Fireplaces - emerging availability problem in budget property

Hi All,

Just want to see what everyone thinks. Both properties we manage have fireplaces. The fireplaces in the very old and more upmarket property has been out of action for months after the owner was dealing with some other big repair issues. No issues with no fireplace availability in this property.

However the budget seaside MUCH smaller place has a fireplace (as well as reverse cycle heating) which we bring online for the cooler months and dates where we supply firewood are clear in the house rules. We only supply the first nights firewood and kindling now, after previous guests have chewed through unbelievable amounts of really expensive wood in the past (over $400 dollars a tonne delivered). I also give them where to easily obtain more wood and kindling if they wish.

Of late we are starting to get some really rude people who are really annoyed that the fireplace is not available inn 30 degree celsius heat! Has now happened twice, when its really clear we don’t supply firewood in summer but if you desperately want the fire in summer you can buy your own wood locally.

I don’t get it. What am I missing? (Be kind, I’m almost 60! LOL!). I’m getting to the stage we’re I’m just going to take the fireplace at the budget property out of use completely and tell people they are to rely on the reverse cycle cooling and heating (which is far cheaper and much less hassle to run).

Words of wisdom please? TIA.

Don’t supply any wood and make it clear in the listing that no wood is supplied. Or raise the price to cover the cost of the average amount used. It’s a competitive market and CV 19 is going to make for a tough year so any competitive advantage you have you should leverage.


Good idea, people who want to use the fireplace when it is hot outside have no experience with fireplaces and will likely try and burn the place down! I had to put very direct rules regarding the fireplace after a guest started a fire in july, while the damper was closed and smoked out the house. Neighbors smell smoke in July in the mountains and think wildfire!


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I was just in Dunedin, NZ for a little over 2 weeks. It was supposed to be summer there but I huddled in three layers and a blanket many days. The fire was lit more than once by my hosts (actually dear friends who are living low on the consumption ladder) and it was very welcome.


Thanks - good thinking - I’m reluctant to raise prices precisely because the area is already very competitive. So yes maybe we will get to the point where we don’t supply any firewood at all - so guests will need to pick up a bag of firewood at Bunnings on their way down. Thanks TIA.

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@ RiverRockRetreat: Hmm… hadn’t thought of that. And this property is in a complex so anything untoward with the fireplace will create panic and likely prevent the property from being holiday let in the future.

Yep I understand that the weather is becoming more variable (I live in the Adelaide Hills! ) - but we are off-site managers and this property is in a holiday town. I can’t be expected to react to every weather nuance. We supply wood in autumn and winter and I think that’s reasonable. It’s not as if there is no heating - the reverse cycle heating and cooling is very effective and is there to use year round. But I certainly can make that clearer in the listing . Thanks.

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If you have cooling in the home you should forbid the use of the fireplace in warm weather, otherwise your guests are going to have the fireplace going with the A/C on.


And the windows open.


Thanks Brian and muddy - but you’re both not serious are you? Do people really do that? Now I know I’m probably showing my age but honestly, that never occurred to me. Thanks and yes I’ll take your advice! :slight_smile:

I was once driving up through California in July and was headed to spend a couple nights with a friend in Sausalito. It was sweltering hot all through southern Cal. and I then managed to hit rush hour traffic through Silicon Valley with bumper to bumper traffic, blazing sun and my car AC not functioning. The instant I crossed the bridge into Sausalito, it was dark, cold and drizzling and when I arrived at my friend’s place, she greeted me at the door in a heavy sweater, thick jogging pants and wool socks, saying she’d had the fireplace on all day.


Hmnnn… I get it. Thank for al your advice - really appreciated. You’re right - I need to make the delineation very clear - reverse cycle heating and cooling all year round (take your pick) and fireplace in the autumn and winter only, no wood supplied and a recommendation to get it from Bunnings on your way to the property.

Thanks all - that feels much better! :slight_smile:

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Not at my place- the weather is such that I don’t have or need either heat or AC, but it certainly does happen- hosts complain all the time about guests leaving the AC or heating cranked up to the max, with the windows left open, while they are out all day.
A host in Eastern Europe once posted that every American guest she’d had (and she gets lots) either used the heat or the AC, regardless of the fact that it might have been a perfect 70 degrees out and they could have just opened the windows in order to be comfortable.


The longer I host, the more I realize the answer to this question is Yes. Yes, people really do that…


Thanks muddy but I’m a bit gobsmacked. I’m amazed as I’m very environmentally conscious - and would never dream of doing that. A form of environmental vandalism if you ask me. I admit I’m becoming a bit heat sensitive as I get older but my first reaction is to open the window or French doors (no aircon at all at my place in the Adelaide Hills!). :slight_smile:

Never underestimate the stupidity of guests, or their ability to really mess things up. I would NOT furnish ANY firewood. I also wouldn’t advertise that it had a fireplace, nor show it in any pictures, and put a sign inside the fireplace saying that it’s not usable and could cause a fire if used, and that lighting a fire in it is cause for immediate cancellation without compensation.


Yes, I’m serious. I have a gas fireplace in my listing. I disable it from March 1-October 31. I tell guests if they want to use it during those times they have to contact me.

Thanks NordlingHouse and Brian and others - really appreciate your advice. Well this has been eye opening. I pride myself on bending over backwards for guests but just of late I’m getting a bit tired of having it all thrown back in my face. Your advice is very sound. Thank tons. :slight_smile:

We have both a fireplace and a wood/charcoal grill with offset smoker and it’s in the listing details and captions to BYO wood/charcoal.

We’ve only had one set of guests build a fire in the fireplace and they gathered fallen wood out of the yard for the fuel :roll_eyes:

No way in hell would I provide wood or coals.

Then there was the bonehead who complained there was no propane for the grill… :rofl:


Thanks Lonestar - really appreciate it. I’ve come to the conclusion I’m too nice - and need to toughen up. Great advice. :slight_smile:

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