3 Rental-Friendly Renovations I Always Make After Moving In
For the better part of 20 years, I’ve been a renter. And while I’ve been blessed with some pretty great apartments, from a “charming” (read: “tiny”) studio in Brooklyn with a palatial deck, to a circa-1860s stone cottage in rural Pennsylvania, no apartment is perfect—anyone who has ever rented knows that.
Some rental apartment issues aren’t worth the cost to fix. That pink-and-black tiled bathroom? You’ll get used to it—promise! Those honey-oak kitchen cabinets? Your best bet is to distract yourself by filling your kitchen with things you love (and can take with you). And I’d skip painting your walls, unless you’re planning on doing it yourself and using a white or other neutral hue that won’t offend future tenants.
While there are many renovations I avoid in a rental, there are three improvements that I do again and again (and again!) because they are cheap, easy, and oh so rewarding. They also shouldn’t upset your landlord, or result in you losing your security deposit. These are the ones I always, always make when I move in.
1. I replace the shower-head
If you start to think about the shower-head in your rental apartment for a little while, you will realize a couple of things. First, unless the bathroom was just renovated, the shower-head that’s in there is probably pretty old. It’s at least as old as however long the previous tenants lived there—and maybe a lot older. And it’s probably pretty gross. In addition to calcium deposits, which can affect water pressure, that old shower-head is a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and all sorts of other germs, especially if it’s plastic.
Luckily, a good new shower-head is affordable—I bought a Speakman Anystream for about $30 for my most recent apartment, but there are decent stainless-steel options for less—and it’s also easy to install. It doesn’t require tools, apart from a wrench or pliers to get the old shower-head off. My shower-head even came with plumbing tape. (If you see the words “plumbing tape” and think I must be some kind of professional, I assure you I’m not: It’s just tape that you wrap around the threads to make sure there are no leaks.)