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Kevin Ahern

By: Kevin Ahern on March 29th, 2024

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Renovating Rental Properties in Connecticut

Residential | Residential Remodeling

Maintaining a rental property involves more than just deep cleaning between tenants. Performing periodic updates helps keep your rental property in good condition for your tenants, while also making your property more attractive to new tenants when the house is vacant. 

When renovating your CT rental property, it's important to consider which renovations make the most sense for your budget and your property's unique needs. While some property owners may naturally gravitate toward the least expensive updates possible, there are some features of your rental property that are worth a higher cost. Working with the right contractor and planning your updates strategically can help ensure that your rental property will remain in good condition. 

Why Renovate Your CT Rental Property?

Every tenant leaves their mark. When tenants move out, they often leave scratches on the walls, stains on floors and other signs of their presence. This wear and tear on your rental home can devalue the property and drive down rents over time. The only way to bring in quality tenants and charge a worthwhile price for your property is to continually update the property as tenants leave. 

When Should You Renovate?

The best time to renovate is between tenants. If your tenant has been living on the property for a long time, you may need to perform upgrades with the tenant on the property. If you do need to update your rental property with a tenant living inside, maintain good communication with the tenant to minimize disruption to their life and potential disputes. 

  • Tell the tenant what will be renovated and why
  • Give the tenant a timeline that carefully outlines your renovation plans, including which days work will be performed and what will be done on each day
  • Use a contractor you can trust to follow through on the contract, so that you can trust that everything you're telling to your tenant is accurate

Best Renovations for Rental Properties in CT

When you're renovating your rental property, you'll have to find a balance between updating the features that need to be updated, and performing updates that tenants want to see. Unfortunately, these renovations are not always the same thing.

Deferred Maintenance

Deferred maintenance should always be your first priority when upgrading a rental property. This may mean installing a new roof, performing plumbing upgrades or upgrading the electrical box. Hopefully you're aware of the age and condition of the various systems in the house. If you're not sure whether a replacement or repair is necessary, ask a contractor who can perform an inspection and give you a quote for repair. 


If your home doesn't have deferred maintenance, or if you've got extra money to spend, then a kitchen update may be just the thing to turn your rental property into an attractive property for potential renters. Some tips: 

  • Save on appliances. Installing builders grade appliances can save money and help keep your kitchen renovation affordable. 
  • Consider natural stone countertops. Granite countertops aren't the cheapest option, but granite is highly durable and can last for many rounds of tenants without needing repair or replacement. Granite countertops also help attract tenants, because granite is a quality building material.


Like an updated kitchen, a newly updated bathroom can be impressive to potential tenants. Good cabinets and bathroom storage, newly installed plumbing and attractive lighting are all features that can stand out when tenants come to see your rental home. As with a kitchen renovation, the bathroom is a good place to install granite countertops because of granite's durability and longevity. 


Flooring is a feature that must withstand a lot of abuse in rental homes. Carpeting and other non-durable materials simply don't make sense in most rental properties. If you're tearing out an old flooring material and looking for a durable flooring option, hardwood flooring may be the right choice for your property.

Although hardwood flooring comes at a cost, it's practical in many ways. This forgiving flooring can withstand a lot of foot traffic and continue to look its best. In addition, hardwood flooring can always be sanded and restained when a tenant moves out, making it like new for the next tenant.

Paint the Walls

A coat of fresh paint makes your rental property look well-maintained and newly renovated. Plant to paint the walls any time a tenant leaves, unless the walls are already in excellent condition. 

Keep Your Rental Property Up to Code

Don't forget that state laws require that rental properties maintain a standard of safety, and your rental property is required to conform to those standards. Specifically, your rental property is required to have smoke detectors and fire doors.

Hardwired smoke detectors are most practical for rental properties because they rarely need battery replacements. Fire doors are made of metal and take longer to burn than other materials, which can help slow a house fire while providing a safe exit for tenants trying to leave during a fire emergency.

Renovation Tips

Use neutral colors when you're painting the walls or installing features like cabinets and countertops. Neutral colors appeal to a wide range of potential tenants, and have the best chance of matching their furnishings.

Keep your renovation simple. Simple renovations can be performed quickly to ensure that your rental property will soon be ready for new tenants.

Get Started With the Right Contractor

Find a contractor you can trust for your upcoming rental property renovation. For help finding the right contractor for your project, download the Litchfield Builders Guide to Choosing a Professional Home Remodeling Contractor

How to Choose a Professional Home Remodeling Contractor

About Kevin Ahern

Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.