Landlord’s Guide To Exterior Rehab Choices

Posted on: September 15, 2009

Categories: Fix, How To

Author: buyfixandprofit


A cheap and effective roofing rehab choice can be the use of roll roofing.  This choice is better suited for homes with steeply pitched roofs.  Instead of shingles, this roofing choice is rolled onto the roof and stapled in place.  This choice is cost effective and reliable if installed correctly.  Now it does not look as nice as a shingled roof, but we have not had any difficulty renting out homes because of this.  The appraisal was not effected either.

Another option is to add another layer of shingles to the roof depending on what the local building code allows.  If the roof is very old there is a good chance that the plywood will have to be replaced also.  Analyze the roof carefully because there is ~ $4,500 difference between a full tear off and replacement versus just a re-shingle or roll roofing.

Soffit, fascia, and gutters

Many older homes have wooden soffits and fascia that can be scraped and repainted without having to replace every piece of wood.  Gutters can sometimes be salvaged but in cases where they are bent beyond repair replacing them will cost around $1,200.  Make sure the water adequately drains away from the house to avoid unnecessary basement leaks.


Some homes many have perfectly good siding its appearance is just plain ugly.  In these cases consider adding new siding to just the front of the house.  This works especially well in neighborhoods where the homes are close together and the side views are not easily visible.  Some investors paint the siding on the front of the house for a fresh appearance.  Again this depends on positioning of the home in relation to its neighbors.

When dealing with wooden siding, one can sometimes replace the broken sections of siding and move on.  Generally the older foreclosed homes will be in such poor condition that new vinyl siding will be required.  Brick homes on the other hand can usually be tuckpointed for much less then residing an entire house.  Keep that in mind when evaluating properties.

Privacy fences

Privacy fences greatly increase the appeal and safety of rental properties.  This is especially true of the rentals located in rougher neighborhoods.  The privacy fence will run about $20 per foot installed but is worth every penny due to the extra protection offered to the tenants plus its appeal from the street.  This is always a good selling point to prospective tenants.

Exterior doors

The exterior doors to the house should be solid wood or steel doors with the added protection of metal security screen doors on the front and back of the house.  The need for the metal security screen doors will vary depending on the neighborhood the rental property is located in.  Install the security doors at the beginning of the rehab project for extra protection from break-ins.  The additional cost of the security screen doors is worth every penny given the peace of mind they will provide you and the tenant.


In order to pass a section 8 inspection all windows must open, close, and lock freely.  Very rarely will this ever be the case.  If the windows are in good working order, this can save you $3,000 – $5,000.  Otherwise, be prepared to spend around $250 per window installed.  Many old homes have windows that were painted with lead paint which will need to be professionally scraped off and repainted.  These old windows are also horribly energy inefficient.  With that said, replacing the windows on an old home is many times the best decision.

Avoid placing regular windows in the basement.  On single family homes, basement windows should generally be glass block windows because of the extra security they provide.  Weak basement windows are a popular entry point for thieves.  Sometimes this is not possible if the basement is actually a garden unit in a two flat.  In this case, installing bars across the windows may be necessary.


Replace individual wood planks that are broken or rotted.  Once complete scrape off any old paint and apply an exterior paint to seal the job.  The freshly painted porch will enhance the curb appeal which in turn will help rent the property faster.  If the porch is slanted or falling, this can usually be fixed by jacking up the porch and repairing the foundation below.  Most rental homes will not have tall porches that require professional inspections, but when dealing with two-flats or homes with stairs that lead to the second floor make sure your contractor is familiar with the local building codes regarding porches in your area.

 Landlord’s Guide To Exterior Rehab Choices
pixel Landlord’s Guide To Exterior Rehab Choices

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