Looking for pointers to make my soon-to-be-built STR (small lakefront house) as easy & efficient as possible to clean & maintain…thinking about design elements and decor…Thank you for your input!
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Some of it depends on where you are, what kind of listing, what kind of style you want.
For example if you get an oiled bronze fixture and hard water, the mineral deposits are going to look terrible. Hard surfaces and as few textiles as practical. Shutters not drapes, hard floors not carpet. I prefer a shower curtain that can be laundered after each guest instead of glass that has to be kept sparkling.
If building from scratch you have some great opportunities.
Start with the floor plan. If you can fit in 36” or larger interior doors it will make it easier for guests to get their luggage from the front door to the bedroom. You have less wall scratches to deal with and it’s one aspect that means you could promote it as accessible.
Make sure bedrooms have enough room for luggage. Maybe a nook that could hold a bench to sit an open suitcase on?
One of the furnishings we are dealing with a lot is broken or tangled blinds. Consider integrating them into the windows. Less cleaning and less chance guests can break them.
When planning outlets and electricity make sure you have a way to wire in a front door camera. Don’t be stingy on outlets. Make sure there are easily accessible plugs near all the beds for phone charging and Cpap machines. If you can make it possible to never require an extension cord you are golden. You might even want to consider an outside charging station for electric cars.
Though I love tile in bathrooms and kitchens, cleaning grout can be a pain. You might want to consider solid surface showers and back splashes. If you are going with glass shower walls think about rain glass. It’s more expensive, but if the guests don’t wipe it down daily it won’t look spotted.
When picking fixtures pick something that can be replaced on a turnover if need be. In my home I sometimes pick esoteric plumbing fixtures. It takes weeks to get replacement parts. For my rentals I go with something I can get parts for at Home Depot.
As for floors, carpet is always my problem area. One of my home only has carpet in the secondary bedroom, but I’m trying to get stains out of it constantly. I’ve had stained rugs, and can replace them with a run to Home Goods. Carpet on the other hand…
Many of my kitchen appliances have been replaced due to renters inadvertently misusing them. It was my fault, I bought the fancy appliances for myself, and guests aren’t combing the users manual to get the right settings. Go ahead and get the simplest models you can find. For laundry, get something that would hold huge loads, you will be doing lots of laundry for turnovers, big tubs and drums are your friend.
Do splurge on the thermostats so you can change and monitor them from home. That way you can turn them down after guests checkout and turn them up a few hours before the new folks arrive. Looking at history helped me see I was going to need my AC fixed before my guests were inconvenienced by a terribly hot house in the summer.
Not sure why people like blinds so much, but I prefer curtains. Something simple, attached with clip rings, so they can be easily taken down and washed. Seems like guests are prone to break blinds, and it seems like they would take time to clean.
No carpeting. It holds dirt and allergens and needs spot cleaning. If a guest damages part of it, you either have to replace the whole thing or try to pattch it. Hard floors with easy to wash throw rugs in appropriate places work best.
When you have hard surface floors, you can easily slide furrniture around to clean behind and under if you put felt pads on the bottoms of the legs. That also keeps guests from scratching up the floors, as many guests seem to like to move furniture around.
Use flat front drawers and cupboard doors- much easier to swipe a cloth across than having to clean ones with routed out (or whatever it is called) design.
These are some things that helped us:
- darker sofa
-poly-cotton blend sheets (with designs), get the same for all beds.
-Mr. Clean sponges
-Color safe bleach
-Mattress protectors that have a plastic liner and pillow top feature so guests don’t feel like they’re sleeping on plastic.
-Clorox with bleach spray-great to clean bathrooms.
-darker tone wood flooring-easy to clean and the darker tone can hide stains, if missed.
-Swiffer wet pads
-white towels and Clorox bleach
-Clorox bleach color safe pen (great for spot treatment).
I clean myself. Many of the things mentioned will help. If you can have a closet or cupboard dedicated to Airbnb stuff, it is very helpful. I bought a small wire rolling cart and filled it with cleaning supplies and some non-food items that I refill like individual soaps, registration cards, etc. It fit in my closet. Then I insured that I had duplicates of everything (3 sets if it works better) - sheets, washable blankets, spread an sham covers, towels and bathmat. Then I can launder when I feel like it. The only food in the room itself is coffee so I keep that supply in the closet too, well away from cleaning products. Even if someone else cleans for you, they can do it more quickly if everything is handy.
Maybe this is too narrow and personal but I really hate the smell of Febreze. I literally threw away 3 cans of it. That’s what I get for buying something I never tried before at Costco. I don’t know what I’d do if I went into a rental that smelled of Febreze. Like many people here I hope @annebutcher will minimize the use of scented products.
After having both light colored floors and dark colored floors, I agree with this. Any kind of floor that has variation in coloring helps with this. More than once I’ve bent down to clean a spot or pick something up off my dark wood look tile and realize it’s part of the design.
That goes for fabrics, paint, etc. as well. Light colors and quite dark colors (dirt shows up as lighter on black, dark brown and navy blue, for instance) show dirt and marks more easily than medium colors and those that have some color variation.
I always try to talk my upholstery clients, most of whom do rentals, into the medium or variegated colors that hide well. Still some of them have this vision of their place as a white breezy magazine look. They usually regret it after the first few guests.
Yep. Not personal and narrow, because it’s not just Febreze. Airbnbs should smell as neutral as possible. Hosts are not doing something good by using “air freshers”, diffusers, etc. What smells good to one person smells awful to another. It can also make guests wonder what bad smell you are trying to cover up. And of course some people are allergic to those things.
I’m not allergic, but I’d be really unhappy if I found the place I booked smelled like Febreze or air fresheners, or the bedding reeked of dryer sheets, and be tempted to leave.
In some parts of the world, bathrooms can be hosed down from top to bottom. I like that idea. It’s a very different look from common US bathrooms. The only place I’ve seen these bathrooms in the US is on trains with sleeping cars. But why not?
You can’t hose down my bathroom, because I didn’t put a drain in the floor, aside from the shower stall, but it is all concrete and tile construction, so I don’t need or have shower curtains. If someone floods the bathhroom, it won’t hurt anything.
Back when I was 18 and lived in Israel for 2 years, not only the bathrooms, but a lot of the kitchens also had a drain in the floor. They used those big squeegies on long handles to push the water to the drain. Those were as much a regular piece of cleaning equipment as a broom.
I keep the Fabreze spray in the bathroom for guests to use if they have a stinky go LOL
as usual, the thread will now take a slight turn:
My 2 bathrooms have ‘negative airflow’ when my SILENT bathroom fan goes on - it is a radon fan in my attic that pulls air out, and is similar to NYC apartment bathrooms that are working but silent. Is it necessary/important to let guests know, by sign or comment , that sprays are unneeded? In 5 minutes the room is totally airchanged. Do I announce this as a feature? Or would I become one of those ‘little signs everywhere’ folks?
Do guests normally travel with their own air freshener sprays? Seems like that would be unusual.
Of course, I offer Febrese spray and Poo-Pourri for each bathroom.
??? If you don’t want people using air freshener sprays, why would you provide them?
If they do not know that the fan is automatic and working, and there is no spray, I get a text saying “do you have some spray”. OR, they close the door tight (I prefer that a door is open so that folks see that the room is not in use).
The question is,: I have negative airflow and automatic on/off for a fan but it is silent. Do I announce this as a feature? Or would I become one of those ‘little signs everywhere’ folks?
Depends on how many “little signs everywhere” you already have.
I don’t think a nicely framed note in an appropriate place would be seen as in any way tacky. It’s not like having post-it notes stuck all over the place or instruction papers taped to things.
I guess you could but you know about how much it’ll get read. Besides, it’s shared, right?
Ultimately, sharing a bathroom with strangers is just going to be more comfortable with some spray or poo-pourri available. I think you’ve got to do what you can to make a shared bathroom feel more comfortable. I find the poo-pourri is not as invasive as an aerosol, it doesn’t tend to fill the air up all around.
If I were you, I would have a little sign in the bathroom but also would leave a can of spray, just to cover all bases : )