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7 Things To Avoid With Your Multifamily Building Remodel

A multifamily building remodel is a costly investment, and it can be even more expensive if you make these mistakes in planning or executing the remodel. 

The biggest mistakes commonly made in a multifamily building remodel often come from choosing which remodels to do. If you make decisions solely based on saving money or being able to charge more for your units, you may realize you’ve wasted money and compromised your marketing strategy. 

Before starting your remodel, here are seven mistakes you should avoid. 

1. Failing to Consider Your Tenants’ Preferences

Every large housing construction caters to specific demographics. You design the building and the furnishings based on what you believe tenants in these demographics expect and are willing to pay for. But often, building managers lose sight of this when they’re thinking about renovations. 

If it’s time to replace countertops in your building, granite would be an excellent choice for high-end luxury units, but maybe not for middle or lower-priced units. 

Make the necessary upgrades to keep things fresh, but if you have to raise rent just to justify upgrading a feature, you may lose some goodwill with your tenants and find it more challenging to fill units.

A great way to gauge the response to a change is to ask your tenants. Ask them about their preferences via email, online, or in-person survey. These are easy to do and show your tenants you care about their needs.

2. Making It Too Complicated

Trying to do too much at once is the fatal flaw of many renovations, particularly multifamily building remodels. Obviously, it’s cost-effective to get everything done at once. But weigh that against other stresses it can cause.

Workers constantly coming in and out makes tenants feel like intruders in their own homes. The smells, the noises, the strain on the elevator use, and the extra time before you can fill empty units will increase stress for tenants and management alike.

It might help to limit renovations to only a couple of changes at one time to avoid these problems; this gives people rest between upgrades. You could also restrict renovations to one floor at a time or one stairwell at a time.

3. Cutting Corners to Cut Costs

It’s always nice to save money on business expenses. But whatever renovations you choose, ensure you know the quality you’re getting and don’t go below a certain threshold.

New floors, countertops, and cabinets should last a certain amount of time before replacing them. Cheap cabinets have to be replaced sooner, and in the end, you’ll likely end up paying more for them in maintenance costs than you might have by just getting quality cabinets in the first place.
Ensure you’re getting your materials and complete components for your remodel from a reputable manufacturer. The best way to find that out is to ask reputable contractors who they’ve worked with in the past and other housing managers how those components have held up.

4. Ignoring Energy Efficiency

While energy-efficient appliances, doors, and windows are more expensive up front, they can save you and your tenants money in the long run by reducing electricity and gas bills.

Even minor improvements to energy efficiency can add up, especially for multifamily building remodels. Replacing old light fixtures with LED fixtures can save a ton on electricity costs, not to mention increase your property value.

5. Forgetting Curb Appeal

It’s easy to focus on keeping each unit perfectly up-to-date and maintaining your clubhouse and pool well — the things you can brag about in your brochures. But does the outside of your complex still match the picture in the brochure?

You might draw potential residents in with that brochure, but if their first impression when they drive up is a dilapidated, out-of-style estate, they might not stop their car to see all the great stuff you’ve been doing.

You don’t need to spend a ton of money on landscaping. But it is worthwhile to ensure your trees and bushes are nicely trimmed, your flower beds are thoughtfully designed, and your playgrounds are well cared for. Also, don’t forget to make sure your buildings’ siding and windows are regularly cleaned.

6. Drawing Out Installation

Renovations are stressful for everyone who has to live and work around them. So one of the most important things you can do to help them go smoothly is to work with your contractor to get them in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Your part of this as the property manager includes the following:

  • Understand the process, what you’re getting, and the installation timeline.
  • Communicate with your tenants to ensure they’re ready for the workers to come,
  • Keep an open line of communication with the contractor throughout the process to know about any snags and help clear them — or at least adjust your plans accordingly.

Of course, this greatly depends on the contractors keeping up their side of things, which brings us to our next point.

7. Hiring the Wrong Contractor

This mistake is the most serious because most contractors worth their salt will steer you away from many other mistakes.

Hiring the wrong contractor — one who is in it to maximize their own profit rather than building a relationship with you or one who doesn’t understand the demands of a multifamily building remodel — can easily get you over budget, off pace, and use substandard materials that will turn your renovation into a never-ending ordeal.

It’s better to take your time to find the right contractor to do the job. How do you find a great contractor? Ask other property managers who they’ve used with good results. Look at online reviews from Google, Houzz, Angi, and Homeadvisor. 

Once you’ve found a contractor you think you like, ask for references and contact them, ask to see examples of their work, and ask about their process. If they don’t have a well-planned strategy for getting the materials on site and installation, there may be a lot left to chance.

Trust Superior Commercial Solutions for Your Next Renovation

We specialize in cabinets and countertops for residential communities. We know how to plan jobs to maximize quality while minimizing cost and inconvenience.We’d love to hear from you about your upcoming multifamily building remodel. We’ll listen to what you need and guide you through choosing the right products and scheduling production and installation for the best experience for you and your tenants. Contact us today to find out more.