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10 DIY Projects Your Landlord Might Let You Do

Most landlords do not want tenants to make repairs and fixes to their property because they fear if the work isn't done incorrectly it could make the problem worse. And in many cases, if you do something to an apartment or other rental property without permission, you could lose your damage deposit. However, some landlords would be happy to have someone fix a problem or make an improvement. Although you should never do these things without their permission, here are 10 things your landlord might let you do yourself.

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Permission and Materials

We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to get permission before doing any DIY project in a rental property. The building isn’t yours and your rental agreement likely spells out what you can and can’t do. If there is something you want to do, ask your landlord and if they say no, consider a project like this DIY wall art or unique air plant planter to satisfy your desire to DIY.

If you do get permission to do a project, it’s also important that you discuss who will pay for the materials. Work this out with your landlord up front so it isn’t a problem when you’re ready to move.

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Replace the Showerhead

Few everyday things are more luxurious than a hot shower. Switching out the standard showerhead for a high-tech one, like this chrome water temperature-controlled color-changing 5-setting LED version that’s only $30 (!) is an easy, inexpensive DIY project. Hang on to the showerhead you remove, in case your landlord wants it.

If the shower needs to be recaulked, check with your landlord and if they say it’s okay, here’s how to recaulk the shower yourself.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

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Regrout Wall Tiles

You may not be able to re-tile your rental bathroom, but regrouting is possible. As long as the tiles are still securely stuck to the walls, new grout can give the bathroom a good-as-new appearance while protecting the wall behind from water damage. Check out this grouting how-to tutorial.

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Tile a Backsplash

Backsplashes have a major impact on the appearance of a kitchen, but if your rental kitchen doesn’t have a backsplash, you might be allowed to install one. Let your landlord know you’re going to use these step-by-step instructions and they’re likely to say yes!

These are 10 common tiling mistakes and how to avoid them.

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paint fridge appliance stainless steel paint

Paint Appliances

Yes, you read that right! There is a product, specifically designed for appliances, that allows you to paint on a stainless steel finish. There is a kit for a refrigerator, dishwasher and range, and even the countertop.

Check out these top 10 DIY appliance repairs.

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Renew the Countertop

Plenty of rentals come equipped with budget laminate countertops that don’t hold up well. If your landlord is willing, you can renew that tired countertop with this product from Rust-Oleum. Check out our tutorial to see how it’s done.

Here are 13 more amazing countertop ideas.

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Toilet Repair

This is one your landlord might be happy to say yes to! If your toilet is always running, the fix is usually simple and why not fix it yourself rather than waiting for a maintenance person to come and take a look? Here’s everything you need to know to fix a toilet that won’t stop running.

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rust-oleum chalkboard paint

Paint a Chalkboard Wall

A chalkboard wall is a great addition to a kid’s room or home office, and chalkboard paint is definitely DIY-friendly. Get the okay from your landlord and you can easily paint a chalkboard wall in a day or two.

Want to build an actual chalkboard? Here’s how!

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Replace Cabinet Hardware

New cabinet knobs and pulls are like jewelry for your cabinets, and they require minimal effort. As long as the replacement hardware fits exactly in the holes for the original hardware, you can swap in the new ones and then put the old ones back before you move. If the new hardware requires holes in different places or if there was no hardware to begin with, be sure to ask permission.

These are our best tips for installing cabinet hardware and filling holes in wood.

Here are 30 more cheap add-ons for cabinets.

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Replace the Kitchen Faucet

Give your apartment kitchen a stylish and functional upgrade by replacing the standard kitchen faucet with a commercial version that comes with a pull-down sprayer. One day you’ll have that industrial kitchen of your dreams, but for now you can hack it with this relatively easy DIY, as long as it’s okay with your landlord.

Here are 10 tips for installing a faucet the easy way.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

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Dishwasher removal installationFamily Handyman

Repair or Replace the Dishwasher

If the dishwasher in your unit hasn’t worked for a while and you’re getting tired of hand-washing all of your dishes, you could ask your landlord if you can try to repair it. This may prompt them to get someone out to fix it or, they might say yes! If so, you’ll find how-to information on fixing common dishwasher problems here.

If it’s determined that the dishwasher is beyond repair, you could offer to install the new one. Here’s what you’ll need to know!

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by The Family Handyman editors, who aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Contact us, here.