Apartment Rental Layout: Case Study 2

We (SimpleTwig Architecture.llc) will show you the character, layout and thinking behind several different rental apartments (this is the second of several articles)

for the Home Owner/Landlord they can incorporate into their own home, each with their own unique challenges.  This post is just one of these examples, so please subscribe to see all, each the result of different set of circumstances.

Background Attitude (repeated article to article for reference):

Creating a viable rental apartment means to design an apartment that is functional, nice looking and cost effective to keep rents low enough to not scare prospective renters away.  All these factors help tenants in the apartment as well as getting your apartment rented quickly.

It’s a fact that if you make a nice looking apartment you will attract the type of tenant who wants a nice place to live in.  This in return means they will take care of your property.  The opposite and unfortunate attitude is, ‘I will build the cheapest apartment possible because I expect my tenants to tear it up,’ which results in lower rental income and tenants who don’t care where they live and only need a place to sleep, thus this increases the possibility of a self-fulfilling prophecy that the tenant will NOT take care of the property, and thus the landlord will be making repairs and dealing with high turn-over (also resulting in lost income).


 

Apartment Case Study No. 2 [Client wants to improve existing apartments]:

This client had a building he purchased in the Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY area and requested my services.  I gave him recommendations which he implemented.  The fundamental recommendations were as follows:

 

Plans showing 1st and 2nd floors. Note the passage is fully used, thus creating room for a 2nd bedroom on the 1st floor.
Plans showing 1st and 2nd floors. Note the passage is fully used, thus creating room for a 2nd bedroom on the 1st floor.

 

1) Renovated an empty carriage house into a duplex 2 bedroom apartment, with living and kitchen on the upper floor.

 

Carriage House living room with a door leading to a private back yard.
Carriage House living room with a door leading to a private back yard.

 

Carriage House duplex stair, and handicap bathroom (note: owner selected materials)
Carriage House duplex stair, and handicap bathroom (note: owner selected materials)

 

2) Remove the existing entrance and hall into the main building, and utilize the passage on the side of the building to create a new entrance right at the building’s stairs, thus eliminating the long hallway and allowing the ground floor apartment to change from a 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom apartment.

 

New entrance. Canopy not installed when photo was taken.
New entrance. Canopy not installed when photo was taken.

 

3) Create an open living/kitchen concept to make the apartments feel spacious.

4) Fix the main internal stair to make it new and fresh, moving the cellar stair to make the first floor apartment larger.

5) Renovate the 2nd floor apartment into a full legal 2 bedroom apartment with the same amenities as the first floor apartment.

 

Handicap ramp and new building entrance. This solution gained the owner an extra $500/month for the extra bedroom as a result of this solution.
Handicap ramp and new building entrance. This solution gained the owner an extra $500/month for the extra bedroom as a result of this solution.

 

6) Add handicap accessibility as required by code for a multiple dwelling property.

 

gonzalez-apartment

 

7) Add granite countertops for the kitchens and stainless steel appliances to be desirable to prospective tenants.

 

1st floor apartment has a 'flipped' layout similar to the 2nd floor apt.
1st floor apartment has a ‘flipped’ layout similar to the 2nd floor apt.

 

8) Create a peninsula/island type layout for the kitchen, to encourage connections for family life.

 

A full stove/oven and peninsula make this apartment desirable to tenants. Plenty of storage and countertop space.
A full stove/oven and peninsula make this apartment desirable to tenants. Plenty of storage and countertop space.

 

The openness and neutrality of the design makes moving in a pleasure for tenants, as can be seen in the Carriage House photo.  This helps ensure a happier tenant who will want to stay in their apartment for years to come.

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