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Rental Home Renovations: Which Ones are Worth It?

By Jamie Richardson | May 10, 2020

Renting a home is often the best choice for those who cannot afford to buy a home or those who need to work away from their homes. Most of the time, typical apartment buildings do not reflect the personality of the owner and may have some issues that need repair or renovation. 

Your landlord isn’t likely to budge on these renovations without a lot of convincing. You might consider doing the renovation on your own. Is it worth it? Below, we’ve listed out some of the most common rental home renovations and explained whether they are worth the cost of investing your own resources. Here are some of them: 

Bathroom Renovations

Before you sign a lease or contract, check that the bathroom and plumbing work. If you view a space that turns out to have bathroom issues, you want your landlord to address it before you sign. This is particularly true if the bathroom has mold or any other safety concerns. 

The easiest bathroom renovation you can do on your own is some simple decorating. You might want to replace or add towel bars, mirrors, and medicine cabinets. If you need to update the overall look of your bathroom, then you might want to regrout the tiles to make it look new and clean. 


Repainting your rental home might be a worthy investment if you plan to stay in the place for a long time. By applying a fresh coat of paint, you can increase the homeliness of your home and make it look and feel bigger. 

If you need to tackle big walls, it is best to start with a focal wall first. If you are up for it, expect to spend a few hundred dollars to cover at least 200 square feet of wall space. If you are just about to move into your rental space, negotiate with the landlord first. They may invest in painting. 

Check if your state has any regulations about repainting. In New York, landlords are required to do repainting every three years.

Lighting Fixtures

Investing in lighting fixtures is worth your time and money. They are easy to install and remove after if you need to move out. Plus, it helps you add a little bit of your personality to the home. 

Ask your landlord about the type of plan they have with their electric company. This will help you find out if you need to invest in some LED lighting and other cost-cutting measures to lower your utility bills and help offset your investment.

Flooring Works

If you are thinking about refinishing your floors, think again. According to most experts, floors aren’t worth it. It can push you back several thousands of dollars. If you are bored with your floors, it’s best to invest in an area rug to hide any imperfections. Rugs can also add a lot of character to your rental space. 

The great thing about this is that you can sell it for a price later on. You can also bring it home with you once you move out. 

Kitchen Remodel

This one is a definite no. You do not have to cover the cost of a kitchen remodel. It is just not worth it. Kitchen remodeling can be expensive. The best way to approach updating your kitchen is to update the painting or upgrade the hardware. A pretty worthy investment you can make is to buy kitchen appliances that will make your cooking space more bearable. 

Custom Windows

Are you thinking of replacing your window? That might not be the best option for you. Again, it is going to be too costly for you. However, what you can do is to invest in good drapery that can help protect your privacy. If your windows are broken, however, it might be best to ask your landlord to repair it. 

Living in a rental home will never be the same as living in your own home. However, some workarounds that can help you make your temporary shelter as comfortable as possible.

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Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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