Our Guide to Modernising & Refurbishing your Property

Modernising, or refurbishing, a property can be a great way for landlords to attract tenants, increase rental income and improve the overall value of their investment.
We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you with the process;

  • Set your goals: Consider what you want to achieve with the refurbishment project. Is the purpose to target a specific type of tenant?  Do you want to achieve a higher rental income?  Once you know your goals, it will help you make those informed decisions throughout the process.
  • Independently assess the property; Aim to inspect your property thoroughly through fresh eyes to identify areas that need improvement. Look closely at areas you previously considered to be ok, but now might be outdated, or tired in appearance. Consider structural issues, potential safety concerns.  Look at the condition of the flooring, walls, ceilings, electrical and plumbing services and the appliances and furnishings.
  • Develop a budget; Create a detailed budget that includes all the costs involved, such as materials, labour, permits and professional fees. Ensure you gain a clear understanding of the financial implications for the project you are undertaking and always include a contingency balance to ensure the refurbishment remains within your means.
  • Prioritise improvements; Make a list of all the improvements you plan to make and then prioritise them based on your goals and budget, also consider the potential return on the investment. Aim to focus on the areas that will have the most impact and attract tenants.
  • First impressions matter; Enhance the kerb appeal by considering making improvements to the exterior of your property. Consider landscaping any garden area, painting the façade, install exterior lighting and repair any visible damage to make your property more attractive to tenants.
  • Upgrade the kitchen and bathroom: These are the two main areas that can significantly influence a tenant’s decision.  Quite often a kitchen can be modernised on a budget by updating cabinets by repainting, or recovering, even replacing the doors if the units themselves are in good order. Consider updating the taps, worktops, and appliances in a kitchen.  Focusing on lighting, tiles, and fixtures in the bathroom to improve the overall appearance of this room.
  • Update the flooring; Replace worn out or outdated flooring with modern durable materials. Consider laminate, vinyl or hardwood floors which are relatively easy to maintain.  However, if considering these in flatted properties, always ensure you include a budget for good quality soundproofing underlay.
  • Freshen up walls; A fresh coat of paint and neutral colours can transform a property and make it look clean and inviting. Neutral colours ensure your property appeals to a wider market of tenants.
  • Upgrade lighting and fixtures; Replace outdated light fittings with modern and energy efficient alternatives. Consider updating door handles, unit handles and other hardware in the property to give a more modern finish.
  • Improve energy efficiency; Where an Energy Performance Report is already available, consult the report for guidance on improvements that would be beneficial. Quite often upgrading to double glazing, adding programmable thermostats to heating systema and upgrading appliances to more efficient models will all help towards improving the energy rating on a property. However, we do recommend that you take guided advice from Home Energy Scotland before carrying out any major upgrades for energy efficient purposes.
  • Hire professionals; It is always advisable to hire professionals for major renovations and repairs. They have the expertise to handle work efficiently and make sure it meets safety and building regulations.
  • Obtain permits; Check with your local authority to determine if you need any permits or approvals for the renovations being considered.  It is essential that you follow the guidance of your local authority when carrying out any works which may change the layout of your property in any way.

If you’re considering carrying out a refurbishment to your property and would like some advice on where to start, or need help accessing trades to assist you with your project, we can help and would love to hear from you.

Watt Property offer a refurbishment service to all homeowners within Edinburgh and East Lothian, in all levels of improvements and refurbishments to properties.
Find out more about our refurbishment service here or drop us an email at info@wattproperty.co.uk