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Utility room facility

Hi everyone,

I’m a newbie starting out on the air bnb journey and will add my house for guests commencing this spring. We have a well maintained & lovely large property enough for up to 12 guests. The intention is to let the house exclusively. A friends flat nearby is mostly available (she lives abroad & doesn’t rent it out) for a small fee so we can move out during the let. My question is regarding the utility room which houses the washing machine and tumble drier. I am adding all sorts of extras to make the experience appealing but my thoughts are I really want to lock the utility room due to the possible huge costs if for example a large group of guests all decided to wash & dry their clothes before leaving & on a regular basis. I’m also concerned a lack of a utility room could put guests off booking. I’d appreciate some thoughts on this & thanks in advance.

If it’s a large luxury type property and stays typically longer than 3 days I would allow use of laundry. You just have to price it so that you don’t take a big loss. So raise the cost per day, or the cleaning fee or the per person charge. Seriously, guests doing some laundry for a longer stay is huge help and was included in the price the multi million dollar properties ($800 a day) I stayed in over the last 2 years.

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Consider your story “hey please come rent our entire house - your exclusive use … but no laundry allowed”?

Running a load of laundry costs between $0.25 - $0.50, unless your utilities are exceptionally expensive.

Spills and stains happen. People booking for even a few days will often want to run a quick load while traveling.

You basically have to choose between including access to laundry for free - or putting a jar there with “please deposit $1 per load” or something equally tacky.

Exactly. Very tacky. I don’t think that there’d be ‘huge costs’ if a group are using the laundry room. Certainly other utilities such as heat or AC are going to cost a lot more particularly when they are squandered by guests who leave doors and windows open.

Simply assume when you’re working out your finances that every group is going to use $x of laundry power / detergent / etc. and include that when you’re calculating your nightly price. Then for every group that don’t use the laundry, you’ve got a small bonus.

Although I agree that a jar for a dollar is too much like a tip jar in a sports bar, you could always let guests know that you try to run your rental in as planet-friendly a way as possible and that you’d appreciate it if they could bear this in mind if they use the laundry facilities.

Guests do like the facility and some choose their rentals with this in mind. I always make sure that there’s a good supply of planet-friendly detergent and stain treatment stuff.

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Thank you everyone for your replies. I’m now of the opinion I should definitely allow access to laundry room. One of my reasons apart from costs was it’s the only area of the house I felt we could also use for storage of personal belongings etc and not have to empty all the drawers and cupboards. It’s built like a galley kitchen but on reflection I can see the necessity of including it for general use. It’s a thought having to empty it but needs must or given it’s not a main area of the house would it be acceptable to leave the cupboards tidy but filled with random items?

Honestly, I’d lock the cupboards. I would never suggest that guests can be less than honest but I’m assuming that with a large property you’ll be allowing children and we all know how inquisitive they are and how they have a habit of getting into everything.

But if you are going to leave items in an unlocked cupboard. I’d put them in large containers (such as hampers or those lidded plastic storage bins) as an extra deterrent to young fingers.

Can you not lock a small room in the house for your possessions or create a storage space for them in the loft? @Lara123

Don’t forget CCTV for the outside if you are hosting remotely as you could attract a party crowd or those that book for fewer than are coming.

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Maybe calculate the cost of each load. If it not that much I would add it as an amenity. Many of our guests have commented on how nice it was to have a washer dryer.

I doubt the cost of laundry is anything close to what you think it is. If you are worried about it, then figure out exactly what it costs you and raise your rates to cover it.

You should, because we know they can be. :wink:

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Where did you get these figures? I looked up in my region in US and I have solar heating (free hot water) and It was coming out closer to about $4 per wash/dry.

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I agree @Lynick4442 I can’t imagine by the time you take into account depreciation, wear and tear, electricity, washing powder, conditioner etc it would cost $0.25 - $0.50

Here’s how I figured it:

Average cost of electricity: $0.11/kWh
Average washer consumption: 0.5kW, 30gal, 45min
Average dryer consumption: 3.5kW, 60min
Average cost to heat water: $0.01825/gal
Average cost of water: 0.0015/gal

Washer = 0.5kW * 0.75hr * $0.11 = $0.04125
Dryer = 3.5kW * 1.0hr * $0.11 = $0.385
Hot Water = $0.01825 * 30 = $0.5475
Water = $0.0015 * 30 = $0.045

So, utilities average around $1.02/load if you have all electric and the load uses hot water.

The laundry detergent I use costs $0.10/load.
Liquid bleach also costs $0.10/load, but isn’t used every load.
Pre-treat is less than $0.01/load
We don’t use fabric softeners

So, supplies are around $0.20/load.

I never calculated the depreciation on the machines, but a simple estimate for me would be something like this: $2500 up-front cost for a washer and dryer, a 10-year life-span, and $500 in repairs over that life. Average of 10 loads per week. That’s $3000/5200 loads, or about $0.58/load.

So a total of $1.80/load.

Obviously there can be extremes, but expensive utilities, expensive supplies and expensive machines wouldn’t push this above $4.00/load and cheap utilities, cheap supplies, and cheap machines wouldn’t pull it down much below $1.00/load

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I measured the actual kW cost of running our machine using a meter for a full typical load including 1 hour dryng cycle. Not counting detergent/softener.

It is remarkably cheap

If you have booked in a family of 12 for a week and they each do load of laundry (say their suitcase full) before they leave at the end of the week that’s about $7 you need added to the daily rate. Assuming a house that houses 12 is going to be at least $300 a night, $7 is nothing.

Thanks for this analysis, btw. I feel better knowing all the laundry I do isn’t very costly. Now If I could get all those dog hairs to clean themselves out of my machines I’d be set.

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My “average estimate” of $0.42 for the electricity agrees with that. That fact that hot water actually costs more was a surprise to me, but not every load uses hot water.

If you get 1 extra booking because of the washer and dryer it will pay for itself 100 times over.

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Our ACTUAL electric cost to run a full wash and dry cycle is $0.25.
This is measured and calculated - it is not an estimate.

We use only cold water. So, probably $0.40 total per load including detergent and fabric softener. We can be very generous if desired and round that up to $1.

A lot of things guests can do would cost us real money - leaving doors / windows open - running heat or AC, damage, etc.

Bottom line, is that guests who are renting an entire house should expect to use the laundry if they wish.

Never assume. In my San Antonio area the houses that sleep 10-16 are going for an average of $100-$150 per night. These are all my direct competition, but it’s like comparing apples to oranges their places verus mine. I am always the last to book as I am much higher, but I have a secuirty system, cable, gourmet stocked kitchen, and a ton of things they do not offer. I am lower than I would like to be on price, but still more than the give away prices.

I don’t see how these people stay in business especially in the summer with 100 degree temps and the AC bills. Most have mortages, which thankfully I do not have that they have to cover, it’s just not possible to cover their costs at this rate IMHO. I don’t care how much they book per month, they have to be losing money.

I agree with other commenters. Guests will snoop. Even if they don’t steal (and our guests haven’t), they could end up messing up your neatly organized storage. And children could access things they shouldn’t get into.

So lock cabinet doors. Or find a closet to use for storage and lock that.

(Sort of) funny story:

One of our bathrooms has custom-made wooden cabinets and drawers. When I bought copper knobs for the drawers years ago, I ended up with one extra. We put that knob on the wooden pedestal that’s under the glass vessel sink. The pedestal isn’t a cabinet. The panel with the handle does pull out to allow access to the plumbing. But it doesn’t open and close like a cabinet. I can always tell when a guest has opened it, because the panel isn’t perfectly back in place. I would say that 100% of the guests in that bathroom have opened it.

I wish now that I hadn’t put the knob on that panel, but it’s too late. The custom-finished wood already has the hole for the knob. Filling the hole and having the panel refinished would be expensive. So I just put the panel back in place each time a guest leaves.

LOL. Well, that’s not gonna happen. If I never assumed anything I couldn’t post here because people give us almost zero information when they post. And this OP didn’t answer my question about if it was a luxury type property. I also assumed since they said “nearby flat” that they are in Europe or the UK and I’m not adjusting for different markets or exchange rates either. But yes, I’m assuming a well maintained, lovely, large, 12 guest, with utility facilities property is a not a budget listing.

They can make as much booking 10 days in a month as they can get renting the place LT per month. So they figure between Fiesta weekends, Lackland basic graduation a few amusement park vacays with the kids, a few Riverwalk vacays, a few special event bookings like NCAA final four, they make as much on Airbnb in a year as they would doing LTR.

Oh, but to the point, if I’m getting an $800 booking in this competitive market by offering $40 worth of laundry use, it’s a good thing to offer.

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