When it comes to winter preparation, what you need to do will be specific to your property. Creating an interior checklist will depend on the type of vacation rental you own.
This checklist will remind you of all the necessary areas of your property that need to be winterized. Thus, you won’t forget an important step of your winter preparation process.
Creating your Vacation Rental Interior Checklist
First, write down all the interior areas of your home. Once you make this list, you can use it every year. Consider handwriting your interior checklist first. Keep the final data on your computer in an excel spreadsheet.
To get started, create a list of the rooms in your house. Some rooms you may have on your list are:
- Living room
Start at the Top of Your List
Now that you have listed all the areas of your home, start at the top. Follow the checklist of items below associated with the room in your property.
Each room has a specific list of items to do. If something from our example list is relevant, add it to your interior checklist. If not, skip it, create your own, and continue to the next room.
Steps to complete when winterizing a home
- Wash and put away bedding and linens for next season
- Vacuum (entire property) to deter bugs and rodents
- Bring small valuables with you, or store out-of-sight to prevent burglary
- Turn off main water supply
- Get furnace serviced
- If vacant for a long period, consider turning off gas to the property
- Replace furnace filter
- Disconnect washer and dryer
- Drain Waterlines
- Run faucets and flush toilets to clear the lines
- Clean, defrost and unplug refrigerator and freezer
- If the power goes out your freezer can defrost. This can flood your kitchen and create a smell of spoiled foods.
- Clean cabinets of food to prevent rodents
- Or put food in sealed containers
- Take out the trash
- Wash trash cans of food residue
- Throw away sponges
- Forward messages from your home phone to your cell phone to keep the inbox open. The house will appear occupied if someone calls.
- Take flammable items like cardboard and paper to recycling
- Arrange for someone to check on indoor plants
- General Home Preparation
- Unplug all appliances
- Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms
- Notify the police that the home will be vacant.
- Provide contact information in case of an emergency.
- If in coastal areas, consider installing storm shutters
- Maintain Heat (Whole Property)
- Check and replace weather stripping
- Caulk around drafty areas like fireplaces, doors, and windows
- Clean and seal chimney
- Set thermostat at 55-60 degrees
- Close vents in unused rooms
- Extra insulation for attics and crawl spaces
Put the List to Use
Now that you have an interior checklist, you can put it to use. Start with the first item on the list. For instance, “Check and replace weather stripping around doors and windows.”
Bring your list and inspect these areas of your property. Do you need to replace the weather stripping around a window? Mark down what room it is in. Measure the window so you know how much to buy.
By the end of your walk-through, you should have completed some of your winter preparation.
The rest of the steps you can complete over time. Especially if they call for appointments and materials. Make sure you complete them before the weather turns cold.
Keeping a Record in Excel
As you complete your tasks, make notes. Input these notes into your excel spreadsheet. Mark the dates, expenses, warranties, and companies that you’ve used. You can also include the stores you’ve purchased materials from. In the future, you do not have to research stores to find the product. The information will already be in your records.
When next season comes, you already know who to call, and what you have replaced. In the long run, this will save you time and money. Not only will you know what to do – but you won’t be scammed into unnecessary purchases.
Ready for Winter
Once you make your first interior checklist, your winter preparation will be easy. Make sure to walk through all the rooms in your vacation rental property. What would winter damage? What appliances need to be turned off or closed up? Does something need replacement or repair?
By asking yourself these questions, you can prepare for all aspects of winter. Do you have extra suggestions and tips for winterizing your vacation rental property?