In a modern world that prioritizes convenience, it’s not surprising that tenants lean towards smart homes because of their multiple benefits. For the most part, they’re energy-efficient, and time-saving, but also really cool. Thus, more landlords are adding smart upgrades to their rentals to attract new renters and keep their old ones. 

However, these expenses aren’t cheap, and without proper planning, you could blow all your money on a new gadget with little to show for it. In this article, we will help you avoid a financial blunder by sharing 6 budgeting tips for smart home renovations. As a bonus, we’ll also include the 3 top upgrades that add value, so stick around till the end. 

6 Budgeting Tips for Smart Home Renovations

  • Identify Your Project Goals

It’s essential to establish your priorities before making a budget. Put simply, if you know exactly what you want, you can be more decisive and prudent with your limited finances. Most property owners opt for smart upgrades because it’s trendy, but with so many options, it would be best to have a specific issue you want to address. 

Do you want to make your rental more attractive? Smart lights that create a beautiful ambiance should be your first choice. On the other hand, if your main focus is to save money, smart thermostats, blinds, and appliances offer more energy savings. A clear outlook on your project goals will help you get the most out of your money by helping you figure out what you need.

  • Get a Cost Estimate

6 Budgeting Tips for Smart Home Renovations

With a better picture of what you need/want, you can get a cost estimate. For example, if you’re trying to cut your utility bills, getting an optimized thermostat, blind, or appliance would be the best call. On Amazon, smart blinds typically cost $200 or less, but a smart fridge, which saves more money, costs between $2000 and $4000. 

We can also explore the differences between brands, sizes, and other features that determine price. In other words, a cost estimate gives you a better idea of what may be out of your range and what expenses you should anticipate.

  • Finalize Financing 

After finalizing what you want and how much it’ll most likely cost, you must gather the funds. The last thing you want is to embark on a project and realize that it is too late and you don’t have enough to pay for the upgrades you’ve chosen, especially in the middle of a renovation. Most property owners prefer to take out a loan to cover their home improvement projects because you can quickly write off loan repayments in your taxes. On the other hand, while many states give landlords tax breaks for repairs, the same is often not said for renovations paid out of pocket. So, weigh your options carefully before finalizing how to finance your upgrade. 

  • Find a Contractor

Rental property managers in Delaware County understand these upgrades create a unique selling point for tenants and can help you find the right contractor. The help you get can make or break your project, so consider your options wisely. We recommend doing thorough research on the brand or installation company you plan to hire so you can guarantee getting quality for your money. 

  • Create a Timeline

Next, create a timeline. We heavily emphasized hiring a pro in the previous point because you’ll need to lean on the contractor’s expertise for this step. Google can give you a rough estimate of how long your renovation project might take, but only an experienced expert can give you an accurate timeline. Weather, demand, and availability of resources can affect when they complete a job or installation. However, with a solid idea of how long it’ll take, you can plan to repay your loan or when to list your home on the market. 

  • Plan for Contingencies

A budget is only complete when you have planned for all contingencies. Surprises happen all the time, big and small, so it would be best to account for as many factors as possible. What’s the plan if you get to the store and the gadgets are more expensive than anticipated? Do you have a purse with extra funds or insurance for damages and injuries? Planning can help you keep your budget on track even when there are mishaps. 

Top 3 Smart Home Renovations That Add Value in a Rental

  • Smart Locks

Boost your home’s security system by opting for smart locks. These keypad-controlled devices eliminate the need to change keys between tenants or have a renter call you out at night because they’ve misplaced theirs. Many options also include temporary access features that allow you to grant entry to service workers and guests when no one is home. 

  • Smart Lights

Transform your rental into a smart home to attract quality tenants by amplifying your ambiance. Lighting is an essential component of interior design, and smart lights are a great way to add value to your rental. You can sync this upgrade with a central hub that allows users to control brightness with their phones and program reactions based on activity. For example, the lights can go off when no one is in the room or dim and change color when a tenant says, “It’s movie night.”

  • Smart Thermostats

As we’ve highlighted previously, smart thermostats are an excellent way to save money in the long run. These devices can automatically adjust the temperature in your rental, keeping it warm throughout the seasons without wasting excessive electricity on heating or cooling. In addition, many options also allow residents to exercise control over their internal environment with their smartphones, increasing convenience. 


In summary, adding smart home renovations to your rental can help you appeal to tenants and stay competitive in the housing market. However, it can also incur significant costs, making it necessary for property owners to plan. We outlined 6 budgeting tips, including identifying your project goals and getting a cost estimate to clarify what you want. Also, it’s essential to find the right source of financing and a reliable contractor. Finally, plan for contingencies in advance to stay on the timeline you create with expert help. 

In addition, some of the best upgrades you should consider include smart locks, lights, and thermostats. These devices improve security, ambiance, and energy-saving, making them excellent additions to your rental.