Identify What Work Needs to be Done and Plan
Once you’ve decided to redecorate, carefully examine each room and identify the work that needs to be completed. You need to be able to juggle two competing goals – making your property attractive but also keeping your costs at a reasonable level.
You also need to think about the long term management of your property. If you are thinking about decorating your property in a way that is time consuming, avoid this. You will have to do it again when your tenant eventually vacates.
When you have a clear idea of the work that is required, carefully schedule a timetable allowing for overruns. You can ask your tenants if you can visit before they vacate. If they agree, you can organise work as soon as they leave. Reliable tradespeople will be in demand, so you need to plan ahead as much as you can Each day that goes by where your property is empty, money is being lost, so you want the fastest of turnarounds.
Wooden Floors are Great – Most of the Time
Generally speaking, laminate floors have a number of advantages over carpets, such as being more durable. Carpets will look frayed and worn after just a few years, especially if they are of low quality. Laminate flooring on the other hand won’t look half as bad in the same amount of time.
Laminate flooring is also a breeze to clean. Some tenants will look after your floors while others won’t. One day the time will come and you will be returned a property that hasn’t been looked after. Cleaning a filthy carpet will require a specialist shampoo, vacuum and/or professional. Cleaning a laminate flooring will often require just a damp cloth and lots of elbow grease.
The one instance where carpeting has a clear advantage is in apartment above the first floor. If your first floor tenants decide to start jumping or tap dancing, the occupants below will find it a lot more irritating if you have laminate flooring. Save yourself future aggravation with tenants and other landlords by laying carpets in the bedrooms and living rooms of second story flats.
Boring Colours are Best
You own your BTL property, but you won’t be living in it. You want to attract as many tenants as possible to your property so avoid decorating your property in line with your tastes. Potential tenants need to see a home that is a blank canvas and one that they can make their own. You want to keep everything neutral and this should be reflected in the colours of the walls.
The general advice goes that you should decorate your walls in light colours such as eggshell and magnolia. These are great colours because they are neutral and will also make your rooms look bigger. Be aware that these coloured walls can become discoloured very quickly and it will be very noticeable.
It is inevitable that your walls will get stained especially if you rent to young families. So the best paint to use on the walls is vinyl paint rather than matt. Vinyl is more expensive than matt but it is wipeable. If there aren’t too many stains you may be able to avoid a complete repainting by just cleaning your walls.
Similarly with your woodwork, you should paint this with gloss instead of stain wood. Gloss like vinyl is wipeable and won’t leave any marks.
If you want to save money and really prolong the lifespan of your painted walls you can pick grey and light brown colours. As long as you have lots of natural lighting, these colours won’t darken your room too much. These colours are also a lot more forgiving than magnolia or eggshell and they’re versatile enough to match with many other shades.
Tiles are Your Friend
If you own multiple BTL properties you may have come across a mould problem. If you haven’t count yourself lucky because it is a very common problem that can cost you a lot of money. Even when you think you have solved a mould problem, it can return, eating up even more of your precious time and money.
The best way to fight mould is by preventing it from occurring in the first place. Mould loves moist, wet and humid conditions which is why it frequently occurs in bathrooms and kitchens. If you’ve got mould growing in your bedrooms and living rooms, this could be indicative of a bigger problem such as damp or a leak.
Mould spreads extremely fast on painted walls, so you should install tiles when you can, especially in bathrooms. Tiles won’t prevent mould completely, but they are much easier to clean and make it easier to control mould infections.
Do you Value Your Time or Money More?
Painting and decorating your property is not rocket science. If you are decorating your first BTL property and/or you have a limited budget, hopefully you have some free time. If you’re able to put the work in you can always decorate your property yourself. There are many tutorials available online which will guide you through all of the best techniques to paint and decorate your property like a professional.
Broadly speaking, painting effectively is all about the preparation. The actual painting itself is pretty straightforward. What you need to do is create the right surface, and you do that by eliminating holes and bumps. You then must clean everything so that the paint you apply can adhere and dry properly.
If you don’t have the time or you are worried about making a mistake, then you can always hire a professional painter and decorator. Before you shop around getting quotes and scrolling through reviews, speak to friends and family.
If you know anyone else who has used a painter and decorator, you should always contact them first. The majority of my work is from referrals and recommendations. If someone you trust recommends a painter, that’s a sure sign that they are reliable and trustworthy.
Once you have found a painter and decorator you can rely on, make sure you treat them well. If you do, they’ll be happy to help with those other small repair jobs that need doing around your BTL property.
I hope these tips have helped you. If you have any more questions or queries about painting and decorating, I’ll be more than happy to help! Be sure to check us out on Hynon Painting!