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Built to Last

Choosing the right products in a rental home will save you time and money in the future.

Remodeling homes to serve as rental properties has gained popularity, especially in communities such as Columbia, where newcomers and students are continuously looking for temporary housing. Kurt Kammerich, professional consultant at Mid-City Lumber, offers suggestions that can improve a home’s rental value without breaking the bank.



Think of the home’s curb appeal as its first impression. You have just a few seconds to grab the renter’s attention and convince him or her that the home warrants a closer look.

1. Replace the front door. If the door has seen better days, you might want to look into purchasing a new Masonite exterior door, which is a brand of door used on many starter homes in Columbia.

2. Power wash the siding. It’s a simple task that can make a world of difference. If the home you purchased has real wood instead of siding, you might opt for a new paint job. For someone who is looking to manage the rental property long term, a more maintenance-free option would be to replace the siding from the start.



The focus on the inside of a rental home is durability. Yes, it needs to be aesthetically appealing, but to receive a return on investment, you want to make sure the products you choose will hold up to heavy traffic, wear and tear and a continual turnover of tenants.


One of the most important things to focus on in the interior of the home is the flooring. You’ll want to take into consideration the amount of traffic going through the home and which rooms you’re installing the flooring in.

Carpeting: Casey Marsh, a designer with Mid-City Lumber, says a safe bet is to install a carpet with a tight weave. These styles tend to run about $17 to $20 per square yard installed.

Tile flooring: Choose a ceramic tile. It will never have to be replaced, and most styles are reasonably priced at about $8 per square foot.

Vinyl flooring: This type of surface is cost effective and priced around $21 per square


Although granite is all the rage in permanent homes, Kurt suggests installing a durable counter, such as stock Formica, if you think the countertops need replacing.


One of the best upgrades you can make in a home is replacing the insulation to be more energy efficient. It’s an inexpensive fix that will lower heating and cooling bills.


Along with insulation, making sure there is a tight seal around windows in the home will also improve the heating and cooling processes. If windows throughout the home need replacing, Kurt suggests cost-effective Silverline double-pane windows by Andersen Windows.


Keep an eye out

When performing a remodel, there are some important safety and functionality red flags to look for. Breezing over one of these could result in a failed remodel.

1. Look for sagging floors and roofs.
2. Make sure the foundation of the structure is sturdy.
3. Have the home checked for termites.
4. Take note of leaky pipes or water drips in the bathrooms.


Kurt KammerichKurt Kammerich

mid-city-lumber-logoKurt Kammerich is a professional consultant to contractors for Mid-City Lumber in Columbia. He began his career in 1977 building homes and moved to the lumber business and Mid-City in 1994. With hands-on experience as a contractor plus product knowledge, he has a wealth of information to share with his clients.

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