This is the third part of the series on renovation of a rental property duplex on a shoe-string budget. Landlord Hank takes you through his steps, where he got his materials, gives you a final cost and then lets you know how much rent he is getting from the tenants.

By Landlord Hank

So now the floor is finished and it looks fabulous.

Renovation Of A Rental Property On A Shoe-String Budget

Hank’s new tile floor looks fabulous after replacing the old carpet.

The baseboards in the bedrooms had to be removed and they fell apart in doing so. I found killer deal on Craigslist for brand new baseboards.

Later that week I bought five, six-panel doors to replace damaged doors in my unit for $10 each. Also needed an exterior door-$25 on Craigslist.

I had my maintenance supervisor in Atlanta load up his truck from our supply warehouse (my basement) and bring down five new windows, (from the house being torn down), a new HVAC condensing unit (one was not working), nice lever door handles (yard sale), etc.

He put in baseboards, hung new doors and painted both sides of the duplex and laundry rooms.

Kitchens were too small so I moved the refrigerator

Renovation Of A Rental Property On A Shoe-String Budget

Hank’s kitchen where he added a dishwasher in his rental renovation on a shoe-string budget.

The kitchens were small and not really very functional-no microwave or dishwasher and not enough prep area or storage.

I decided to move refrigerator to other side of the room and put some cabinets around it.

Renovation Of A Rental Property On A Shoe-String Budget

Hank moved the refrigerator to help create more space in the kitchen.

I found a large cabinet on side of the road!! It worked perfectly and was in great shape. I picked up another from a yard sale and it was a perfect match with cabinets.

On the other side of the duplex, we did the same thing.

I had a friend in charge of a kitchen remodel and I picked up some nice cabinets for free. Moving the refrigerator to the other side of the room left space for a dishwasher and microwave and now the kitchens were large and well equipped.

I picked up some scrap granite and fitted it on top of the dishwasher. New yard sale lights and ceiling fans and now kitchens are almost finished.

Renovation Of A Rental Property On A Shoe-String Budget

Hank’s nice new kitchen in his rental renovation.

I had a couple of drawers repaired, all cabinets sanded and stained. Voila! A nice, new kitchen.

Craigslist also provided a nice granite topped vanity for bathroom ($150). Windows were put in on the left and finishing touches were done.

My neighbor is a landscaper

Renovation Of A Rental Property On A Shoe-String Budget landscaping

Hank’s landscaping for his rental renovation on a shoe-string budget.

My neighbor at this property is a landscaper. He also does other related side jobs. He fenced my yard, left side and rear, with fence he had replaced on a job. I stained it all and now we have a private space.

My wife found a Publix grocery store that was re-doing landscaping. We took two truck loads of just removed plants and since she loves gardening it was a no-cost install – well, a backrub and dinner!

Total cost for the renovation of a rental property on a shoe-string budget

  • Flooring tile and labor – $1,400
  • Baseboards – $100
  • Doors – $75
  • Paint and labor – $700
  • Termite damage wall and beam – $1,200
  • HVAC condensing unit which was in my storage – labor $350
  • Vanity $150
  • Two dishwashers, two microwaves, one stove and one refrigerator – $475
  • Labor in kitchen for cabinet installation, repair of existing cabinets, sanding, staining, dishwasher and microwave installation, granite counter tops over dishwasher – $650.
  • Window installation for five windows I already had – $750
  • Blinds – $400
  • Fencing installation and staining – $1,025
  • Three ceiling fans which came new in box from a friend who changed his mind –  $100
  • One water heater from garage sale -$40 and from Craigslist $50, installation – $100
  • $1,000 for miscellaneous which was: A few tiles replaced in bathroom surround, new stems and handles in bathrooms, replacement of water cut offs inside and out, medicine cabinet, lights, some switches and outlets, all new door locks, professional cleaning and extermination
  • Landscaping-free and sweat on our part
  • Total $8,565

Renovation summary

Renovation Of A Rental Property On A Shoe-String Budget

This renovation could easily have cost $30,000 for the scope of work and great result.

Some folks would say I was lucky to have already in stock so many needed replacement items-HVAC condensing unit, windows, etc.

I’d say that is a combination of luck and planning ahead.

I’m very pleased with the renovation results and the overall cost.

We did quality work which should keep the money rolling in on this building for many years.

So how did it go with the tenants?

Note from Hank:  I rented my two bedroom side recently. I took the 7th applicant-the others either didn’t make enough money, had poor credit, or rental history or criminal history. The rent on the two- bedroom is now $975 and the three bedroom rents for $1050. The three bedroom folks just renewed for a second year so I left the rent at $1050. Tenants pay all utilities and I take care of landscaping.

Part 1 – Can You Really Renovate Rental Property On A Shoe-String Budget?

Part 2 – Next Up: Flooring In A Rental Renovation On A Shoe String

About the author:

“I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta. “ Visit Hank’s website here.