When it comes to upgrading your home, it’s easy to drop thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars on everything from flooring to window treatments. These upgrades may make your home look magazine-ready, but if you’re planning to rent out your house, they should be carefully calculated to boost your home’s value, rather than its style.

When you’re upgrading your home and making improvements before you put it on the rental market, it’s important to realize that your choice of projects can have a huge impact on the home’s rental value.

A great way to find out whether your choices will earn you more money in the long run is to consult with a trusted Windsor-area property manager. They can help you gain insight into what local renters are looking for, so you can make smarter choices that will ultimately lead to more money in your pocket.

Before you put your home out to rent, here are some of the least expensive upgrades you can make that will positively impact your home’s long-term value.


Basic Repairs

Before you list your home for rent, it’s integral to make sure that everything is in a state of good repair. In Ontario, a landlord is responsible for ensuring that every aspect of the home is in good working order, including:

  • Electrical, plumbing, and heating systems
  • Appliances
  • Carpets
  • Walls and ceilings
  • Roofing
  • Windows, doors, and all locks
  • Lighting
  • Garages and outdoor space
  • Laundry facilities

If anything is broken, either through wear and tear or an accident, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to fix it. When there’s a tenant in the unit, finding a good time to do the work can be a challenge. It’s much easier when you ensure everything is working before there’s a tenant in place.

Start by doing a thorough walkthrough and inspect all areas of the home to check for leaks, cracks, or other damage, aesthetic or otherwise. Once these basic repairs have been taken care of, you can safely list your rental.


Smart Home Features

Smart home features, like smart thermostats (link to smart thermostat article) and smart lightbulbs and switches, aren’t a luxury anymore. When they’re used correctly, they can make life easier and help both tenants and landlords save money. Tenants can simply connect these devices to their phones over the local network, and use them to control the lights, temperature, and more, depending on how many of these devices you have installed.

With these devices, tenants can ensure that they’re coming home to a warm and bright home, without having to leave the utilities running all day long. It’s a great feature that helps to save money while offering the safety and comfort that comes from being able to control these devices from anywhere.

Plus, they aren’t that expensive. Smart light fixtures and bulbs generally cost less than $100, and you can purchase and install a smart thermostat for under $300.


A Coat of Fresh Paint

It’s amazing how fresh and bright a room looks when you apply a coat of fresh paint. If it’s been a while since your paint was updated, do it before your next tenants move in. This small aesthetic change goes a long way towards making your home feel brighter, cleaner, and more appealing.

If you don’t mind doing a bit of DIY work, you can purchase the paint for as little as $15 per gallon and spend less than $100 to give a whole room an entirely new look.


Install a Dishwasher

A dishwasher is a huge timesaver, but did you know it can help lower your water bill as well? If you’re paying utilities on your unit, this is a great way to save money in the long run. On average, most people use about 27 gallons of water (102 litres!) to wash an entire load of dishes. Compare that to the 3 gallons (11 litres) of water that most EnergyStar appliances use per load, and the choice is a no-brainer.

By installing an energy-efficient dishwasher, you can save an average of almost 2,000 litres of water per year. Plus, this feature is one of the most appealing to renters, making your listing much more likely to receive attention from would-be tenants.



Making a big change like ripping out carpet or installing hardwood flooring is both time-consuming and costly. However, if you’re working with an alternative flooring like laminate, making an upgrade can be done quickly, without spending tons of money.

One great option for a less-expensive flooring upgrade that’s still luxurious is natural, eco-friendly cork. It can be laid over any flat surface, and costs as little as $6-8 per square foot. It’s easy to install yourself, since many manufacturers offer panels that snap together with no need for other adhesives. It also offers great insulation, which can help you save on your monthly heating costs.


Add Landscaping

If your home looks untidy or messy from the outside, it’s much less appealing to potential tenants. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to boost your home’s curb appeal. The easiest way is to landscape and improve what’s already there. Cut back overgrown bushes, trim hanging tree branches, pull weeds from the walkway, and tidy up the edges of each garden bed. This can be done in an afternoon.

If what you already have is tidy but your yard still looks barren, add some strategic plants and greenery to help brighten things up. You don’t need to go overboard, since most of the time landlords are responsible for maintaining the outdoor space. Pick fast-growing bushes, hardy ground cover, and perennial plants that don’t require much maintenance.


Crown Molding

People love crown molding because it adds a lovely, classic touch to a home. One secret that contractors won’t tell you is that crown molding doesn’t need to be vintage to still look great.

It’s surprisingly easy to add crown molding to any room in your home. Many private manufacturers and contractors have figured out how to design and make lightweight crown molding pieces that can be shaped easily and placed securely using joint compound or another strong adhesive. All you need to do then is paint over it, and watch each room transform from a modern-looking box into a warm, elegant space.


Make Cost-Conscious Upgrades with the Help of a Property Manager

If you’re looking to make cost-conscious upgrades that improve the look and value of your rental unit, it helps to have a knowledgeable property manager on your team. They can help advise on the upgrades that will secure you the highest monthly rent, and can help connect you to their network of contractors and other professionals to get the work done quickly and efficiently.

Looking for a property manager in the Windsor area? Reach out to the team at Goldmar Property Management today.