Vacation Rental Property Renovation Tips

Vacation Rental Property Renovation Tips

The biggest disadvantage of outfitting your vacation rental house is the sad reality that few of those necessary goods will stay indefinitely.

The prospect of a vacation home remodeling might be intimidating for owners or property managers, but it doesn’t have to be. Trends come and go, and appliances malfunction, so you’ll have to update your vacation rental home sooner or later. The procedure will go much more smoothly if you plan out your renovation, calculate the cost, set out time in your booking calendar, and assign remodeling duties in your task management system.

When should you remodel your house?

It might be impossible to predict how long more costly purchases, such as major appliances or vacation rental décor, would last. You live with and utilize these products every day in your own house. However, a vacation rental may take a visitor to point out that something isn’t quite right.

Your property should always satisfy the greatest standards of comfort, cleanliness, and convenience to avoid unfavorable evaluations from tourists. You will need to examine the quality of your vacation rental and make some adjustments at some point to retain high expectations.

Let’s take a look at what you need to update at your vacation rental house so you know what to look for when it comes to renovations.

1. Make a plan first, then purchase

The most crucial aspect is to plan. Prioritize all necessary furnishings first, and then think about the accessories. Are you truly in need of that chandelier when you need to purchase a new mattress? Before you purchase anything, be sure you have a budget in mind.

When doing research, take your time and explore various shops and websites. There may also be some agreements in place. After you’ve made a list of must-haves, start thinking about accessories that complement the rest of your vacation rental renovations.

2. Make upgrading your appliances a top priority.

Trends in the home come and go, but outdated appliances stand out like a sore thumb. You don’t have to have the most up-to-date technology, but you must remain current with house innovations to keep your visitors pleased and your ratings high.

To explore possible additions that might make your house stand out, take a look at these 47 must-have features. Keep in mind that certain items are regarded as an amenity, which you may include on your website as a bonus. For example, you may emphasize a washing machine or an air conditioning unit.


A refrigerator is an item that many of us take for granted. Compared to other household products, Refrigerators tend to endure a long period and need minimal upkeep. However, since the kitchen is the most crucial element of any vacation rental, you must ensure that yours is good working for your arriving visitors.

According to Central Electric Cooperative Inc., most refrigerators may survive between 10 and 20 years. If your refrigerator is less than eight years old and has a problem, it’s worth fixing. If it’s older than 15 years, though, you should consider replacing it entirely.

There are several indicators that your refrigerator needs to be replaced. For example, if the engine is always running and loud or moisture or frost. Even inefficiency might play a role in deciding whether or not to upgrade to a newer model. If your refrigerator is approaching its tenth anniversary, make sure it’s still keeping perishables fresh. It’s also crucial to clean the refrigerator after each visitor leaves.

Laundry machine

If you have laundry facilities in your vacation rental, your visitors will likely use them. According to Consumer Reports, a washing machine’s typical lifetime is roughly ten years.

There are many indicators that your washing machine needs to be replaced. There might be a musty odor of mold inside (even though it’s clean!) or a leak, which could suggest a split in the tub. When deciding whether to repair or replace an older model, energy efficiency is vital, just as it is with refrigerators. According to Electricity Star, a new energy-certified washer-dryer may be a more eco-friendly decision since it can save you roughly 3,000 gallons of water per year and consume 25% less energy.

3. Do some DIY. 

Before you toss away old furniture, think about it. What could you be able to accomplish with it? Or any of their components, for that matter? You may use an old wooden shutter to hold mail, postcards, or magazines if you paint it and put it on the wall. Do you have a drab laundry room? Use colorful tape to decorate your washing machine.

There are countless methods to redesign your home. Making a garment rack out of a branch for coat hanging is one of these inventive ideas. Guests will hang their garments uniquely and fashionably. If you don’t have enough room for a closet, you may acquire a metal coat rack.

Don’t overlook the many eco-friendly DIY projects available for freshening up your home. Handcrafted wood furniture is one of them. Make a table out of a wooden pallet (which you may acquire for free by asking a local shop). To use as a bookshelf, get a fruit box and paint it. Similarly, consider utilizing tins as planters if you have a yard or balcony. You’ll save money while also helping the environment.

4. Keep an eye on the future.

Purchase home equipment that comes with a warranty. Although the initial cost will be greater, it will be less expensive in the long run. Avoid using carpets because they can quickly get filthy or fragile hardwood flooring since they may become worn down, making them harder to disguise for future visitors and costly to repair.

If you expect families to stay at your vacation rental, be sure to have a pull-out couch bed that is simple to set up. If most of your visitors are retired couples, ensure the furniture is comfy and convenient to use. You won’t have to make any adjustments in the foreseeable future this way.

5. Keep substitutes at bay.

What are the most challenging areas of the home to clean? Which items are the most fragile or prone to breaking? Think about how you can prevent replacements by asking yourself these questions. Avoid basic and light-colored sheets and blankets, for example, since you’ll have to change them right away if they become soiled.

If your vacation rental accepts dogs, adjust your property to accommodate this policy. If you tolerate dogs, don’t create a lovely garden; if you allow cats, don’t hang floor-length drapes.

6. The “No-Screw Rules

To hang anything up, you don’t always need to drill holes. Drilling holes in the walls may seem like a smart idea at the moment, but you’ll wind up with holes all over the place later when you want to rearrange your furniture, and you’ll have to spend extra to have them fixed. Consider placing something on a table or piece of furniture instead of hanging it if it’s too little to hang. Hanging strips or sticky hooks may be used to hang portraits or mirrors.

7. Make use of wallpaper

How do you feel about wallpaper? Cover stains or add your touch to a blank wall. Many reusable wallpaper options are available, and they’re also quite simple to apply!

There are alternative options if you don’t want to cover the whole wall with wallpaper. You may use wall stickers or decals in various colors and sizes. You may use them to cover a spot of non-removable dirt and place them anywhere you desire. You may also use wallpaper on just one side of the room rather than the whole space.

8. Make the most of tiny areas

Set up a nice place for your visitors to rest, read, or gaze out the window for a welcoming experience. Small spaces might benefit from a dash of inventiveness. Do you have any room under the stairwell? Convert your basement into a reading den, and the same may be said for your attic. Include built-in bookshelves and a window seat surrounding your window.

You want to make the most of your area so that your visitors have additional places to rest. Not to add that the more secluded areas you have, the more picture chances you’ll have for your website! This is particularly significant for holiday rentals with fewer guests.

9. Prioritize your comfort.

If your vacation rental needs an update, try concentrating on something that has been around for a long time: comfort. When it comes to the visitor experience, comfort goes a long way. Remember that your visitors are visiting your vacation rental to relax, so make sure you provide them with a comfortable space to do so! Replacing particular textiles, linens, and mattresses is not only a great method to improve the visitor experience but also something that can be done regularly.

Towels and linens

In terms of repeat visitors and ratings, the quality of the linens and towels you give in your vacation rental may make a big difference.

Owners of short-term rentals must clean linens following each guest’s departure, even if they’ve only spent one or two nights, unlike in your own home, where you change bedding on average every week. As a result, linen’s lifespan may be significantly reduced. You may avoid the hassle of regularly changing linens by purchasing the finest linens for vacation rentals, which have a greater thread count and are more durable.

Maintaining fresh bedding and fluffy towels is a definite way to boost visitor happiness. But how can you know whether your linens need to be replaced?

We spoke with Alanna Shroeder (creator of The Distinguished Guest), a seasoned specialist on the subject, for some advice:

“We always recommend replacing sheets and towels at least every two years, if not sooner.” According to our recommendations, vacation rental owners should store at least two sets of linens per bed and two sets of bath/beach towels for each visitor. After each visitor departs, inspect them for stains, snags, and other flaws that might need replacement.”


When it comes to replacing mattresses, it’s preferable to think of your vacation rental as a small hotel rather than your house. Mattresses are thrown out in high-end hotels every three to five years, although they might last up to ten years in a smaller institution.

The most important thing to examine here is whether or not your mattresses are still performing their job. Vacations are taken to get away from one’s everyday routine and, in many situations, to relax. If your vacation rental’s mattresses are lumpy, bouncy, discolored, or dirty, they need to be replaced.

To extend the life of your rental mattresses, it’s a good idea to rotate them. According to MattressOnline, rotating mattresses every three months helps to maintain a constant level of support, ensure sustained comfort for your visitors, and prevent the chance of sagging. You may also turn the mattresses twice a year if they are double-sided. Such regular rotation is not essential if your property is only utilized for a few months a year (i.e., during your location’s high season).


Unlike hotels, vacation rentals often do not provide “pillow menus” for visitors to choose from. To accommodate varied tastes, you should attempt to give a combination of soft and firm pillows.

But how can you know when your pillow supply needs to be replenished? According to Kris Beck of Hilton Worldwide, synthetic pillows may last 18-24 months when properly washed, but a down or feather pillow can last up to 36 months.

Pillow protectors should be used beneath pillowcases as an additional barrier to extend the life of your property’s pillows and maintain high hygiene standards.

“If you have a pillow cover and a pillowcase on top of that, there is no need to wash your pillows after every usage,” Heather Bayer says in her podcast episode, Polarizing Vacation Rental Arguments – My Take On Them.

“The pillowcase would be cleaned after every changeover, while the pillow protector may be washed every few weeks or so,” she says.

10. Think about curb appeal.

There are no fixed regulations for how frequently you should make renovations to the outside of your property to keep it looking appealing and up to spec for new visitors.

Some experts suggest painting the outside of your vacation rental every five to ten years; however, this may vary based on the kind of finish.

For example, touch-ups are recommended every three to seven years for wood siding, five or six years for aluminum siding and stucco, and ten or fifteen years for newer materials (such as cement fiberboard siding). You may always make changes sooner if they are essential to improve the attractiveness of your property, regardless of the material used to construct it.

What are the most typical improvements for vacation rentals?

Asking where to remodel is an excellent place to start if you’re unsure how to improve your rental home. You could discover that upgrading only one or two rooms in your vacation home is sufficient rather than the whole place. Identifying which sections are most significant to your visitors during the early stages of the restoration will assist you in deciding which rooms to focus on.


The kitchen is where your visitors will spend most of their time. This is a place where you may cook, exchange meals, or just relax on the barstools. Due to the large traffic volume in this location, a rental property kitchen may provide the best return on your investment.

Guests highly value a modern kitchen, so if you’re updating one area at a time, this is an excellent place to start. Consider that many rental properties have kitchens at the front, making it crucial to make the most visible room a decent one.

Not only is the kitchen a frequently used location, but it’s also the one that exhibits the greatest signs of wear and tear. The presence of filthy, out-of-date cookware in this space is an instant eyesore. You want your kitchen to exude modernism and practicality. This place should not only be maintained fresh, but it should also be functional. Invest in the most frequently used appliances first, and then replace aging cabinets and worktops if time and cash allow.


The bathroom, like the kitchen, is an inescapable element of a holiday house. The cleanliness of the area should be your primary focus. Keep in mind that visitors prefer clean areas.

That isn’t to suggest that your bathrooms aren’t clean; nevertheless, an ancient toilet or shower may have yellowed due to years of use, giving it the impression of being filthy. Even new showerheads develop calcium and limestone deposits over time, making the metal seem ancient and obsolete. Replace outdated fixtures first to check whether your bathroom is updated.

Upgrades in general

Every vacation rental makeover does not have to be extravagant. With a few little adjustments, you can still make a significant impact. Instead of looking at room-by-room improvements, think about overall changes that may be done across the property. Perhaps the color scheme is outdated and needs to be updated. This is a low-cost update that determines the look of your whole rental home.

For a fast and inexpensive remedy, you may consider replacing the metal fixtures in your vacation rentals, such as the doorknobs or cabinet hardware. Because metallic finishes go out of style rapidly, replacing your brass fittings with sleek, brushed silver fixtures might radically transform the aesthetic of your holiday rental.

How much does it cost to renovate a vacation rental property?

The cost of renovating a rental property depends on several variables, including the existing quality of the house, the amount of money you’re prepared to spend, and cost differences by area. It’s critical to budget for all costs ahead of time so you don’t go over budget or wind up with an unfinished update. Remember that the goal is to refurbish and rent, so be thorough when determining your budget to avoid wasting time or money.

Make provisions for the unexpected.

There’s a reason you get insurance to cover miscellaneous expenses. Life occurs, and we must prepare as much as possible for it. Renovations to vacation rentals are no exception. When calculating the cost of your remodeling, consider what unexpected expenditures or problems can arise throughout the project.

Unfinished window coverings or new additions, for example, might be damaged or knocked out by a storm if you’re remodeling your seaside home during hurricane season. Attempt to account for the unexpected as much as possible so that you don’t wind up with unexpected expenditures that weren’t planned for.

Spend just what you need.

Although it may be tempting to replace all of your lighting with wicker pendant lights or install those fashionable new sliding doors, think about it for a moment. Are you going to obtain the expected return on your investment? Budget Dumpster recommends that you don’t spend more than 10% to 15% of your home’s worth on one room.

Make the most of your money by doing as much as possible with it. You don’t want to be saddled with a loan that requires months of bookings to repay. Instead, make little modifications were required to add immediate luxury to areas that have been on your to-do list.

Keep in mind that time is also a factor to consider. Every day that your property is unoccupied is a day that might be filled. By employing vacation rental management software, you can better use your time and decrease vacancies. This allows you to manage employees, cleaning crews, and administration in such a manner that your remodeling time is reduced while your reservations and revenues are increased.

How do you figure out the price?

The budget is the most crucial aspect of any vacation rental renovation. A well-thought-out budget will provide you with peace of mind, an understanding of what you’ll need to fund, and, most crucially, an estimate of your return on investment.

Make a list of the renovations that are most important to you. What exactly is the problem? What is the most popular? What does it mean to be attractive, and what does it mean to be essential? You may not only plan for the most costly improvements but also select what can be trimmed from your budget by prioritizing your upgrades.

Consider utilizing a remodeling calculator if you’re feeling overwhelmed by a space that requires a complete makeover.

This tool may help you remember important facts like rewiring, labor, and hardware prices. One out of every three renovations goes over budget; don’t be one of them by failing to prepare ahead of time.

Finally, these renovations will need your property to be unoccupied. It’s a certainty that your home will have to remain unoccupied for a while while the renovations are completed, so plan accordingly. Look back at prior years’ bookings in your vacation rental reservation system and attempt to account for the lowest booking times. To avoid missing out on booking possibilities, try to locate the optimal times to renovate.

Bonus renovation ideas for your Airbnb

If you get the bulk of your bookings from Airbnb, you may want to consider planning a bespoke Airbnb refurbishment project. To refurbish for Airbnb, consider the sort of visitors staying at your property: young professionals or new families on their first vacation?

According to statistics, millennials account for 60% of all visitors. If your bookings come from a younger age, maintaining a modern appearance may be useful in attracting a certain visitor.

The trendiest house trends change, so keep an eye on what’s new and what your Airbnb guests want. By concentrating on tiny modifications that would impress trend followers, you may still repair your Airbnb house on a budget. Adding a smart TV, surround sound, or changing your house’s color scheme are all inexpensive methods to enhance and promote your Airbnb to millennials.

It’s wise to make your modifications more general if your Airbnb visitors are of varying ages. Consider making modifications that will allow you to become a SuperHost or convert your listing to an Airbnb Plus property.

Airbnb Plus rentals, according to Airbnb, provide not just great hospitality but also well-designed, fully furnished, and immaculately managed environments. If you believe your vacation rental is on the verge of attaining this, examine to determine what makes it outstanding enough for Airbnb Plus certification. Check out the top 20 Airbnb blogs to learn what your rivals are doing to become a Superhost or Airbnb Plus.

Finally, if you intend to employ an Airbnb channel manager to block certain days off your calendar for property upgrades, you should consider it. This handy application will automatically sync your Airbnb calendar with your vacation rental website’s booking calendar and the rest of your external channels, eliminating the need to update your availability manually.


Keep your vacation rental up to date and all appliances in working order to maximize reservations. Travelers want to unwind, and your resort should reflect that desire. Consider these pointers if you wish to concentrate on one section of your vacation home or conduct a whole overhaul.

A fashionable home isn’t complete without a modern website; the visitor experience starts long before they arrive at your doorway. Remember that your website serves as a window to your property thus, it must be current. You may emphasize renovating your vacation rental to boost your bookings and visitors’ experience by picking software that gives ready-to-use templates and easily upgraded websites.

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