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    The Dos and Don'ts of DIY Upgrades in Your Rental

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    Embarking on do-it-yourself projects can be an exciting way to personalize your rental space and add value to your home. However, it's essential to proceed with caution to avoid costly mistakes and potential damage. In this article, we'll explore the dos and don'ts of DIY upgrades in your rental, highlighting key considerations to ensure your projects are successful and risk-free.

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    The Dos

    1. Obtain Permission from Your Landlord Before starting any DIY project in your rental unit, it's crucial to obtain permission from your landlord or property manager. Some landlords may have restrictions or guidelines regarding alterations to the property, so it's essential to communicate and seek approval beforehand.

    2. Stick to Non-Structural Changes: Focus on making non-structural changes that can easily be reversed or removed without causing damage to the property. This may include painting walls, updating fixtures, installing shelves, or adding temporary wallpaper. These changes allow you to personalize your space without compromising the integrity of the rental unit.

    3. Invest in Quality Materials and Tools: When undertaking DIY projects, it's important to invest in quality materials and tools to ensure the longevity and durability of your upgrades. Choose products that are suitable for rental properties and can withstand wear and tear over time. Additionally, using the right tools for the job will help you achieve professional-looking results.

    4. Practice Proper Safety Measures: Prioritize safety when working on DIY projects by wearing appropriate protective gear, following manufacturer instructions, and using caution when handling tools and equipment. If you're unsure about how to safely complete a project, consider seeking guidance from a professional or enrolling in a DIY workshop.

    The Don'ts

    1. Make Structural Changes Without Permission: Avoid making structural changes to your rental unit without permission from your landlord. This includes knocking down walls, installing new fixtures, or making alterations that could impact the property's structural integrity. Unauthorized modifications can result in damage and liability issues.

    2. Neglect Proper Installation Techniques: Improper installation of DIY upgrades can lead to costly repairs and damage to the rental property. Whether you're installing shelves, lighting fixtures, or appliances, be sure to follow manufacturer instructions and utilize proper installation techniques. If you're unsure about how to complete a project correctly, consider consulting a professional for assistance.

    3. Underestimate the Scope of the Project: Before starting a DIY project, take the time to assess the scope and complexity of the task at hand. Avoid taking on projects that are beyond your skill level or require specialized knowledge and expertise. Overestimating your abilities can lead to frustration, delays, and potential damage to the property.

    4. Overlook the Importance of Tenant Insurance: Tenant insurance is essential for protecting yourself and your belongings in the event of unforeseen accidents or damage caused by DIY projects. Ensure that your tenant insurance policy includes coverage for accidental damage and liability protection.

    Case Study: In one instance, a BC resident incurred $30,000 worth of water damage leaking out of a bidet they installed themselves. Thanks to their adequate insurance coverage, they were protected from having to pay out of pocket for the damages.

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    Originally published February 14, 2024, updated February 15, 2024

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    Get Tenant Insurance in less than a minute

    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase policies from your computer or phone, receive your documents instantly, and save when you buy online.

    Get Tenant Insurance in less than a minute

    Get no-nonsense coverage that's the best value for your money. Purchase policies from your computer or phone, receive your documents instantly, and save when you buy online.

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