- Assuming that two decent sized duplexes (3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, about 1100 SF) were identical, which would be more appealing, one with nice ceramic tile installed throughout the space (all public spaces and bedrooms, bathrooms etc...) or one with nice ceramic tile installed in all the public spaces, bathrooms etc.. and carpet in the bedrooms? What about once the duplexes were 2, 3, 4, 5, ... , n years old? You see where I'm going with this right? Carpet does not wear as well as ceramic tile and we're leaning towards not installing any in the new properties since cleaning it when people move out is a royal pain in the ass (in fact I'm going to go buy a new steam cleaner to replace our last one which is mostly dead so we can clean the carpet in one unit later today). From our perspective the installation cost is about the same, but I'm curious if anyone has any pros and cons to tile vs carpet in bedrooms of a rental property (which will invariably get grungier than all but the nastiest owner occupied houses).
- There are three common types of closet doors available. double bi-fold (folds in half and swings open), double sliding (one slides in front of or behind another), and double regular (i.e. they open like a regular set of double) doors. Assuming you have a bedroom with a wide, non-walk-in closet, would you have a major preference to having either of those doors? Would the presence or abscence of a certain type of door be a make or break factor in your decision to rent a property? Until now, we've usually gone with bi-fold doors because they give maximum access to the closet while intruding the smallest distance into the room. Unfortunately they are also really hard to keep working properly and our tenants often break them in our rental properties. It's clearly a case of tenant neglect/abuse (since the doors in my parents house and the ones in the duplex I lived in were all bi-fold and we never had problems with them), but as we can't get rid of tenants we are looking at probably getting rid of those doors. We tried sliders in one set of duplexes that we built but they're still prone to breakage and they obstuct half of the closet when opened. The last major option would be to install a set of normal doors. They will give full access to the closet and they are the sturdiest type of door available. The only reason we didn't try these before is that my dad was opposed to them because they intrude into a room the most and that bugged him, he prefers bi-folds but my mom and I are over-ruling him on them because they break constantly and we're always having to deal with them. I think that looks bad for the property as a whole because it sucks when the closet door falls off even if it's your fault (or your kid's fault etc...) and I think we'd be better off with doors that you'd have to rip off the hinges in order to break.
So, do any of you guys have thoughts or opinions on either or both questions? We're actually very happy with the design of our duplexes (which my dad originally designed and I subsequently modified), and with the exception of those two issues, we have almost no maintenance issues with them. If the carpet situation was remedied we'd be able to turn around almost any property in 1-2 days even if we had to paint and if we solved the door situation we'd cut our maintenance calls by something like 75% (the other big ones are complaints about heating and cooling from people who want their house at 90*F in the winter and 50*F in the summer)