Kitchen Remodelling for a rental

14 Replies

Hi, guys, how do you do a kitchen remodel for a rental ? How to make it within a reasonable budget if current cabinets and countertop is falling apart and I need to replace everything.

we use off the shelf cabinets from Lowes, catch them when they are 20% off. Then Sureply subfloor and 18" stick down vinyl. New cheap appliances. A new vent hood. New4 bulb fluorescent light. As cheap as I can do it, but it still costs a lot.

I'd save money on the cabinets with something like Ikea and then use that saving to splurge on countertops and knobs. 

Nobody will appreciate or pay more for top of the quality plywood cabinets, but they will appreciate fancy countertop or something they touch all the time like the knobs. 

Depending on whether your contractor is willing to work with used materials and if you have some flexibility in how the cabinets go back into the kitchen, consider shopping for cabinets, sinks, and even faucets at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore or one of the other home improvement "extras" places. We've done this in several of our flips when we had the option of moving some things around and it has turned out quite well. . .and was considerably cheaper than even the off-the-shelf cabinets from the big box stores. We also have found very reasonably priced lights there.

We also buy used appliances from either re-sale stores or even Craigslist, and we've been pretty fortunate to not have any issues. However, that can be dicey because from Craigslist you naturally don't have much if any recourse if the appliances don't work.

Thank you very much, guys, yes I was thinking about 20% in Lowe's or Home Depot. But now we have an IKEA around :))) and they have 20% off sometimes as well :))) it may look really fancy :))) I need just to find a contractor who will make this job within a reasonable budget :))) another option is to use a local cheap cabinet company - they are making money mostly on cabinets, installation would not cost so much.

As a local kitchen cabinet wholesaler in NJ, I always advise landlords to pay a little more for plywood cabinets, they don't get as waterlogged etc. For tenants that don't care, the cabinets will definitely last longer.

Most of my customers also don't request for RTA anymore, they would rather have the product delivered, installed and be out without wasting time. The price for assembly, is minimal, and having it done in the shop properly verse on a job site can not be compared.

I agree with @Moe Hirsch

 I would spend the extra money for wood cabinets.  Tenants don't seem to notice (or care) when there are leaks and the real wood will last longer IMO.  I have also found cabinets cheaper and real wood at Surplus Warehouse,  if you have one around you

Don't forget to consider the type of renter you are looking for.  If your rental is in a B class neighborhood and you install C or D class cabinets and appliances, you will not likely attract B class renters. That could either increase your vacancy rate or decrease your cash flow.  A good quality kitchen rehab could bring you more applicants and allow you to increase your rents.

On the other hand, I would never put high end anything in a rental that is in a D class neighborhood. 

I purchase cabinets from Craigslist or the restore for my kitchen rehabs.  This allows me to redesign them and make them more functional.  I always re-stain these so they have a freshly finished look.

I also never put in expensive counter tops.  I just update them with of the shelf counter tops from Lowe's or Home Depot.  

Good Luck!

jane, I use kitchen classics from Lowe's.  Check out cbgresources.com for design ideas.  There are some great design ideas witj the product skus.  Ive done more than a hundred rehabs and have rental properties and would be happy to share any knowledge that I have.  Fyi, in in KC, saw you were in Kansas. 

cbgresources.com

is this correct address? it opens a web hosting page

Originally posted by @Moe Hirsch :

As a local kitchen cabinet wholesaler in NJ, I always advise landlords to pay a little more for plywood cabinets, they don't get as waterlogged etc. For tenants that don't care, the cabinets will definitely last longer.

Most of my customers also don't request for RTA anymore, they would rather have the product delivered, installed and be out without wasting time. The price for assembly, is minimal, and having it done in the shop properly verse on a job site can not be compared.

 You're not paying just a little more for plywood cabinets; you're paying a lot more for plywood cabinets. 

How much would your plywood cabinets cost that had all the bells and whistles of an Ikea kitchen- full extension drawers, self-closing slides and drawer dampers, Blum hardware, etc..?

And, if we're going to warn people not to use particleboard cabinets because of the concern about water on the cabinets, then we should also tell those same people to stay away from laminate flooring because water can harm those floors too.

But,I'd be concerned more about water damage to the floors then to the cabinets when you've got a countertop on top of the cabinets to serve as a barrier/protection against water damage. 

Originally posted by @Wayne Smith :

I agree with @Moe Hirsch

 I would spend the extra money for wood cabinets.  Tenants don't seem to notice (or care) when there are leaks and the real wood will last longer IMO.  I have also found cabinets cheaper and real wood at Surplus Warehouse,  if you have one around you

 Plywood cabinets are more resistant to water damage than particleboard cabinets, but particleboard isn't impervious to water damage. If there's a leak and a tenant doesn't notice or care for awhile, then the plywood cabinet won't be long for this world either. 

I would consider putting decent cabinets in unless you think they will get destroyed quickly by careless tenants. I purchased the Cheyenne (brown) cabinets from Lowe's during there big 20% off (+10% for my military) and I was very happy at first. After installing them I found the finish scratched very easily and I regretted not spending more. I'd imagine the espresso color would do the same. You may be ok with the white or natural finish. As far as the 18" stick on vinyl tiles at Lowe's. I learned that lesson the hard way too. They started lifting in spots after about 4-6 months, I ended up having sheet vinyl laid over them and I'm much happier. My local flooring store said they stopped carrying them because they would peel up. They will only install vinyl stick-on planks. The lesson I learned in this is to be careful where you skimp on stuff. If you can spend a little more to do it right or have a product that won't wind up costing you more money in the future then do it.

When possible we try to use what's there and either paint or stain them. When not possible we order plywood box RTA cabinets on the net as they usually cost the same as the particle board cabinets at the big box stores. Counter tops usually reflect the type of rental, granite for A rentals, custom formica for B rentals and box box formica for C rentals.

We've had some luck buying full appliance sets on CL when owners upgraded to Stainless but it does come with risk and takes some time. A new set of appliances is $1,600 - $2,2000 with delivery whereas a CL set might cost $500 - $700 but we have pick them up.

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