Your vacation house gets lots of love each year between your family, friends, and your kids’ friends. However, with all that love comes the time for some vacation home maintenance. To make sure it stays in the best shape for you and your family and friends to enjoy, you have to make sure you’re staying up to date on maintenance, renovations, and upgrades. Though this may seem like a daunting task, it’s really not that difficult to make sure your vacation home is in tip-top shape. Besides, you’re not going to want to be dealing with a leaky roof or a broken into house the next time you’re off for vacation. Making sure you stay up to date on these home tasks will ensure your vacation home stays nice and safe until you’re ready to go back.
Vacation Home Safety
Since your vacation home isn’t where you spend the majority of your time each year, having contact with a locksmith in case the area has reports of break-ins or something happens to your property will be beneficial. It’s probably a good idea to change your locks every few years, too. Especially if there are reports of break-ins, it’ll be important for the safety of your property that you have safe and reliable locks. Should you be staying there at the time of the reported break-ins, you’re going to want to be able to assure your family and any friends that may be there that the property is safe. Having a locksmith contact or having one come to your property routinely is an important part of vacation home maintenance.
Another important part of the safety of your home is making sure you have a generator that works for the months you’re not vacationing. For instance, if the vacation home is a summer vacation home, you’ll definitely want a generator there so should the power go out in the winter due to a storm or weather, the pipes won’t freeze and cause damage to the property. It’s a good idea to have a generator even for the time you are vacationing. Should the power go out while you’re spending the day out on the water or in town and you are gone from the house all day, without a generator, all the food in your fridge now may be ruined depending on how long the power is out. To be safe, having a functional backup generator on the property is a smart idea and an important part of vacation home maintenance. Without it, you may be left without any electricity for an undetermined amount of time, which may surely put a damper on your vacation time having to deal with that.
Additionally, an important part of vacation home maintenance is staying on top of pest control. Should you arrive for vacation and notice ants, mice, or even termites have been vacationing in your vacation home, you’re going to want to call pest management services and have them send an exterminator right away. If you’re smart, however, you will have thought to call ahead of time and had an exterminator come and take care of your property to protect it for the months you won’t be there so that no critters can come and make a home out of your vacation home. For vacation home maintenance, the biggest thing to remember is to be proactive since you’re not always there or around to check on things and deal with them as they happen. Additionally, being friends with nearby neighbors can also be an important part of maintenance for your vacation home. Should something happen while you’re away and you have contact with one of the neighbors living nearby, they could help you address any problems you might not have otherwise known about until you got there.
The last part of safety vacation home maintenance would be to make sure that you’re not forgetting to pay off the mortgages you’ve taken out for your properties. Should you fall behind on your payments and decide to go for a vacation, it’s possible you could lose your property. That would definitely put a damper on your trip to get all the way there and have to turn around because you haven’t been making your payments. Often, you can set up your accounts so a portion of your paychecks goes directly to paying off the mortgage. This may be the best way for you to make sure you don’t forget and the safest way you can ensure your property will stay yours and available to you and your family and friends.
How Are You Getting There?
Depending on where your vacation home is, you may need to fly, take a train, or drive. Depending on who is coming with you on your vacation and if you’re able to drive, carpooling is likely the best option. If you don’t already have a vehicle where you’re able to fit lots of people and their things, consider looking into a minivan rental or renting another type of van. This is a great way to pack a bunch of people into one vehicle and travel a long distance without needing multiple cars. Not only are they spacious enough for a group of people, but there’s plenty of storage as well. And if you have a trailer or other cartop storage container, they can easily be attached to provide more storage space. Sometimes, the trip getting to your vacation home is half of the vacation. Make sure the ride is enjoyable with games, books, movies, or music to listen to along the way. Depending on how far your vacation home is, making stops at nearby landmarks can be a fun way of breaking up the trip as well. Keep in mind that even the trip is part of the experience.
Should you be traveling by plane or train, you won’t be able to have the freedom to bring as many things as you might if traveling by car. For instance, should you have your own canoe or bikes you want to be able to use while on vacation, those things wouldn’t be able to travel with you unless you drive. It’s important to keep in mind how you’re getting to your destination and how you’re bringing everything you need with you as part of your vacation home maintenance. Making a list and planning out beforehand what you need to bring will help to ensure you don’t forget anything you may need and can be catered to which mode of transportation you’re taking to get there.
The Bones of Your Vacation Home
Probably the most important part of vacation home maintenance will be making sure all the bare minimum bones of the home are functioning and ready to go. This means making sure there isn’t any leak repair that needs to be done from the basement, the faucets, or the roof. Should this be the case, you’ll probably want to hold off your vacation depending on how much water damage there is. The water damage could cause molding if it’s been there unnoticed for too long which could be dangerous to have family and friends around. Additionally, if the roof is leaking, you’re not going to want to have people stay there. Making sure this vacation home maintenance task is taken care of in advance to your vacation will allow for a more fun and relaxing vacation. This is another aspect in which having a friendly neighbor near your vacation home could come in handy. Should they notice damage to the roof, they could let you know beforehand.
Not only that, but should your vacation home be a summer vacation home, you’re not going to want to stay there for any duration of time if you don’t have a properly functioning air conditioning system. If you’re spending all day in the hot summer heat and then coming back to a home that’s muggy, hot, and sticky, you’re not going to enjoy the time as well. You also likely won’t sleep as well, adding to the overall unenjoyment. To avoid this, make sure your air conditioning unit is working properly or call someone a couple of days before going there to check on it and make any repairs necessary. While it may not be one of the first things to come to mind when you’re thinking about vacationing, making sure you have a cool place to chill out when you need to is crucial for the overall enjoyment of the vacation.
However, should your vacation home be a winter vacation home or an all year round one, then making sure it’s also prepared for the colder winter months with be important as well. Like mentioned with the generator, making sure your home is prepared for the cold is just as important as the heat, regardless of when you’ll be vacationing there. For instance, if your vacation home has a cast concrete fireplace, you’re going to need to do some vacation home maintenance to make sure that it’s able to be used. You’ll need to make sure the chimney is clean and that everything is safe to use. Not only that, but preparing to have enough firewood to burn and some marshmallows to make s’mores will also be part of the maintenance for a vacation home. Vacation home maintenance is all about being prepared so your time vacationing goes as smoothly and as enjoyably as possible. You probably have fire sticks and cleaning tools there at the vacation house, but should you not, don’t forget to bring those either. You’re not going to want to forget to clean and maintain the actual fireplace and risk a fire.
Inside Your Vacation Home
Now for the fun part of vacation home maintenance: the decor. The best part of owning another home is being able to make it your own. What decor will you use? What flooring will you have? What’s the style going to be? All of these things can be up to you! For example, beach house decor is probably the most common for a vacation house. Covering the place with sailing decor, beach towels, sand bottle decor, and anchors all over is the classic beach house style. Or maybe you’re going more so for the cabin in the woods type of vacation home. With bears, moose, camping gear, and other rustic vibes to decorate the place. Any and all are good! Have fun with the decor in your vacation house. Let it be whatever relaxes you and reminds you that you’re in a care-free zone.
When it comes to carpet and tiles, knowing which room to put which type of flooring is key. The bedrooms would likely benefit from a warmer, comfier vibe that carpets provide. However, the kitchen and living room areas will likely be better off with tile or hardwood. Especially if the vacation home is a summer home, having the tile or hardwood floor will keep things just a touch cooler. It’ll also allow for easier cleanups should lots of people be traveling in and out of the house at all times carrying in sand, dirt, or grass from outside.
However, despite everything else mentioned, truly the most important part of vacation home maintenance is making sure while you’re vacationing, you’re having a good time. Above all else, the time spent in your vacation home needs to be enjoyable, relaxing, and stress-free. Make sure you and your family and friends understand the time spent there is meant for you to grow closer and enjoy each other’s company. You’re not going to want to be on your computer stressing about the work you’re not doing while you’re on vacation and you’re going to want to limit technology use for the kids as well. Use this time to really connect and allow one another to help refill your cup so when you get back from vacation, you’re able to use that restored energy in your life.
Owning or even renting a second property is not always easy, however, if you stay on top of just a few simple things, you’ll be able to enjoy your time there much more than if you neglected the property. On top of that, it’ll be more enjoyable for your guests, too.