old days,” so most pre-1980 cabinets are probably better than anything you could find at your home renovation retailer,” according to Bryant.
If you choose to tackle this project yourself, the key is good measurements so the materials you order will go on like clockwork. The veneers are placed on the sides and fronts of the existing cabinets, and secured with finish nails. Iron-on veneer products are also available. Upgraded hardware can be added to make the new cabinets dazzle. See more on refacing by: Bryant, Charles W. “How to Resurface Your Kitchen Cabinets.” 11 March 2008.
Refinish Cabinets for an Updated Look
Cabinets can be refinished for about $2,500 to $4,500, nearly half the cost the resurfacing. Refinishing allows you to clean up worn looking cabinets and take your decor into the modern age. Refinishing can included painted or stained finishes in dozens of colors to match the new design of the kitchen. Modern upgrades can be added, like glass doors, moldings and hidden hinges. For those of you in the Phoenix area, check out Designer Cabinet Refinishing’s display at the Maricopa County Home and Landscape show September 26-28.
According to DCR’s designer Michael Rose, from the over 2,500 homes the company has completed, 80 percent of kitchens feature stainless steel appliances, dark granite countertops and medium tone tile flooring. The ultimate fix for homeowners trying to avoid costly alternatives, the company says the buzz in the biz is earthtone kitchens. Spend five minutes watching their video on how the job is done.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
Painting is also an inexpensive option for sprucing up the cabinets and adding some ‘wow’ or warmth to an otherwise outdated kitchen. And you avoid the mess of tearing out the old cabinets. There are many DIY guides out there for this project, but at the least be prepared to take off the hardware and hinges, and to scrub off the surfaces with a sugar-based degreaser before you get started. This is also a good time to invest in high quality brushes or use a hand sprayer to get the flawless finish you need to make your new cabinets look sleek.
Home is where the heart is, and the heart of a home is in the kitchen. Give your rental property the attention it needs to attract the best tenants, and you add value to your investment whichever option you choose.
See our related feature Resurface Old Countertops for Less.
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services related to your commercial housing investment including REAL ESTATE FORMS, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.
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