Managing Your Vacation Rental

Vacation rental home improvements mean no rest for the weary

Written by Joan Talmadge
5/5 - (1 vote)

You know the scenario – you made it through another summer of renting your home, your tenants were happy, and other than the call about the TV that wasn’t working and the concern about Hurricane Irene, there were no major problems.  So now it’s time to relax, right?  Wrong.  Now’s the time to tackle the home improvements you promised yourself you’d take care of in the off season.

 Take care of outdoor projects while you still can

There’s still time to do a few exterior projects before the snow flies.  Maybe you’ve thought about adding an outdoor shower (always a very popular amenity among vacationers).  Or perhaps you want to add a deck or patio – some vacationers consider this a must-have amenity.  Even if these projects can’t be completed until spring, it might be a good idea to get estimates now.  Check our Service Provider Directory.

Next up — interior projects

If your experience is like mine, you find new, unsightly marks on the walls by the end of the rental season.  Wear and tear like this happens. Now is a good time to do some touchup work, or even repaint entire rooms that are suddenly looking tired.  A coat of fresh paint does wonders.

Do you have some dingy carpeting that needs replacing?  Consider doing without carpeting altogether and refinishing the hardwood floors.  Don’t have hardwood floors?  You might install the prefinished wood flooring, the kind that easily snap together.  Natural floors are so clean looking, and you won’t have to worry about carpet stains and mustiness. Does your kitchen look dark and dreary? (Yes, renters do care what the kitchen looks like.) You can make some amazing cosmetic changes without breaking the bank.

One of our homeowners recently took off all of her cabinet doors, coated them with a stain-blocking primer (you can use Kils or Bin), and then painted them a glossy off-white and added some new hardware.  What a difference — it was a metamorphosis! Although I don’t know anyone who’s tried this, I’ve heard that there’s a faux granite painting technique that you can apply to your countertops.  I’d love to hear from you if you’ve used this.  Sounds like a great solution for us budget-conscious homeowners.

Another homeowner, Rhonda Paradis and her husband Mark, made such excellent home improvement choices that they were chosen as winners on the HGTV series “Bang for Your Buck”. Read Rhonda’s advice.

What do you do to keep your vacation rental property fresh and inviting year after year?

About the author

Joan Talmadge

Joan Talmadge - My husband Jeff and I created in 1997, shortly after buying our Cape home. My background includes teaching fifth grade for 8 years and writing and editing educational publications for 15. I get great joy from helping fellow homeowners successfully rent their homes. Jeff and I are proud to have two of our three grown children working for, truly a family-run business. For me, the Cape and Islands are magical all times of the year -- whether it's walking on Nauset Beach, playing golf, or enjoying family and friends. Email Joan