I hope everyone had a wonderful (and booked) Labor Day weekend. Memorial Day and Labor Day signify the unofficial beginning and end of iStock_000006930189XSmall(2).JPGsummer. I often wonder what other countries use to signify the beginning and end of their summer. How do they know when it’s okay to take out their white shoes and white slacks and when they have to put them away (does anyone besides my mother-in-law still follow this rule?) if they don’t have days that signify their start and end of summer?

 

I am in the beginning stages of doing a total kitchen and bath renovation for one of my vacation rentals. The condo was built in the early 90’s and it still has the original kitchen and baths. There have been many people who have updated their kitchen (you know with new cabinets, new appliances, and granite counter tops). Even though my kitchen and bathrooms are still in good condition, they do look dated, especially compared to the ones that have already been updated. I figure if I want to remain competitive, I feel like I must do the renovations.

 

I started my research by going through some of the listings in the complex and looking at photos of other people’s places that have already done renovations. When I found a kitchen I loved, I picked up the phone and called the owner (I didn’t know them). I asked them where they got theirs, how much it cost, who did the installation and how long it took (from the ordering of the materials and installation). The owners were gracious enough to share their experiences with me.

 

Then there’s the can of worms that this opens. Can I really just do the kitchen and baths or will I have to end up replacing the flooring (because the old stuff looks dated)? Then how about the ceilings? It still has the popcorn ceilings and I’d love to get rid of that too. And while I’m at it, it would be nice to add crown moldings. Oh and window treatments, it’s about time that I should get new drapes made too. Oh….this is NOT good. You know how it goes, figure out a budget and then plan on doubling it.

 

Since this property is booked particularly well, it’s going to be tricky to time the renovations properly. I want to be sure to optimize the time the property will be out of commission. The other tricky part is getting in there to measure everything so I can place the order (since it’s pretty well booked for the fall). I determined that November and December would be the optimal time for me to have the work done since historically these are my two slowest months and the rates are the lowest in those months (so if I do have to turn down a booking, I won’t be losing too much money. I’ll keep you updated on my progress here on this blog.

 

Wishing everyone tons of bookings this fall!

 

Christine Karpinski

www.howtorentbyowner.com