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Property Owner’s Guide to Service Apartment Renovations

By: SmallBizClub


two property owners repainting an apartment

Service apartments are a great way to earn passive income, but it can be hard to know where to start with renovations. This guide will take you through the process of renovating your service apartment, from identifying which rooms to renovate first, to ensuring that everything is up to code and in good condition.

How to Get Started with Your Renovation

Before you get started with your renovation, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that your plans are watertight. You can do this by:

  • Doing research. Read up on best practices for your building type and see what other owners have done in the past. This will give you an idea of what might work for your property and also point out any red flags that may come up later in the process.
  • Finding a qualified contractor. Make sure they have experience working on properties similar to yours—you don’t want them running afoul of local regulations or getting confused by unfamiliar materials and processes!
  • Getting the right permit(s). In many cities, including New York City, it is illegal for a tenant to perform renovations without having obtained all necessary permits from local authorities beforehand (and paying any associated fees). Even if it isn’t technically against the law, violating these rules could cause problems for both service apartment owners as well as their tenants during future inspections; so always check with relevant authorities before starting any major job!

Renting an apartment comes with all the fun of being a homeowner, without any of the headaches. But there’s still a lot to be said for creating your own space, and fortunately there are lots of ways to do it. The most obvious way would be to hire an interior designer or contractor and let them handle everything from start to finish. There are plenty of smaller changes and tips that can make your rental feel like home:

1. Don’t Skimp on Finishes or Materials

As you’re planning your apartment renovation, it’s important to remember that you can’t skimp on finishes or materials. This should be obvious, but it’s easy to forget. You want your new space to look nice and feel comfortable. That means you need to pay attention to design details, like the color of the walls or the style of cabinets and countertops.

Don’t skimp on quality either: make sure your appliances are high-end, get good lighting fixtures, use good air conditioning units, all those little things add up! And don’t forget about style; choose furniture pieces that fit into your overall aesthetic vision for your home.

2. Create a Storage System

The next step in your apartment renovation is to create a storage system. You may want to use containers to store things, or you could get creative and find other ways to organize your storage. Whatever you choose, make sure that you have enough storage for all of your needs.

3. Create an Entertaining Area

What would you do with a space designed to entertain your guests? There are many options, depending on the size of your living room and how much you want to spend. You could create a large dining table or sofa-and-chairs area where your friends can gather around and enjoy each other’s company while they eat and drink. If you have both indoor and outdoor areas, consider adding a bar so that guests can sit outside while sipping cocktails under the stars. Another idea is to add a TV so that everyone has something else on their minds besides what they’re eating or drinking!

3. Make Bedrooms Comfortable and Practical

Bedrooms should be comfortable and practical. Bedrooms are where you relax, sleep, and store your belongings—they’re also a place to entertain friends and family. A bedroom suite should have enough room for a bedside table, bookshelf or nightstand, dresser and large mirror (for well-lit make-up application), plus small tables that serve as seating areas. If possible it’s good to have a window in the room so you can see outside while relaxing on the bed or sitting at a desk.

4. Upgrade Bed Heads

Add a bed head to your service apartment, and you’ll be able to store items that aren’t needed during the day. Bed heads are a great way to add storage and style to your service apartment.

If you don’t like the idea of a bed head, or if you have an older home where it just won’t work, consider adding something else instead that will allow for extra storage options in your bedroom.

5. Provide Bathroom Amenities

Bathroom amenities are a great way to ensure your tenants are comfortable and happy. In addition, they can also be a great source of passive income and help you stand out from other apartment buildings in the area. To start, make sure you have all the necessities covered:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste (no one wants to live without one)
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash (choose the scent wisely)
  • Soap and lotion
  • Hand wash (bulk buy hand wash)
  • Bath mat/rugs for each room that has a bathtub or shower stall

6. Install Gas Hot Water System

It’s almost a must to install a gas hot water system in each and every serviced room. A gas hot water system can be a great addition to your service apartment.

  • Cost: $5,000 – $10,000
  • Time: 2-3 days

The cost of installing a gas hot water system is typically between $5 and 10 thousand dollars, depending on the size of your property. Most electric hot water systems take about two days to install when working in conjunction with other renovations like painting and carpeting.

7. Care for Your Property’s Trees

It’s important to keep your trees healthy and in good shape. It takes work, but it’s worth it.

In the first few years of ownership, check out the tree maintenance company like Assured Tree Solutions that oversees your property’s trees. They usually have a list of tree services available for residents; these are often affordable and require little effort on your part. You just need to make sure you’re on board with their regular inspection schedule so that you can be notified of any issues before they get out of hand.

After that initial period ends (and if you’re satisfied with how things are going), consider hiring a specific arborist or landscaping professional to help take care of them year-round for less than what an annual visit would cost from a larger company.


A well-designed apartment can be a great place to spend time with friends and family. You can make your home more comfortable, functional and stylish by spending some time planning out the renovation process. Keep these tips in mind as you plan out your new living space!

Published: November 14, 2022

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