During the winter, it’s tempting to retreat indoors and essentially “close up shop” until the spring thaw. The days are short, the snow is plentiful, and few places in the world are cozier than a couch next to a roaring fire.
Table of Contents - Property Improvements You Can Make This Winter
Before you sit back and reach for the TV remote, however, it’s time to make the most of the winter lull and spruce up your properties. Here are some simple chores you can complete throughout the winter that will improve your property’s safety and increase its value.
Put on a fresh coat of paint
If you have any empty properties, winter is a great time to add a fresh coat of paint. With little-to-no furniture and no risk of displacing tenants, laying on a new coat of eggshell white (or any other warm, neutral colour) will add another element of allure for a potential new tenant.
If you have long-term tenants in place, ask them if they’re interested in a paint update. Allowing them to weigh in on a potential colour choice can add a sense of inclusion that amounts to increased satisfaction for them, and prolonged income for you.
Either way, painting is a cheap way to transform your rental space from top to bottom (literally).
Upgrade your thermostat
If your property doesn’t have a programmable thermostat, it’s time to upgrade. A programmable thermostat has endless benefits as a means to lower energy costs and protect an uninhabited property. In properties that have tenants, a programmable thermostat allows people to raise and lower the building’s heat depending on their schedule. In properties that are still awaiting a tenancy, a programmable thermostat ensures that your building’s temperature stays at a temperature that keeps pipes from freezing and other winter-related accidents from occurring without costing you a fortune in heating bills.
Rethink your indoor lighting scheme
On a bright day, when the curtains are pulled back and natural light is plentiful, your property’s lighting may not seem too important. However, when the sun is hiding during the winter season, indoor lighting is crucial to making a rental property feel livable.
Take advantage of those prolonged hours of dim light by thinking about the lighting in each of your rental spaces. As most property managers understand, the lights within a living space can make or break a potential renter’s sense of comfort. Take the time to stroll through each vacant property or solicit suggestions from your renters on how to make the space brighter.
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Focus on the bathroom
There are several options for renovation inside the bathroom. An easy fix is to swap out any knobs or drawers for a quick update. The bathroom may benefit from a new mirror, medicine cabinet or sink faucet. Though these touches may not seem like a big deal, these relatively inexpensive upgrades can turn any space into a potential renter’s dream.
Safety on the doorstep
Wintertime is synonymous with dangerous slip-and-falls. There’s no need to add to the chances that any of your tenants will end up on their seats when the entrances and exits to your property are covered in snow and ice. Make sure that sidewalks are cleared of any snow or ice and salted to prevent or treat slick spots. Check-in with tenants to ensure they understand whose responsibility it is to shovel and provide them with the tools they need.
You should also do a site inspection to make sure there is enough outdoor lighting to adequately illuminate every inch of your property during the long, dark days of winter. Not only will bright lights help your tenants avoid falls, but it can also deter potential criminals from targeting your property.
Address the insulation
Here’s your daily physics lesson: heat naturally moves from hot spaces to cold ones. In the summer, that means warm air moving through the walls of your building. In the winter, that means precious heat trying to escape to the outside. Properties that aren’t insulated well typically see skyrocketing energy bills because tenants have to crank up the heat or air conditioning (depending on the season) to stay comfortable. When a building is insulated correctly, it’s harder for that warm air to move from one space to another. As a result, energy costs tend to go down. Adequate insulation is a crucial cost-saving measure, and more importantly, it also keeps your tenants safe.
Take a second look at your doors
If you’re looking for an inventive and easy way to dramatically transform your property in one fell swoop, refurbishing or replacing your doors can go a long way in the right direction. If you have the budget, adding a new front door to a residential property can improve insulation and serve to grab the eye the moment a potential renter steps onto the property.
On the inside, a quick coat of paint can do wonders to inspire potential tenants to imagine themselves creating a space of their very own. A new doorknob can also accent a room’s aesthetic in unexpected and pleasant ways.
Schedule your service appointments
Everything from your property’s plumbing to its electrical infrastructure to its landscaping can benefit from some professional attention during the winter. What’s more, you’d be utterly amazed at how much easier it can be to schedule service appointments of every kind during the winter. Less competition for service appointments means that technicians in almost every industry can spend more time assessing your property for potential or current problems.
That extra layer of care can mean the difference between a few quick fixes now or a whole lot of expensive payments later.
Custom cabinet hardware
A fresh array of cabinet hardware can breathe new life into a bathroom, kitchen or office space with minimal financial investment and physical effort. Add an element of class to a residential bathroom with sterling silver drawer handles. Turn traditional office cabinets into funky accent pieces with some trendy soft leather handles.
Resist the temptation to tackle any improvements on your rental property until the spring. If you seize the opportunity during the winter months, you will be well-positioned to find new tenants in the summer – or, convince your current tenants to stay longer because they love their upgraded space.
Rental Property Improvements For Under $500
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