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Wood Paneling in Your Rental is Not as Ugly as You Think

As a rental property owner, you’re probably looking ahead to 2020 and thinking about making some changes to your property. Perhaps it’s time to give your property’s interiors a face lift. While a good ‘ole coat of paint always looks nice, some owners are revamping their walls with — gasp!— wood paneling.

We know know that the mere mention of wood paneling may evoke memories of basements, living rooms, and rec rooms from eras gone by — but it is making a big comeback. In fact, wood paneling is quite attractive to certain renter demographics!

Wood Paneling Today

Today, wood paneling has returned with both new styles and higher quality products. Thanks in large part to an increasing number of Southern California gastropubs and trendy restaurants choosing to decorate with wood paneling, this type of interior design is undergoing a kind of renaissance.

Genuine hardwood veneers are now available in a wide range of styles and colors, including more exotic materials like mahogany, zebrawood, or teak in addition to the more traditional standbys of birch, maple, and oak. Modern paneling also typically offers better mounting systems and custom sizing, making it easier and more cost-effective to install. What is more, eco-friendly paneling made from reclaimed wood has become increasingly popular among younger generations who tend to be more environmentally conscious about issues like deforestation.

Is Wood Paneling Right for Your Rental?

Wood paneling may not be the best option for everyone. For example: Unless your rental is competing with other trendy properties, it may not make sense to decorate with wood paneling. Painted walls have been the go-to interior choice for rental homes for decades, and many renters have come to expect the “blank canvas” feel of rental home walls. For these renters, wood paneling may be seen as an unwanted decorative item they did not choose and may not know how to live with.

On the other hand, rentals in areas with high numbers of young professionals may be able to charge a more competitive rent after adding some trendy wood paneling to the home. Wood paneling is relatively durable, and should last much longer than most paint jobs. But it also costs far more to install.

Harbor Property Management Can Help

In the end, it can be difficult to know whether you should opt for the trendy new look of interior wood paneling or stick to the tried-and-true neutral tones of interior paint. But Harbor Property Management can help make that decision much easier. Our market expertise and data can help you determine what makes sense for your rental property, helping you to maximize your rental’s earning potential by helping you know what upgrades to spend money on and which just won’t do anything for you.

Harbor Property Management