A Checklist of Preventative Maintenance for a Vacation Home

Written by Posted On Thursday, 21 August 2014 07:54
Vacation Home in Orlando Vacation Home in Orlando Picture provided by www.orlandovacation.com

As the summer is coming to a close, here in Orlando so is our busy season. Actually the end of August and all of September is our slowest time of the entire year. During this slow time is a great time for us to get our property managers in our vacation homes to do some annual and semi-annual maintenance. Here is some of the items on our checklist…you might want to compare this to what your current property manager is doing for your vacation home.

1.      Do a thorough walk through of the vacation home- During high season we often times run the vacation homes bookings back to back, so there is usually just enough time to get the house clean and ready for the next guest. During this walk through, the property manager should make sure all knobs are tightened, all doors are shutting and sealing properly, and there is no evidence of leaks or structural damage. In addition, the property manager should make detail notes of any issues that need to be addressed such as condition of the carpet, landscaping, deck or pool area maintenance, etc. Once all these issues have been written down, then he/she should start to make a plan to make sure any and all issues are addressed.

2.       Preventative maintenance performed on the AC- Here in Orlando, the air conditioners in the vacation homes run non-stop. During the slow season it is a great idea to have a professional technician do a thorough inspection. By having the AC inspected twice a year, you will usually prolong  life expectancy and lower your electricity bills.

3.       Fire Extinguisher Recharged or Refilled and a thorough inspection of the Fire Safety Equipment- Every year the fire extinguishers need to be recertified, and while we are recertifying the extinguishers we also do a thorough inspection safety equipment. We also make sure all our safety related signs and instructions are updated and properly displayed in the house.

4.       Check how comfortable each bed is- This is often times overlooked but one of the things that will ruin a guest experience is a bad night sleep. Mattresses and box springs can be quite expensive, but we have found pillow toppers can usually provide more comfort for very little money. In some extreme cases we have ordered 4 inch pillow toppers, and those are extremely comfortable.

5.       Dryer vents cleaned- One of the scariest things I have ever seen in a vacation home is when I took over management of a 4 bedroom house, and the dryer was not drying properly. I called a technician in and he discovered the vent was totally clogged with flint. The scary thing about this is the flint was actually charred on one side. Please, make sure you clean your vents. This is a major fire hazard, plus a properly running fire hazard will reduce your electricity cost.

6.       Check all windows and doors- Here in Orlando it gets hot…really hot in the summer months. So we check all the windows and doors to make sure they are shutting and sealing properly. If they are not, then sometimes we have to rehang a door or caulk around a window, but this one action will save the home owner 15% a year in his utility bill.

7.       Talk with the Home Owner- It sometimes amazes me when a vacation home investor does not want to have a semi-annual meeting with their property manager. During this call I like to send the home owners pictures of their house and give them an update on things we have done, what needs to be do immediately, and some issues he will need to address in the future. Many times, large items such as an A/C just do not go out. They usually give us a warning and we are able to pamper it along, it is during these calls that I like to notify the owner of major expense items he will have to fix or replace within the next 6 months to a year. Owning a vacation home is business and the more time we can give the home owner heads up on major expenses the more time he has to plan. At the end of these calls I like to e-mail the owner a wrap up of what we talked.

8.       Deep Clean- The final thing we do is do a deep clean on the property. We do this with all our vacation homes twice a year. This is where we pull out and clean behind all the furniture and appliances, shampoo the carpets, clean the grout on tile floors, and make sure the kitchen and bathrooms are spotless.

The rule of thumb on any home is that you should plan to spend 1% of the value of your home each year on maintenance issues. So if you own a $250,000 home you should plan to spend $2500 a year on maintenance. Now keep in mind this is an average, some years you spend less some years you spend a little more. A vacation home is no different; if you own a vacation home you should be planning to spend at least 1% of the value of your house on maintenance each year to keep your home in tip top shape.

This article was written by Trey Duling. He has been marketing and managing vacation homes in the Orlando area since 1999,  please visit his website at http://www.orlandovacation.com/home-rentals for more information on the properties he manages.

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Trey Duling

Trey Duling is the owner of Orlandovacation.com. He has been managing and renting vacation homes in Orlando since 2001. If you have a vacation home in the Orlando area and you are looking for a property manager give Trey a call at 1-800-633-7108 ext 7007.


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