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Restoring Rental Suites: Turning Former Party Houses Back to Quality Homes

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Restoring Rental Suites: Turning Former Party Houses Back to Quality Homes

Turning a former “party house” into a quality rental suite can seem like a daunting task, but with some strategic renovations and repairs, it is very achievable. As someone who has rehabbed my fair share of dilapidated rentals, I have learned that restoring these types of properties simply requires patience, persistence, and focusing on the fundamentals. Here are the key steps I take when restoring rental suites that were previously used as party houses:

Evaluating the Property

The first step is doing a thorough walkthrough and evaluation of the property. I look for:

  • Structural damage – Are there holes in walls, damaged flooring, broken doors/windows, etc. Anything structural needs to be addressed first.
  • Cleanliness – Document if there is garbage, drug paraphernalia, leftover furniture, or biohazards that require remediation.
  • Mechanical systems – Check plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and appliances for functionality. Make notes on what needs repair or replacement.
  • Overall wear and tear – Note worn out carpets, cabinetry, hardware, and anything cosmetic.

Documenting all of these issues helps create a revitalization plan and budget. Safety and function take priority over aesthetics.

Deep Cleaning and Sanitation

Before doing any repairs, the suite needs a deep clean. I hire professional biohazard cleanup crews if there are bodily fluids or signs of heavy drug use. For general cleaning, I use a cleaning service or do it myself with:

  • Protective gear – masks, gloves, goggles, coveralls.
  • Cleaning solutions – concentrated detergents, bleach, enzyme cleaners to break down organic matter.
  • Scrub brushes – for surfaces and crevices.
  • Shop vacuums – for debris and dust.
  • Dumpsters – for hauling out trash and unwanted furniture.

Thorough sanitation creates a clean slate for repairs.

Structural and Mechanical Repairs

Next I focus on structural and mechanical repairs:

  • Holes in walls/ceilings – seal with caulk and drywall compound.
  • Doors/windows – replace broken ones, tighten loose hinges/knobs.
  • Flooring – patch or replace damaged sections.
  • Plumbing – fix leaks, clear clogs, replace fixtures if needed.
  • Electrical – replace broken light fixtures, outlets, switches.
  • HVAC – replace filters, clear ducts, charge refrigerant.

These repairs ensure the property’s safety and functionality. I hire licensed contractors for complex electrical or plumbing issues.

Cosmetic Upgrades

With the suite cleaned and structurally repaired, I upgrade the cosmetics:

  • Paint – fresh coats in neutral colors makes a huge impact.
  • Flooring – new vinyl plank or laminate is affordable and durable.
  • Countertops – resurfacing kits can renew laminate counters.
  • Cabinets – fix doors/drawers, replace hardware, paint exteriors.
  • Appliances – replace if broken, detail clean working ones.
  • Light fixtures – new ceiling fans and LED lights freshen up rooms.

These touches give the suite a put-together, quality feel that attracts good tenants.

Landscaping and Exterior

Curb appeal matters, so I also spruce up the outdoor space:

  • Lawn – mow, edge, aerate, and overseed.
  • Beds – prune bushes, plant flowers, add mulch.
  • Hardscapes – power wash siding, repair walks/driveways, paint railings.
  • Lighting – add exterior light fixtures by doors.

Proper landscaping and clean hardscapes make a great first impression.

Marketing and Screening Tenants

The final step is finding good tenants through marketing and screening:

  • Photos – showcase the refreshed interior and exterior.
  • Descriptions – highlight upgrades and amenities.
  • Requirements – outline rental qualifications and policies.
  • Interviews – meet applicants in person at the showing.
  • Background checks – thoroughly screen applicants before approving.

Taking the time to market selectively and screen diligently prevents future partying issues.

With some vision, sweat equity, and strategic upgrades, the most uninhabitable party houses can be transformed into quality homes again. The process requires diligence but pays off exponentially when you provide tenants with a space they truly appreciate and respect.

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