Right now I'm dead set on using Faux Wood Blinds for my rent house (3 bed). Assuming the average cost of a blind is $45 (tax-included) with the house having 10 windows, the cost will be $450.
My uncle, who has experience doing all of this, suggests aluminum blinds. (My dad is also in this boat. His reasoning is it's (Faux Wood Blinds) too good for tenants.)
Should I go with the lowest parts possible, Faux Wood Blinds, or something in-between? At much as I love pinching pennies, I *hate* those aluminum blinds with a passion.
Hi Jeff- This post looked lonely so I thought I would chime in with my two cents.
Unless your rental property is an executive level home in a highly affluent neighborhood where tenants have the expectation of high-end finishes I would advise against wood blinds and even faux-blinds. Take a look at the competition in the neighborhood- what are they using?
While I personally think it is great to differentiate your product from the rental down the block I highly doubt potential tenants will base their renting decision on the $450 blinds throughout the house. I think that $450 would be better invested in higher end appliances, installing a dishwasher, or even taking care of the never ending list of deferred maintenance such as the steps that are cracked or the bent storm door.
The first question I ask is, "Will this get me any more rent?" You would be surprised by how much easier this makes decision making.
Lastly, I do not agree with your father on the aluminum blinds. Rather, I would recommend vertical vinyl blinds. This way they cannot be bend and if one of the blades are damaged you simply replace one blade verses the entire unit. Thus further reducing your operating costs.
Hope this helps!
Hmm, I have a different perspective. I cater to low low low income and we install the faux wood blind sin our units. They have a wow factor with people looking at the units, they clean very easy, and we don't have to replace them all that often.
We have changed our perspective and gone cheaper on many items over the years, but have not regretted the blinds. We get the 1 inch wide slats in off white.
I don't supply blinds at all.
I don't like blinds. That's me. I also don't like replacing them!
I do notice that (around here) some higher-end properties have 2-inch faux wood blinds. These are not rentals - spec homes, homes for sale, etc. Right now, that's a popular window treatment & it does look nice. But . . .
Absolutely consider the best use of your $450 - fancy blinds will probably not allow you to charge more for the unit, but appliances, window A/C, extra storage, etc. will.
Instead of blinds, I do curtains.
It depends on the unit but keep in mind it is not a deciding factor in the rental what you have on the windows. We use different things based on room and the windows. Big windows- curtains. It is cheaper in the long run. In fact I switched to curtains for the sliding glass door from verticals when I got tired of replacing the slats. Small bedrooms windows aluminum blinds or curtains. We only used the faux wood ones when we got them from habitat on a deal. We are obliged to supply window coverings in rhode island in bedroom and bathrooms so we do if for all of the rooms but I would do it as inexpensively as possible it is not a selling point for tenants.
We do the cheapest possible blinds, for sliding doors the verticals from Menards, for other windows the Bali Grab and Go from Home Depot. Did have one tenant manage to destroy a bunch of blinds in the one year they lived there and I was glad they were cheap. To make your life easier, document what you got so when you have to replace your not having to remeasure and refigure out what to buy.
I do think @Marcus Curtis
has a point about the verticals over the horizontals which I had not thought of before. The cheap verticals can sag a bit in the middle over time. Especially if your handyman skips installing the center bracket and doesn't tell you.
I buy the cheapo ones at Lowes but I also add curtain rods and often will add curtains. These are generally the Family Dollar sheer white ones with a nice light pattern for $5 a panel. Sadly, they were recently being phased out and have been marked down at $2.50 - $3 a panel; I've run all over my town picking these up for future use. I say sadly because I've had tenants move out and steal the curtains. Just this past weekend I had an exiting tenant steal two pairs from the master bedroom (although they took some gosh awful shiny cranberry ones that I thought no one would ever want; go figure).
I put up curtain rods to save my walls from the damage of tenants standing on wobbly chairs pounding nails into walls to hold up whatever they imagine might pass for curtains.
I buy curtains at $3 per panel online (free shipping).
@Jeff Lee I use the faux wood, 2" blinds. I like the look. They last longer, and if they get broken, it comes out of the tenant's deposit. I really hate mini blinds, though, so I just don't want to inflict mini blinds on others, I suppose.
Originally posted by @Gail Kaitschuck:
Just this past weekend I had an exiting tenant steal two pairs from the master bedroom (although they took some gosh awful shiny cranberry ones that I thought no one would ever want; go figure).
Did you take it out of their deposit or was the deposit already given back?
What we use depends on the style of the property.
In our lower end 2BR/1BA multifamily units we use mini-blinds and provide a decorative curtain rod in the living room and basic double rods in the bedrooms, for tenants to hang their own curtains. In the past we placed aluminum mini blinds and even have a tool to "unbend" the slats when necessary. But the aluminum mini blinds damage too easy and the slats don't ever "unbend" to their original look, so we switched to the cheap vinyl mini-blinds and they work much better. Tenants like them just as well and don't notice the difference. If they get wrecked, we just swap them out for new. Cost is $5-10 per blind, depending on window width.
In our vintage single family homes we use curtain rods. We installed roller shades too, but they didn't hold up well. We considered installing the 2inch faux wood or real wood blinds for one of our new tenants, but she preferred not having any blinds... wanted to go with only the curtain rods and decorate with her own curtains. So we paid for the installation of nice curtain rods. For a high end property, $45 per window for the blinds would be a fine investment if you have good quality tenants (screen well). They could last a very long time.
We found that if you don't provide curtain rods and the tenant wants curtains, they will put them up in their own fashion... so be aware of the potential for holes being made in your nice window frame and molding! Put something in your rental agreement about it.
Yes, if blinds get broken they come out of the tenant's deposit, but then the broken blinds wind up in a landfill. The worst I've had with curtains is they get dusty. I wash them then hang them back up. I want to think about the environment as I can. Remodeling so many properties does create a lot of debris that goes in the landfills.
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