One of the most important aspects of planning a vacation is deciding where to stay. Vacation rentals have become quite popular in recent years. They’re slowly but steadily overtaking hotels, and for good reason.
From having more privacy, space, private amenities, and a conducive environment for working remotely, the benefits don’t seem to end. That said, there’s a lot that goes into designing these homes. If you’re planning a vacation home construction or remodeling project, you’ll need to consider them. Here’s a guide to give you a head start.
1. Follow a Design Theme
The thing with vacations is most people if not all, look forward to them for the opportunity to enjoy life’s finer things. For this reason, they tend to have higher expectations for the aesthetic appeal and vibe of vacation homes. You can use several approaches to meet their expectations during your vacation home construction project. One of the best and most effective is sticking to a design theme.
Design themes can transform a plain room into something stunning that exudes an opulent, refined, or rustic appeal. These qualities are key to the success of a vacation rental. They’re what make a home great for taking pictures in, and you can be sure your tenants will want to do so every chance they get.
You could choose classic designs to give the space a cozy feel. Alternatively, choose bold and creative themes that feature striking furniture, color schemes, and accessories. Combining vintage pieces with modern furnishings will make your vacation home construction look elegant. For instance, a stack of old books next to a modern lamp will add a touch of charm to your space. The options are endless.
2. Pay Attention to the Bathrooms
Most potential customers will appreciate modern bathrooms. If you’re remodeling and have a small bathroom, your main aim should be to make the most of the space. So start by adding storage in ingenious ways. Doing this will make the space more functional for tenants, which is important yet surprisingly difficult to find in the vacation rental industry.
You can also install a barn or pocket door or convert the bathtub into a walk-in shower. If you have the space, upgrade the bathroom’s style by adding a new vanity and extra counter space. Why not get inventive and add a sink to an old dresser to transform it into a chic, one-of-a-kind statement piece? For other affordable choices, check out stores like Costco and IKEA.
If you can raise the funds, consider adding a complete bathroom for every bedroom. One of the biggest draws for roommates on vacation is a one-to-one bedroom-to-bathroom ratio. It’s worth noting that before you implement any of these ideas, you should address any plumbing repairs that need your attention. You’d rather have a bathroom without leaks than one that looks amazing but has many underlying issues that affect its functionality.
On the other hand, you have an edge if you’re undertaking a vacation home construction project. You can create a bathroom customized to the changing demands of today’s tenants without many limitations. Work with a professional bathroom designer to bring any ideas you may have to life, or begin the journey together.
3. Invest in Home Automation and Smart Tech
The technological advancements in home automation make things much more convenient for property owners and tenants. Still, they also benefit those selling a home. Integrating the latest gadgets and devices into your vacation home construction project will make your property stand out among potential renters on listing sites. However, first things first. Ensure your internet connection can handle the demands of smart devices.
A strong connection is necessary for these tasks, and a strong enough Wi-Fi signal to cover the entirety of the property. There are several smart tech solutions out there. Before purchasing anything, be sure to consider the renter’s needs.
Automated locks will make accessing the property more convenient for renters while enhancing security. Smart TVs will allow users to watch their favorite shows while on vacation. Automated thermostats and lighting are a great way of adding a contemporary touch while lowering energy costs.
You can control most smart devices remotely. For instance, smart locks will let you provide each tenant with a special access code. Once their rental term elapses, you can disable the code. With modern security cameras, you can monitor the property from the comfort of your home so no one enters without authorization.
Remember that even though you may use these smart tech solutions to administer and monitor the property when it doesn’t have an occupant, renters have rights during their stay on your property. One obvious example is you can’t use smart cameras to snoop on your guests. Other restrictions may be imposed by local and state laws.
4. Work On the Outdoor Spaces
Most people who go on vacations usually want to use the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors more. So, as much as it’s important to ensure the interior of your vacation home construction serves the tenant’s needs and is aesthetically appealing, you should also set aside some finances for the outdoor spaces. There are several outdoor features you can invest in. Some will add to the property’s living space, while others are purely aesthetic.
You can’t go wrong with a deck installation. They’re quite common on residential and rental properties, and for good reason. A lovely deck offers a pleasant setting for breakfast or morning coffee, a lively space for entertaining family and friends while enjoying dinner or brunch, or a spot to relax and get a tan. In this way, a deck will let you extend the living space outdoors, something your tenants will appreciate as they won’t have to worry about getting itchy every time they spend time in the yard.
A patio offers an alternative to a deck. While some people often use these two interchangeably, they’re actually different. A deck is an open outdoor platform that typically extends from the main house and doesn’t feature a roof. However, a patio is a paved area directly situated on the ground. It can either be adjacent to or separate from the house.
If you’re working with a tight budget, installing a patio as part of your vacation home construction is more cost-effective. The main reason is that they’re usually constructed using stone, bricks, or concrete, which are less expensive than wood. There’s also the fact that decks typically feature fasteners and substructures, which make the average cost of decking reach about $9 per square foot, according to Decks.com. Paving with brick typically costs $6 per square foot, while concrete costs about $4 per square foot. Double these estimates to get a rough idea of the cost of labor.
5. Adopt an Open Floor Plan
If you have the funds and the time, consider knocking down a few walls to open up the floor plan. Open concepts are a hot selling point for renters as they make a space feel brighter and larger. Installing more windows will also have a similar effect as it’ll let in more natural light.
Before you start smashing sledgehammers into walls as part of a DIY project, be sure to first determine the type of wall you intend to take down. You want to avoid any load-bearing walls as they hold the weight of the building. The best way to guarantee a safe job is to work with professional remodeling contractors.
These professionals have the expertise to navigate the challenges that may arise during the process and ensure the project is executed safely and efficiently. Their services will also include construction debris removal, so you won’t have to worry about being left with the mess. While taking the DIY approach may seem cheaper initially, consider that you’ll have to invest in construction equipment rentals. In contrast, the pros have access to everything you may need.
They’ll give you one figure for the entire project. Most professional remodelers also offer a warranty on their work and hold insurance. That means if anything goes wrong during the project like other parts of the home suffer damage or a worker gets injured, you won’t be held financially liable for the repairs or medical bills. The bottom line is you stand to benefit in many ways.
6. Install a Dock
If your property is near a lake, which already gives you an edge, or is a houseboat, consider including a dock installation as part of your vacation home construction project. This is one feature that will particularly be appreciated by those who have boats. A private dock makes going out on a boat ride much easier and, simply put, more fun.
Think about it. Without one, tenants must hook up the boat trailer, move to a ramp, and launch the boat. After their trip, they go through the same process again, but in reverse. Not forgetting cleaning the boat.
When you account for these tasks, they could easily make a 1-hour trip turn into a three or four-hour task. If the time it takes to prepare is longer than the trip, some boaters will be discouraged. However, with a private boat dock, your tenants just need to fuel the boat, load the cooler, and set off into the sunset. It’s all about considering the needs of your clients. So, using the same reasoning, if the property is surrounded by a golf course, it would be beneficial to partner with a local golf cart rental company.
7. Address the Heating Needs
If you fail to factor in heating systems in your vacation home construction project, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Nothing can make a vacation a nightmare like a home that gets extremely cold and there’s no heating solution to help. Plus, the last thing tenants want is to worry about staying warm when they want to relax and unwind.
Consider your heating options. A wood or propane fireplace will probably be enough if you’re building a small cottage that primarily needs heating during summer or winter. These systems require minimal maintenance and respond well to freezing temperatures. For a more comprehensive solution, consider an affordable, high-efficiency heat pump that provides heating and air conditioning.
If your vacation home construction is in an extremely cold area, a furnace will offer tenants a more effective heating solution. This system can heat up multiple rooms at once. Just ensure you also facilitate a steady supply of home heating oil by partnering with a reliable fuel supplier.
8. Replace the Well Pump
If you’re remodeling, ensuring a steady water supply should be a top priority. Whether on vacation or in their homes, they’ll always need water. Water pumps typically last 15 to 25 years, according to Water Doctor. As they approach the end of their useful life, tenants will start noticing changes in pressure and higher utility costs. Considering it’s a rental, they don’t have much obligation to stay there; they can easily move. That’s why it’s a good idea to include a well pump replacement in your list of projects.
With a new pump, the water will be much cleaner, the pressure will be just right, utility costs will go down, and tenants won’t have to deal with odd noises that make them want to run out of the home in the middle of the night.
9. Publish Your Listing
Finding tenants is your last challenge after concluding your vacation home construction or remodel project. You have various options for how to accomplish this. Publishing your home on travel websites and through businesses that offer rental accommodation packages is the simplest and one of the most effective approaches.
Many apps and websites, including VRBO and Airbnb, will allow you to list for free and then take a percentage of the amount you charge when you land a client. You should always remember that thoroughly reviewing the terms and conditions before registering for these services is in your best interest. You can also draw on your network and referrals. While this approach will fetch you much higher-quality clientele, establishing a steady customer flow takes time.
Potential renters want a vacation rental that gives them a sense of a home away from home. You want it to be comfortable, safe, and aesthetically pleasing, so don’t hold back on the design. Use this read as a guide for your vacation home construction or remodeling project to make your property stand out.