When planning to rent out your vacation home as a vacation rental, one of the areas that you do want to pay special attention to is the outdoor space. I am amazed by the number of rentals I have stayed in where the outdoor space seems to be an afterthought or not considered at all. I am always totally mystified by this.
Take the current rental where I am staying with friends for a week. The home is a small cottage, nestled close to town and all of the cute shops, restaurants, and galleries. We knew it was not going to be a large place when we rented it, but it has a great location and a fairly good-sized yard.
The issue is there isn’t any way for us to enjoy the yard. The tiny, two-person table is not maintained, there is no lawn furniture, the gas grill is buried in the overgrown brush, and while there is quite the elaborate deck built in the rear of the yard, it too is overgrown and ill-maintained and does not look like any place we would want to venture for fear of our weight causing structural failure and bodily injury. The home has a cute front porch, but there are no chairs or tables available to take advantage of that space, either.
Outdoor spaces are some of the easiest and most affordable to furnish and decorate to make your vacation home a relaxing respite from the world. Adirondack style chairs in plastic or resin tend to be plentiful and very price approachable, available at most big-box retailers, and come in an abundance of sun-drenched, summer colors. One of these on the front porch of the current vacation rental along with a small side table, throw pillow from an all-weather fabric, and a bland space is suddenly transformed. Add two more to the front yard and another small table and the usable space of the cottage has grown exponentially.
In a previous blog I mentioned the importance of investing in furnishings that can withstand the rough treatment of renting vacationers, but for the outdoor space feel this is probably not as critical. Though, it can certainly be done. The various commercial-grade pieces gracing the patios and porches of bars and coffee shops across the land are readily available through your interior design professional, will withstand more than a single season, and come at an approachable price. The plastic Adirondacks from the big box store may have to be replaced at the end of each season but will certainly get the job done for you.
Landscaping is also a critical piece when considering renting out your second home. You’ll definitely want to find a reliable landscaping service that will mow and trim the yard regularly and keep weeds at bay if you personally are too far away to tend to this.
Adding plenty of summer color also makes the yard more inviting and your guest feel welcome. I’m certainly no expert in gardening, but there is an abundance of plants that can be added that bloom at various times throughout the season to keep your home awash in color all summer long and into the fall.
The weather is lovely but to be outside and enjoying it, my friends and I are forced to venture away from our rental and find a coffee shop, bar, or restaurant with a patio to relax on.