Maintaining a visually appealing and up-to-date rental property is essential for attracting and retaining tenants. But full-scale renovations (especially in our current economy) can be expensive and time-consuming. Luckily, there are numerous upgrades to refresh and modernize your rental properties without forking over tens of thousands of dollars! Below are some simple yet effective updates that can transform the look and feel of your rentals, helping you maximize their appeal to potential and current tenants.

Paint, Paint, Paint

The best DIY bang for your buck is paint! A fresh coat on the walls can revitalize an entire home. Consider using neutral colors that appeal to a wide range of tastes. Repainting cabinets, vanities, doors, and built-ins can breathe new life into these fixtures, giving your property a modern and cohesive look. 

It’s All in the Details

Even small upgrades can make a big difference! Replace old, discolored outlets and switch covers with new ones to give the space a cleaner look. Similarly, updating hardware on cabinets and drawers is an easy way to modernize kitchen and bathroom spaces. 

Replace Light Fixtures

Outdated or worn-out light fixtures can make a space feel dull and uninviting. By replacing them with more modern alternatives, you can instantly elevate the overall ambiance of your rental. Choose light fixtures that complement the existing style and character of each room to create a unified look.  

Update Window Treatments

Much like light fixtures, window treatments play a crucial role in the overall ambiance and functionality of a rental property. Consider replacing outdated or damaged curtains, blinds, or shades with new ones that let in ample natural light while still offering privacy. Check out this Buying Guide from Menards for an in-depth look at window treatment options.

Update Doors

Interior doors are often overlooked, but they can have a significant impact on the appearance of a home. While hollow core doors are a popular choice due to their budget-friendly cost, they often look cheap and are easily damaged. But completely replacing multiple doors can get expensive. If you have flat-panel hollow core doors, consider refreshing them with a simple DIY like this one from This Old House.    

Replace Old Carpet

One of the most notable aspects of a rental property is its flooring. Replacing worn-out or stained carpet can instantly refresh the space and make it more appealing to potential tenants. To get the most for your money, choose a durable, low-maintenance option that can withstand heavy foot traffic. If you allow your tenants to keep furry friends, you may also want to consider a pet-friendly line.  


Updating your rental property doesn’t have to involve a complete renovation, and the internet is full of low-skill, low-cost home-improvement ideas. By implementing these simple yet impactful upgrades, you can transform the look of your rental property, attracting high-quality tenants and maximizing your rental income. With a few DIY projects and a little handiwork, your rental properties can stand out without the need for extensive renovations!