The kitchen and the bathroom are big deals in any household.

There are two basic types of remodeling for the kitchen and bathrooms.  A minor upgrade and a full remodel.

A minor upgrade means that most of the same items are going to remain.  A full remodeling means that you are removing everything and starting off new.  This article covers both minor upgrades and full remodeling of kitchen and bathroom for your OKC rental Property.

It’s one in a series of article about improvements to your OKC rental properties.  Here are the other articles:

Affordable Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Tips for OKC Rentals

Keeping the Weather out of Your OKC Rental Property

Spotting Construction Pitfalls for OKC Rental Properties

Cosmetic Upgrades to Your Oklahoma City Rental Property

Kitchen

One important question to ask is if the house has enough cabinet and counter top space.

Minor Kitchen Upgrade

A minor upgrade is usually one in which the cabinets are going to stay.  You may be replacing the sink, counter tops, dish washer, drain plumbing, and/or fixtures.

  • New hardware including door knobs and drawer pulls is a nice touch.  
  • If it’s a cheap rental, you can go with Formica counter tops.  They are inexpensive and fairly durable.  They do need to be sealed well using caulk because the pressed wood that makes up the under surface will degrade if it gets wet.
  • If you have a nicer rentals, have granite or its equivalent (for example, Quartz) installed.  Granite is getting so affordable that you should be putting granite into even your middle-of-the-road rentals.
  • Dishwashers and disposals are a must except in low-end rentals. 
  • Add disposals whenever you add a dishwasher.

Full Kitchen Remodeling

  • Consider the layout of the kitchen because you are starting from scratch.  You may want to change where you located the cabinets all together.
  • If you going to install new cabinets, don’t go with the cheapest ones you can get.  I prefer maple or oak.
  • You should have your new cabinets stained and covered with 2 coats of polyurethane, not painted.
  • When you are doing a full remodel, be sure to change out the plumbing also.
  • How about electrical receptacles?  You should have at least one for every 4 feet of counter top.
  • Don’t forget about the electrical and plumbing you’ll need for a dishwasher and disposal.
  • It’s best to install free standing ovens with cook tops, even in more expensive rentals.  Built-in cook tops are too problematic.
  • Vent hoods are a must above the stove.

Bathrooms

With bathrooms, more is better.  It’s always easier to rent a house with at least an extra half bathroom (sink and toilet) than it is one with just one bathroom.

Minor Bathroom Upgrade

  • New pedestal sinks with new vanity mirrors are a very nice touch in older houses. 
  • Don’t buy the absolute cheapest toilet you can get.  They don’t dispense enough water, in most cases, to carry the waste stream out through the sewer main.  You’ll end up paying for it in added maintenance costs when you’ll toilet keeps backing up.
  • Add at least a toilet paper roller and one towel bar to each bathroom.
  • Be sure to have maintenance caulk the tub surround between tenants.
  • If the shower surround has broken down, remove it.  Be sure to have a solid backing.  Greenboard (water resistant sheetrock) or concrete board are the best.  Don’t just go with regular sheetrock because it’s going to get wet and/or moist.  You get to decide between a vinyl surround, which will be cheaper, or ceramic tile.  Obviously, the ceramic tile is going to be more expensive.  The shower is a way to make your property stand out.  It pays to be trendy here.  Just google “ceramic tile tub surround” and look at the images.  This will give you some ideas about how you can have it done.
  • New facet fixtures are always a plus.

Full Bathroom Remodeling

  • If you have a bathroom that needs lots of work, you may want to just gut it and start from scratch with all new sinks, toilets, and bathtubs.  Many times it’s less expensive in the long run to install all new versus fix the old ones.
  • Get rid of claw-foot tubs; install new tubs with new facet fixtures.  When your renters see old tubs, they associate that with “it doesn’t work”.  When they see new tubs and fixtures, they are impressed.

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