Renter’s Renovations

By: Danny Lipford
Roommates Melanie, Laurel and Kate

Roommates Melanie, Laurel and Kate

Watch Full Episode

If you watch our show often you know it’s about helping homeowners improve their homes. But, for lots of folks, the house they rent is home.

We helped my middle daughter, Melanie, and her two roommates, Kate and Laurel, make some improvements to their rental house. The changes made their home more functional, secure and attractive, but they weren’t intended to be permanent. After all, when Melanie and her friends leave in a few months or a few years, they’ll want to take their investments with them.

Hanging Poster Board Behind Shelves

Adding poster board behind these built-in shelves brightens the space.

Adding poster board behind these built-in shelves brightens the space.

The first thing we tackled was the dark, dated den. By adding poster board behind the built-in shelves, we brightened the space with a temporary backing. While we used classic white poster board, you could use any color or pattern to suit your decor.

Watch How to Hang Poster Board Behind Shelves for details on this project.

Installing New Shower Wands

Charlie, Birdie and Ollie

Charlie, Birdie and Ollie

To make bathing their three dogs a little easier, we replaced the old shower heads with Delta In2ition 2-in-1 shower wands.

Before installing a new shower head, remove any rust or mineral deposits on the shower thread pipe. Then wrap Teflon plumber’s tape clockwise around the threads two or three times before carefully screwing on the new shower head.

Watch Replacing a Shower Head for step-by-step instructions.

Stringing Patio Lights

We strung LED lights to illuminate the patio.

We strung LED lights to illuminate the patio.

The roommates’ backyard only had two small lights, so the area was too dark to enjoy at night. To light up their patio, we strung strands of Moonrays LED string lights for a retro-inspired backyard. We screwed eye hooks on the eves of the house and attached supports to the fence to hold the strands.

Wifi Video Doorbell and Electronic Lock

The new video doorbell provides security for the three roommates.

The new video doorbell provides security for the three roommates.

To make their home more secure, we installed the Ring video doorbell, so they can see who is at the door before opening it.

We also installed an August Smart Lock, so they can control and monitor their door from anywhere using an app on their smartphones.

Other Tips from This Episode


Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tip for Dusting Under Furniture

Some areas are impossible to vacuum, such as under low furniture. Make a dusting wand out of a yardstick covered with a cotton sock, secured with a rubber band. Watch the video.


Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Feit Electric LED Dusk-to-Dawn Light Bulb

Feit Electric makes an LED bulb with a photocell light sensor that turns the bulb on at night and off during the day. It has a twistable base to adjust the built-in automatic on/off sensor. It is available at The Home Depot.
Watch the video.



Please Leave a Comment

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at

Renter’s Renovations