I recently closed on a 4 unit and there's a non-conforming 5th unit with drop ceilings. The unit is currently vacant and, as you can imagine, the ceiling isn't the prettiest thing.
Any ideas of what can be done to perk it up? Any particular tile that's worked well for you previously? Has anyone weighed the cost-benefit of replacing with drywall?
Thanks in advance
Edit: It's a 1/1 between North Park & Lincoln Square area to give you an idea of the clientele it'll be serving.
Did your inspector say anything about it codewise? You probably wouldn't believe the number of these in Lincoln Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park, and not just in basement apartments. With a 1/1 in that area (guessing that it is a basement that is not a legal unit), it probably isn't worth it to frame and/or drywall the ceiling from an investment only perspective. The payback on the rent is probably multiple years rather than months. For someone looking in that area who would rent a basement unit, if the rest of the unit is nice enough, the ceiling won't matter. No replacement panel will ever make it attractive. Just an opinion,, curious what others think which I why I read the post. With that big of a multi unit though, consider who might rent that unit and who might rent your other units in the building. You want to think/hope all the tenants would get along and respect each other. If that unit is considerably less desirable than the others, you may want to take that into account too. Also know what if anything you'd be limiting easy access to.
Jerry, thanks for the reply. It's a fairly large brick building, 3/1 in each of the other units.
I seriously believe that spending, even a couple hundred, to make the place nicer would be worth it. Getting a better tenant (and them being happier living there) would be worth the money, let alone any increase in rent. It's walking distance to NEU and would serve a student well. I'm not updating an appliance which would eventually need to be replaced, this would be a permanent solution.
There's hardwood flooring, new kitchen & bath tiling as well as fixtures yet the ceiling was ignored and doesn't match at all (I think he started updating it and decided to sell). Wondering what my options and costs might be.
@Jason Albasha I personally would drywall the place if you are holding it for a while. Drywall doesn't have to cost a fortune if you find the right crew, and it just looks nicer. In addition, you can throw in some can lights when you do it which will dramatically improve the aesthetic and help attract a good tenant once again. Basement units need to be nicer than above ground units to attract good tenants, so a little extra now will go a long way towards getting the right person.
Alternatively, there are much more attractive drop ceilings available than the old school "office" variety. You can get all different designs at the big box stores. You would also want to clean and paint the track that holds the drop ceiling a nice fresh white (or color).
The only other thing to think about would be whether the drop ceiling is there to provide access to mechanical or pipes that you may need to access down the line.
Drywalling would be great!