Rental properties deserve no less attention and love than our main abodes, as their design and features can have serious impact on the comfort and mood of potential tenants. If you rental feels outdated, you should definitely consider possible upgrades, but before you start spending a fortune on new appliances and extensive remodelling projects, you should figure out ways to retrofit what you have. Tech solutions, consumption patterns and customer preferences are changing, so here’s how to keep up the pace.
Fit for the green age
Why build from scratch when you can upgrade what you have? It is much easier and less expensive to opt for this course of action. Retrofit, when it is done right, can result in impressive energy savings. Believe it or not, using mostly the available resources and materials, you can reduce the energy usage by 50-80%. Part of it is the responsibility of the tenants, but there is still a lot you can do. You need to plan the design of the property around your climate conditions, principles of suitability, and needs of the target market.
In a nutshell, making your rental property more sustainable revolves around reducing the energy consumption and enhancing efficiency. Insulating the envelope of the building remains, hands down, the best way to go about this crucial project. So, you should do an energy audit and address the weakest links first. Ceiling insulation, for instance, is shabby and cheap in many homes across the globe. Fortunately, it can be improved and topped up easily. Likewise, black and dark roofs should be coated to reflect excess heat as they tend to attract quite a bit of it.
Furthermore, bear in mind that doors and windows are major sources of air leaks and make HVAC systems work overtime. Single-glazed windows are particularly notorious in this regard, so replace them with retrofit double-glazed windows. This upgrade reduces unwanted temperature loss and makes the indoors quieter and more comfortable. In addition, you can put sail shades or movable window awnings to block the sunlight and decrease cooling requirements during summer.
All systems go
Next, you should turn your attention to key home systems. Evaluate water and energy installations to see if any repairs and upgrades are necessary. Along similar lines, you should note that lighting accounts for a big chunk of electricity expenditure. Therefore, incorporate energy-efficient CFL or LED bulbs and get rid of traditional incandescent fittings. The latter products are practically obsolete in this day and age. You can also install motion sensors to allow tenants to save even more energy.
Make sure to reduce the demand on the HVAC system by exploring natural ventilation options. You might want to consider a heat transfer system that can double as an air clothes dryer. In case they are not already present, install meters or real-time monitors for gas, water, and other utilities. Even better, add a programmable thermostat and a smart water heater to optimize consumption patterns. Invest in low-flow aerators and faucets as well as a water-conserving toilet.
The list of cost-efficient strategies and updates goes on, so feel free to venture further down the green road. Identify renovation projects that allow you to infuse the original building fabric with higher efficiency. You can see if you can tap into renewable energy sources, make the most of passive solar design, and take sustainability to the whole new level. Whatever you do, get customers on their way to more comfort, financial stability, and suitability. Following the steps above you should be able to delight environmentally-conscious customers and maximize returns.
Step up and reap rewards
It is high time to tackle rising energy costs and cater to renters who seek to build a green lifestyle. You do not have to break the bank in order to build a suitable home. You will have to play it smart, though, and take preventive passive measures to keep energy loss at bay. So, embrace innovative retrofit ideas and products that abound on today’s market. Increase the thermal comfort and general appeal of your space. Employ high-performance materials and solutions and improve the insulation. You can rest assured that a sustainable rental property pays dividends in the long run.