Category Archives: Upgrades and Enhancements

How to Maximize the Use of the Amenities

Sometimes overlooked is the fact that apartments may have all that’s needed with a little work. So, optimizing amenities in your multi-family dwelling will improve on what it is already existing. Most prospective tenants have an idea of what they’re looking for when checking out places to call home too so catering to these desires is what rents. So below are some thoughts about what people are looking for:

  • Walk-in closet
    People want a place to store their stuff and hang up clothes. So, if you have several small closets in your rental property, consider enlarging them into walk-ins. You may have to take some space from a hall or bedroom, but the result will be worth it.
  • Soundproofing the walls
    If you’re already remodeling your building, consider using soundproofing material. Privacy is important to people, and they don’t want everything they say or do to be overheard by the next-door neighbor.
  • A balcony or patio
    Everyone enjoys a breath of fresh air and some extra room for entertaining. If you already have patio’s or balconies on your property then, you can do a little upgrading here. Consider adding shrubbery and trees for a natural screen between areas. Or add some seating for entertaining. If you don’t have patio’s or balconies, perhaps you can put in a shared space. This space could have benches and a water feature for your tenants’ enjoyment.
  • Parking
    Parking is essential because no one likes to come home from a long day at work and fight for a parking space. If you have a parking area, designate that it’s for your tenants. Place the apartment numbers above the parking spaces and post notices about being towed if cars parked aren’t from your building.
  • Laundry facilities
    No one likes to drag their clothes to the car, load them in and then drive to a laundromat. Having on site laundry facilities is convenient for tenants, and you can collect the money from their use for maintenance.

So, by using what amenities that you have and maximizing their use, you can attract the right sort of tenant.

Amenities to Attract a High-end Tenant to Your Multi-family Condo

When you have multi-family condo’s, you want to attract the best type of tenant. You want a tenant who will respect your rental property and take care of it. The best kind of renter has high standards for maintenance and keeps a condo clean. So, what kind of amenities will attract this type of tenant?

Attracting a high-end tenant
There are several things will which make potential tenants want to call your property home. Below are listed some helpful tips to attract them:

  • Ready to move in: People want to move in as soon as possible, so making them wait while you finish painting or laying new carpet may cause you to lose out. The best idea is to post the rental property when it’s finished and ready for renting.
  • Common spaces: More people who are renting are looking for places which have shared areas. These areas can be used for entertaining or socializing with other tenants. A common area gives a building more of a community atmosphere, and interaction with other people is better achieved.
  • Fitness center: Another selling point is a fitness center in your building. Tenants may want to come home and instead of leaving again to go to the gym, just go down a few floors to exercise. The fitness center can be used for cardio, strength training, aerobics and even yoga.
  • Pet-friendly: Who doesn’t want to come home to a wagging tail after a long day at work? By allowing pets in your rentals and, if you have the room, having a dog area for walking; this will have people lining up to sign on the dotted line. You could even have a pet grooming service on site for easy convenience.

These are just a few suggestions to draw the right tenant into your building.

Commercial Flooring Options

Commercial buildings have a lot of foot traffic, and the floors can take a beating. If your flooring can’t hold up to the capacity in how it’s used though, it will need to be frequently replaced. Plus, it will be uncomfortable to walk on, and your tenants will notice. So, what is the best flooring for a building which is used commercially?

  • Concrete flooring
    Concrete cleans easily and is very durable. When sealed adequately, it will resist water, and this type of flooring works well with radiant heating. Not only does it last long but it can be finished in a variety of different aggregates, colors, and stains.
  • Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring
    This flooring is also known as floating wood. It’s fused together with multi-layered flooring and a lamination process. It’s scratch, water, and noise resistant. It can replicate the appearance of wood, natural stone, and ceramic tile.
  • Natural stone
    This option is the most durable, but it is also the most expensive. The most resilient stones are sandstone, limestone, and granite which can withstand a significant amount of traffic and last for decades.
  • Porcelain Tile flooring
    This type of flooring has been used since ancient times in high traffic areas. It comes in various designs, styles, and décor. It has the versatility to fulfill any flooring job though.
  • Epoxy floor coating
    This is usually applied to floors which are concrete, and it makes for a smooth finish that withstands high traffic and lasts several years. It’s also non-porous, so mold, dirt, and other material can’t penetrate the flat surface. Although not as common, hardwood and tiles can be coated too.
  • Polished concrete floors
    Concrete floors can be used in commercial and industrial settings. Maintaining the concrete floor is easy. Dust mop on a day to day basis, and then wet mop it frequently. Dyes, stains, and textures can be added for a unique look.

You can give your commercial flooring different looks depending on what you use.

Apartment Flooring Options

When you own rental property, you have different options for flooring. However, you need to consider what you choose to be cost effective. Also, you also want something that’s durable, looks good and holds up. Below are some suggestions on what you can use to accomplish this:

  • Carpet: If you chose to put down carpet in your apartment building, it would reduce noise below the apartment. It will reduce energy bills too. But, it does trap allergens and odors, and it needs to be cleaned periodically. Carpet can’t be patched either, and it will stain. If it’s ripped, the entire carpet will need to be replaced.
  • Tile: Tile is durable and easy to clean, plus it comes in a variety of price ranges. It’s water resistant but needs to be sealed or polished. Tiles can crack if something heavy is dropped on them too. Also, the grout in between the tiles will need to be cleaned when it becomes dirty. It’s used most often in kitchens, basements, bathrooms and common areas. Also, it’s employed in humid climates often instead of carpet.
  • Hardwood floors: Hardwood floors are made to last a lifetime. They can be refinished if they become scratched. A hardwood floor also doesn’t react to moisture changes. It is expensive to install and can scratch easily, however. Sunlight will cause the wood to lighten in color. It can be used in living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and offices.
  • Vinyl: This floor covering in relatively inexpensive, cleans easily, is water resistant and is easy to install. But it isn’t very durable because it will tear if something is moved on it improperly. Moisture gets under the vinyl too, plus mold and mildew can form. It’s used mostly in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Linoleum: This product is also easy to install and clean. It’s prone to denting and tearing though. It’s used in dining rooms and kitchens.

When laying down flooring, there are many options.

What Different Types of Exterior Finishes Can Be Used on Commercial Property

There are different types of finishes which can be used on the outside of commercial buildings, multi-family dwellings and apartments. These finishes can be used for decorative purposes or weatherproofing or a combination of both. Below are some different types of exterior finishes:

  • Stucco: This is a weatherproof and decorative finish which can be put directly onto bricks, blocks or metal laths. It comes in three different types of finishes. The first one is smooth stucco which has a slight texture on a smooth finish. Patterned stucco has patterns tooled onto a smooth stucco finish. The third is Pebbledash; this look can be achieved by putting on a coat of smooth stucco which is damp and throwing pebbles at it.
  • Pebbles finish: This finish is applied by using cement mortar to paste small pebbles to the walls. This type of finish can be applied on an exterior facade. It can also be used in exterior landscaping for waterfalls for a beautiful look.
  • Flakes finish: This material is used on exterior facades. It’s additionally used to add to the elevation treatment of a dwelling or commercial building. The flakes are put on walls with a trowel over a coat of adhesive. It is not used indoors because of even a small amount of flakes falling off inside over time is unsightly.
  • Siding: Siding is used on the outside of a building over a wood cavity wall. It can be used as a decorative side effect but also as weather proofing. There are options such as wooden boards, but siding comes in vinyl, alumni and fiber cement board too. These options need less upkeep than wood siding does. Plus, some of the options can be painted for a more personalized look.
  • Tile cladding: tile comes in granite, glazed, marble or vitrified tiles. It comes in different shapes and colors. Where it is used depends on what types of tiles can be applied to the building.

There are lots of choices for exterior finishes to make a commercial building better looking and more rent-able.

Different Types of Shingles for Your Rental

condo-rentalIt’s important when considering having your roof redone on a rental property the different types of roofing shingles. You need to consult with a roofing contractor also to figure out which type of shingle will work best on your property along with the costs of installing the right type of shingle on your roof. Below is a list of commonly used shingles:

  • Asphalt shingles: These shingles are pretty inexpensive compared to other shingles. In addition, if you buy asphalt shingles which are coated, the Energy Star standard may be met, and you could get a rebate. The three-tab shingles are a little less expensive and are thinner than an architectural asphalt shingle. The life span of these shingles is about 20 to 30 years. The very expensive asphalt ones last longer than this. Additionally, there is an expense to disposing of asphalt shingles later when reroofing because they are oil based.
  • Tile shingles: These shingles are the most expensive shingles to buy and install. However, they are durable and long lasting; lasting up to 50 years. But some homes may not be able to support the support the weight of these shingles structurally according to the National Roofing Contractors Association.
  • Wood shingles: These are more expensive than the asphalt shingles, but usually are more aesthetically appealing. The natural hardwood shingles such as redwood or cedar should last up to 30 years and even up to 50 years in some instances. The runoff water from roofs shingled this way is the most environmentally friendly.
  • Slate shingles: These shingles have a life span of up to 50 years being extremely durable. The Northeastern portion of the United States favors these because the slate is quarried there. If your budget can’t afford real slate shingles though there are synthetic slate shingles with shorter life spans which are less expensive.
  • Ceramic roofing tile: This type of tile shingle can give your home character and is durable. The advances in the way the tiles are processed make the tiles fade resistant. These tiles are fireproof and last about 50-70 years. However, these tiles aren’t suitable for climates that have fluctuating weather. The cost to install this kind of roof is expensive.

Talk it over with your roofing contractor to see which shingles will work best with your building.

Why Recoat a Roof on Your Rental

tenant-damageA roof is made up of at least four layers. These layers consist of insulation, a waterproof membrane, some type of roof adhesive and the materials that make up the roof like plywood and shingles. So why bother doing a roof coating to the roof of your rental unit? The reasons are listed below:

  • It costs less to restore a roof: If you have to replace a complete roof, it’s expensive in materials and in labor. Depending upon what roofing you choose for your multi-family dwelling, it can cost between $18 to $20 a square foot on average to reroof. But if you restore your roof, it requires less in materials and less labor. This would cost about $6 to $9 a square foot on average.
  • You can extend your roof’s life by restoration: Restoration can add about 10 to 15 years onto the life of your roof. A commercial roof lasts about 20 years so if you restore it, you can make future plans for replacement in your upcoming budget then.
  • It’s more sustainable to restore: Because you’re reusing your existing roof where you can, restoration is a much friendlier environmental option. It helps to keep roofing waste out of landfills which you pay to haul away additionally. As another bonus too, it will make your building much more energy efficient and could help you to qualify for LEED Certification or ENERGY STAR credits.
  • Catastrophic loss can be prevented with restoration: Your roof will only get worse if it’s ignored. The potential for damage and the cost to restore it will only rise as time goes by, along with the damage a bad roof can do to your rental property. So, if the roof isn’t dealt with in a timely way, the only option will then be for total replacement of the roof and perhaps extensive repairs to the interior of your rental property. The damage you deal with also may be from a pest invasion of insects and rodents because they have been given access ways into the dwelling place because of property deterioration. All of this can put your tenants and business at risk.

Having your roof checked by a professional roofing contractor is the smart thing to do.

Safety Tips for Rental Properties in the Winter

Before and when winter arrives, there are some things that you need to do to keep your rental properties safe for your tenants. Also, not only could you have significant repairs eventually if you don’t, but if a tenant or tenants in one of your multi-family dwellings falls or is injured, the results could cost you because of lawsuits. So below are some suggestions to keep your tenants safe through the winter and prevent an oversight from turning into major repairs from unintentional neglect:

  • Turn off any exterior faucets on your property: The water in undrained pipes can freeze and burst. This not only would cause damage in your building, but could cause damage the outside as well. So drain all the garden hoses and outside lines after you shut-off the values inside your building.
  • Check the furnace filter: Getting a phone call at 2am in the morning because your tenants are freezing is bad enough. However, knowing that it could’ve been prevented by something as simple as changing the filter is even worse. By changing the furnace filter too, this cuts down on higher fuel costs, overheating and the shutdown of a furnace. Also, scheduling maintenance is wise. This is one way to catch small problems before they turn onto big ones.
  • Inspect the roof: It’s much easier to repair the roof if there’s an issue when the weather is halfway decent than to have a roofing problem in the middle of a blizzard.
  • Arrange for snow removal services: By setting up the service earlier, you won’t be the last one on someone’s list. It’s better to have everything ready than to try and negotiate when the snowflakes are falling and no one is taking calls.
  • Inspect all the doors and windows: Check where heat is most likely to escape and then either caulk it or use weather stripping where the problem is. It’s easier to do it now than when the snow is flying and your fingers are freezing.

Keeping your property winter safe is the smart thing to do.

What Are Some Energy Efficient Roofing Solutions

Everyone wants to find ways to cut back on their heating and cooling bills such as landlords who own multi-family dwellings. By finding ways to make a roof more energy efficient though, this goes a long way in helping to achieve that goal. So below are some energy efficient roofing solutions which may work for you.

  • If your roof is dark: If your roof is dark in color, it can increase the temperature in your home or rental property considerably. On a hot day, an asphalt roof which is dark colored can reach temperatures of between 150-175 degrees F. This forces any air conditioner in the building to work harder and use more energy when doing this. If the roof is a light-colored roof, however, it can be 50-60 degrees cooler on a roof than its dark counterpart. So one option to make your roof cooler if you don’t want to replace a dark colored roof is to have a contractor apply what’s called a cool roof coating. But if you’ve already considering re-roofing, then you can just go with a lighter color of shingles.
  • Insulate your roof: Most people remember to insulate the attic, but forget about insulating the roof. Now if your roof is insulated poorly, your property will use more air conditioning in the summer to keep the house cool. It will also take more heat in the winter to keep the building warm so you should insulate your roof correctly. Because a roof that’s well insulated by using the right insulation product will drastically help to reduce both your heating and cooling bills. Depending upon where you live will determine what’s the right type of insulation that you’ll need.
  • Choosing the right roofing materials: What is the right type of roofing material that’s needed is determined by what type of building you’re roofing. Plus, the climate is a factor. So wood shingles for a roof in a wet climate will be problematic. while hot dry climates may preclude other roofs for energy efficiency. Whatever type of roofing you and your contractor decide upon, reflective coating being applied may be a good idea depending on what your contractor believes is suitable.

When choosing the right roofing materials, whether you’re just doing a coating; or a re-roofing job, it always helps to talk to a professional contractor first who has good references and the experience.

Safety and Comfort in Your Apartment Complex Laundry Room

laundry-roomTo make laundry room facilities appealing to your residents, there are a few things you should do and be aware of. For one thing, you want to make the laundry room area safe as well as resident friendly. So below are some suggestions to make your laundry room facility an asset:

  • One of the main considerations is convenience for your residents. A laundry room then should be located in a traffic area and not in an unsafe out of the way place. If possible, having the laundry room on the same floor as the tenants which means you may have to have several smaller laundry rooms rather than one large one if you have a lot of buildings in your complex. The laundry room should be located near staircases and/or elevators for ease of access too.
  • You want to make it safe so place the laundry room in a well-lit area. It should be designed so that all corners are visible from the corridor too. Plus; the walls should be glass paneled so the inside of the laundry room is visible. You may also want to consider making the laundry room accessible to tenants only, with key locks on the laundry room doors.
  • You want to make the laundry room more sociable by placing chairs around, having the walls painted an inviting color and have bright lighting. You may even consider installing a TV or Wi-Fi connections for a sense of community. You also should have an adequate amount of washers and dryers to cover the amount of people in your complex as well as enough folding tables. Remember too, if a place is warm, convenient and safe as well as adequately equipped, residents will spend money doing their laundry in your complex.
  • Be sure your equipment is in working condition and that the laundry room is well kept and well stocked. So if you have machines that supply laundry detergent, fabric softener and change, be sure the machines are full. In this, nothing will discourage use more than a dirty laundry room, gummed up machines and empty supplies.

By keeping your laundry safe and in working order, you as a landlord, can have a valuable tool for leasing.