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blog image of an apartment balcony; blog title: Exterior Renovations That Yield Surprising Benefits

Exterior Renovations That Yield Surprising Benefits

February 14, 2020

Staying competitive in multifamily real estate often means renovating to remain an exciting housing option, and it has been said that $1 spent on sprucing up the exterior of a rental property will yield $3 in return. Here are four jobs to prioritize to raise your curb appeal and add value in the coming year:

  1. Mend the Masonry. Cracks in the stone, bricks, concrete, and tiles aren’t only an eyesore that communicate to potential renters that your building has aged–they are also a risk to the overall lifespan of your property. Repairing these imperfections will keep moisture from seeping into a unit and will make sure your roof is well supported, with all weight being transferred to the foundation as necessary. This may mean repairing or replacing chipped or bulging bricks, replacing mortar that has eroded, replacing stone window sills, controlling cracks in stucco, or investigating what may be causing staining on an exterior wall.
  1. Add Pops of Color. Your landscaping should stand out as green, not patchy or brown, with touches of color incorporated in either blooming flowers or painted exteriors. Create warmth by planting shrubs, flowers, or potted plants along the edges of sidewalks. If you’re already investing in enhancing exterior walls, you could choose a paint color in a deep blue or green to add visual interest as well. Although, your paint selection doesn’t have to be done outside the spectrum of beige and brown. If earth tones are needed to complement brick, for example, you can incorporate two different shades of a neutral in your exterior plan. Color can also be added in community spaces; if investing in a small play space for children, consider buying the slide or swings in red or yellow. 
  1. Create Common Spaces. Make a plan for updated landscaping that creates intentional spaces for socializing. As you work on a plan with contractors, keep in mind the cost of upkeep. Gazebos are beautiful, for example, but for some, lumber is too pricey and needs regular painting and rot prevention. Creating a common space without having to buy wood may look like using canopies or purchasing plants that will grow tall around a stone patio for privacy and shade around your new seating, a fire pit, or barbecue grills.
  1. Tune In to Balconies. This exterior feature speaks to both privacy and safety. Balconies create consistency and make a statement across the face of many multifamily real estate properties. After checking for structural issues, you can bring a modern facelift to your building by replacing or refinishing both the wood and the railings. Look carefully at your options to create contrast with vertical or horizontal lines or sheen with something metallic.

How you decide to renovate your exterior is up to you as you consider your budget, the landscaping and design trends in your community, and what you know about your target clientele. Just know that while giving your exterior attention does need to be done, it needs to be done well and with fidelity. For examples of Alterra Multifamily Renovations Group projects focused on exteriors, visit our Projects page.