Looking at the real cost of having a rental house move-in ready
Let’s take an average house size of 1700 square feet.
There be a kitchen, about 200 square feet, and probably two bathrooms, maybe 150 square feet between them, that’s 350 square feet of hard flooring. By the way, if you put carpet in any bathroom, you’re doing yourself a disservice. One toilet overflow and you have a potential for mold growth, not to mention a foul-smelling area, and guaranteed expenses replacing it in the future.
Hard flooring can be vinyl or tile, be it ceramic or porcelain, all of which minimizes the potential for water damage. Have you ever laid any of these? If not, hire a pro. And never, ever lay one floor over another, such as new vinyl over old, or tile over vinyl. Take the time and expense to do it right!
Expect a total cost of vinyl flooring @350 square feet to come in at about $18 a square yard, or $700 in vinyl. Expect the cost to be between $5 and $6 a square foot in tile or roughly just under three times the cost of vinyl. What do you get for that three times cost? A floor that will last, and look good for many years longer than any other.
Carpeting and Hybrid
Leftover is the carpet if that is your choice of floor covering. If it can be cleaned, you’re looking at a cost of about $50 a room. If a DIY project, good luck with that. Renting a Rug Doctor machine will set you back about $30 a day, and depending on how much work is involved, you could easily be two days going over, and over, the flooring. What is your time worth to you?
Oh, and the professionals, do they arrive bearing Rug Doctors? No, they don’t.
However, to replace the carpet, expect a cost of about $1.80 to $3.00 a square foot or more, installed. That’s $16.20 to $27 per yard. The remaining 1350 square feet of this 1700 sq ft house will cost at least $2424, with removal, new padding, new carpet, and installation. Or you could change things up, keep the carpet in the bedrooms, and install laminate everywhere else but the baths and kitchen. That whole water thing again.
A 1700 sq ft house is likely a three bedroom so you can take about 488 square feet and carpet that for a little over $875. That leaves you 862 square feet to put laminate into. That is just under $5000 with the removal of the old flooring, and professional installation of an excellent quality (12mm) laminate flooring. Sure, you could buy cheaper laminate, but it will probably cost you more in the long run.
A lot of people think they are good painters. They aren’t. I have even seen “professionals” goof up paint. It actually is harder than it looks. And have you priced paint? I remember when it was dirt cheap, but these days a gallon of semi-gloss can set you back $22 to $32 a gallon, and more.
Now you need the rollers, the brushes, the tarps, the painter’s tape, etc. Add this cost, then decide if you’re a good enough painter to justify the cost.
Odds are you’re like me, good enough that I’m pleased with the work, but never want to do that again. So once again, I ask, what is your time worth?
A skilled professional will charge you under $30 a wall, that’s time and materials. That 1700 sq ft house? Expect a professional to charge you less than $1350 to completely paint it, minus cabinets and ceilings.