Renovate your vacation rental: What you need to keep in mind

Renovate your vacation rental: What you need to keep in mind

Have you bought or inherited a vacation home and want to renovate it? Is the property no longer in the best condition or simply does not meet your expectations? Or have you been renting it out for a few years and would now like to give your property a new coat of paint and finally renovate the kitchen and bathroom?

In the following blog post, you’ll find important tips on renovating or refurbishing your vacation apartment. You’ll also find out how to give your property a new lease of life with a brand relaunch.

What is the difference between renovating and refurbishing?

There is a general distinction between refurbishment and renovation. Refurbishment, a repair, is necessary when something fundamental is broken and needs to be replaced. Renovation may be necessary, for example, because the bathroom and kitchen are over 30 years old and the electronics no longer work properly. Or because the heating is outdated and wastes energy unnecessarily, resulting in unnecessary costs for you.

A renovation, on the other hand, is a makeover – such as painting the walls or installing new fixtures and lamps to improve the look of the apartment.

Also remember to maintain your vacation home regularly. Poor maintenance can reduce your income and cost you money.

Renovate your property and get a fresh start as a vacation rental owner!

Whether it’s a minor or major modernization, you can always benefit as a property owner. For example, a thermal refurbishment will help you to reduce your energy costs because you will need to heat or cool less. An upgrade such as a bathtub with whirlpool function is also worthwhile for you because you can appeal to a more affluent target group with higher-quality furnishings and charge higher prices.

What do you need to consider when renovating your accommodation?

The refurbishment or renovation of your vacation home should be well planned so that you don’t waste time and money. Before you get started, you should clarify the following questions:

1. Inventory: What needs to be done?

Before you start the renovation work, you first need to assess the current condition of your vacation home. Which areas absolutely need to be renovated? Are there outdated appliances in the kitchen or damaged floors? What condition are the bathroom and toilet in? How old are the water pipes, electronics, etc.?

2. Timing: When is the best time to renovate?

How to recognize that it’s time for a renovation:

Next, draw up a schedule for your renovation project and think about how long the work is likely to take. It’s better to calculate generously so that you have a buffer in case it does take longer.

If the renovation work is not due to acute damage or a defect, the timing is at your discretion. If possible, choose a period in the low season, as you will then miss out on fewer bookings. However, also take into account the weather conditions and the type of your vacation property. For example, if it’s a vacation home and the roof needs to be done, a time of year with a lot of rain or snow is not ideal.

3. Costs: How much will it cost to renovate your vacation home?

Next, you should estimate the cost of the renovation. Include the money you will lose because you won’t be able to rent out the property during the renovation. 

Think about what work you might be able to do yourself, but don’t kid yourself. Some tasks, such as simple painting work, can be done even if you are not a professional, but if in doubt, you are better off hiring a professional. This will ensure that everything is done professionally and won’t put you or your guests in danger.

Also find out whether you are entitled to subsidies etc. if you are replacing the heating in your vacation rental, for example.

You can use this information to plan the renovation of your vacation home.

Apartment relaunch: Give your business a new look too

As soon as the renovation work is complete and your vacation home has a new look, you should also give your rental business a new coat of paint. Perhaps your logo has become a little old-fashioned or your rental website is more provisional than professional?

Have you renovated your accommodation and now want to appeal to a different target group? Then you urgently need to update your photos and listings accordingly.

Even if you haven’t just renovated your property, you should regularly check whether your brand and online presence still suit you and your vacation rental.

You should ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does the name still match the accommodation?
  2. Are the pictures still up to date?
  3. Is the description still correct? This applies in particular to the facilities.
  4. Is the logo still up to date? A little refreshment could be useful here.
  5. Is the information on your landlord website and social media channels still up to date?


Renovating your vacation rental is an opportunity to refresh or upgrade your rental business. By carefully assessing what needs to be done beforehand, being realistic about the timeline and cost of the renovation and completing your project without delay, you can improve your property and increase your chances of bookings.

Once the renovation work is complete, don’t forget to revise your online presence to reflect the changes in your vacation rental online as well.

-> Tip: Remember to block your booking calendars for the period of your renovation in good time. With a channel manager like Smoobu, you can easily synchronize your booking calendars on the portals you use. This applies to bookings, but also to blocked periods. Just give it a try!

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