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Guidance needed during renovation


#1

Hello folks! We have not yet begun to host as we are still in the renovation stage with our house. I have been studiously reading anything and everything about hosting. I have learned so much from all of you on this forum! My husband and I have been having a discussion about thermostat placement and I would love to hear your advice. We purchased a house that needed a complete renovation in December. The main house is raised up with a ground floor “basement.” We will be needing two AC units for upstairs and downstairs respectively. Now, we are putting in a granny flat/in-law suite in part of the ground floor, but we will also have our family room, laundry, office downstairs. My husband looked horrified when I told him we should put the downstairs thermostat in the suite so guests could adjust the temp. He is in the “my house, my thermostat” camp. I feel that putting a Nest thermostat in the unit that we could change remotely if necessary would make the most sense. I feel like guests might be annoyed if they can’t adjust the temp in the apartment, particularly at night (when we would be tucked up in bed using the upstairs unit). I’m trying to “troubleshoot” while we are still in the renovation period. I don’t want to look back and realize we should have done something differently. I love all the different perspectives I find when I read this forum and would really value your feedback on this issue! Thanks


#2

Absolutely go with the Nest or similar. It can be locked into an acceptable range. We always rage about the guest who leaves the AC on full blast in October with windows open but there are also guests who don’t turn it on when it’s warm.

First time you are awakened in the middle of the night because your guest wants you to adjust the temp or gives you a bad review because they were uncomfortable your husband will be kicking himself.

I wish I had a Nest thermostat.


#3

IMHO guest’s comfort is number one! As we’ve discussed this subject before on other threads here, you’ll find hosts have differing opinions. I think guests should be able to adjust the temperature to their comfort level. Some guests can be wasteful it’s true but I see that as a cost of doing business and you charge a rate that covers that expense. If a guest is too hot or too cold, especially while trying to sleep, they will not be happy and review you accordingly. Everyone has widely varying temperature levels that they consider comfortable so it would be difficult to pick one that makes everyone happy.


#4

Ha! I said the exact same thing to him. I figure most people will be pretty reasonable about the temperature, but if someone is going to have an issue, it’s going to be at 2 am :wink:


#5

I’m inclined to agree with you. From what I understand about this type of thermostat, we could program in a range of acceptable temperatures. Being New Orleans, it can be incredibly hot and humid- even at night. As you said, everyone’s comfort level is different. I also tried pointing out that if HE were the guest in a self-contained apartment, he would be annoyed if he couldn’t adjust the temperature. Thanks so much for your input!


#6

Well I’m going to go against the grain and say I’m on your husbands side here.

If the guest is able to control the temperature in your part of the house too, there are going to be times when you are going to feel uncomfortable. And I firmly believe that when we host in our own homes we should not be put in that position. We’ve had multiple guests from a certain country (which I won’t name) tell us that 25 degrees is considered cold where they’re from. Yet they insist on still being able to walk around in short shorts and tshirts. I would be sweating like a pig if the temperature was set at 30 like they were expecting (and I refuse to put the heating on in summer in any case).

I guess what I’m saying is that everybody has different norms when it comes to temperature, but if you’re choosing to go and stay in somebody’s home you need to be adaptable to their lifestyle somewhat. And be prepared to put a jumper or slippers on! We now clearly state our constant room temperature in our listing, and if we get a request from people from much hotter countries in our winter, I make sure to tell them it’s cold here.

A good option could be to install a heat pump in the guest suite. They’re pretty cost effective to run and won’t affect the rest of your house at all


#7

The OP did say “We will be needing two AC units for upstairs and downstairs” so there would be two thermostats.


#8

But there would be an in-law suite (I assume that’s the rental) AND the family room/office. I’d still put the thermostat in the guest suite and supplement my area with fans/space heaters if I wasn’t comfy. Or maybe mini splits would be affordable in this case.


#9

At both our apartment in Tallinn and our cabin in Lapland, Finland, we were asked to not touch the thermostats and we obliged.


#10
  1. Did that bother you? Would it effect your review of them?
  2. Was it a comfortable temperature?

#11

No, not at all. I left them both the five star reviews they deserved.

I would have liked to open the window a crack as I live in the tropics so continual heat is hard to adjust to but I didn’t …and I understand why they would not want windows open while paying a fortune to heat a house. So, overall, it was totally fine.


#12

I would never, in this lifetime, allow guests to determine the temperature in any part of my home where I live and they cannot access, and I’ll tell you why: we live in a cold climate and have, (on numerous occasions), visited guests who have the temperature in their rooms at blazingly sub-tropical, or an arctic freeze, depending on the season. This would be an incredible ongoing nuisance if we had to constantly adjust our space to accommodate these bizarre whims. So many guests are not used to the cold, so they cook themselves and other guests in summer are out walking the city and getting themselves overheated and come back and grow icicles in their hair after a shower. Would really hate to see you guys make a decision about something (that could possibly affect your daily lives), that is not easily or economically reversible.

Note: One of our listings is completely separate and not connected to our central heating/cooling and has its own A/C and heating unit. It is WONDERFUL. The other one is connected to the main house furnace, which we closed the vents and added a supplemental heater and A/C unit, even though they still get some of both heat and air via our central unit, even with the vents closed.


#13

Thanks for all the feedback. It is nice food for thought to have such a range of responses! I certainly understand wanting to be sure you are comfortable in your own home. I also get how difficult it can be to adjust to temperatures when travelling. My husband is Irish and it can be quit chilly (for me anyway) when we visit in the summer. I pack accordingly and always have a cozy duvet to snuggle under at bedtime, so I’m fine. I have also been in places that are sweltering hot in summer without A/C and was miserable when I couldn’t sleep because the bedsheets were sticking to me. I feel that if we can indeed set a range of acceptable temperatures on the thermostat, it really wouldn’t be an imposition for us. As @K9KarmaCasa pointed out, we could always supplement with a fan (or conversely supply fans/ extra blankets and throws in the apartment) At night, when we are upstairs, it would be a totally moot point at any rate as we would be using the other unit. I’m still inclined to letting the guests have access, but another idea might be to speak with guests when they arrive and ask what temperature they would prefer at bedtime and we could switch the thermostat when we retire for the evening. I realize that you can’t please everyone all of the time. Ultimately, it is our home first and foremost. Perhaps I am overthinking the whole issue. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond, folks!


#14

Just revisiting the thread to say that we did indeed end up going with a split model. Problem solved! Thanks so much for all the input!


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