Danny and I will share the 5 top items we focus on when renovating the kitchen. You should be able to renovate a kitchen with $3,000-$5,000, including new appliances! For more kitchen posts, please see “Time for the Kitchen part I and II” from July 1st and 5th!

  • Cabinets – We’re not talking top of the line, luxury cabinets. Just new, simple, cabinets that look good and function well. The cabinets that we generally use just come from Menards and are usually in stock (do not get the kind you have to assemble!). Most of the time we just replace the old cabinets with new ones that are the same size and layout. Sometimes we change the layout slightly and add a few extra cabinets if the space allows. That’s what we did in this case!
  • Counters – The same rule applies here. We aren’t putting top of the line marble or granite countertops in. These are rental properties. We are looking for something inexpensive, durable, and appealing! We try to keep it simple on counters and use something that Lowe’s or Menards has in stock. One extra tip is to look for countertop with a backsplash. This will be less tile work to add later!
  • Flooring – Whether we are using tile or vinyl wood plank floors we look for items that are durable, easy to install, waterproof and timeless. Tile is a good waterproof flooring that can take some abuse, but is susceptible to cracking or braking. That’s one of the reasons we have recently been opting for the vinyl wood plank floors. Keep in mind, we were working on National several years ago when we installed tile! Danny also thinks that the vinyl flooring is easier to install and won’t break if someone drops a plate on the floor. Once these three stages are completed we really start seeing progress and have a good idea how this project is going to turn out.
  • Backsplash – When picking out backsplash we are always forcing ourselves to hold back and think with a level head. It is very easy to get over-excited and pick out a tile that you like or is very trendy (and more expensive!). We always try to pick out backsplash tile that will still look as good in ten years as it does the day it’s installed. This can range from white subway tile to simple solid color mosaic tiles. We have experimented with a few tiles that leaned on the trendy side, but we’ll see how time treats them in a few years. In the case of National, we decided to use the tin metal sheets as backsplash. It’s easy to install and saves time, but a bit pricey.
  • Appliances – Most of the time, when we buy a new rental property, we HAVE to change out the appliances. Old stoves that don’t work correctly, mismatched refrigerators, or outdated appliances have to go! We replace them with a “new set”, which could sometimes include scratch and dent items! You can find some great deals there! One other “amenity” we try to always add in is an over the range microwave. It makes the kitchen look nice and it’s quite convenient to have a large microwave above the stove!

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