How to Prep Your Log Home for Vacation Renters

Published on | Log Homes |Mountain Home Building Products

If your log home doubles as a rental property for vacationers, there are ways to cozy up your cabin so visitors will be eager to return year after year — and leave you a great review.

Charming decor, clean spaces and efficient planning can help your guests feel relaxed and comfortable throughout their stay. Whether your guests are staying for a full summer or a weekend getaway, these tactful tips can make your log home a dream destination for recurring and future renters.

Clean Everything

Cleanliness is the first thing a renter notices when they walk into the cabin where they’ll be staying for a relaxing weekend getaway or long summer stay. It goes without saying that homeowners should make sure their cabin is spotless for each guest — first impressions are the most important.

On top of deep cleaning, empty the fridge of all perishables. Nothing cuts through a weekend getaway like the smell of a previous renter’s two-week-old lasagna in the fridge.

Remember the sheets and towels, too— if they look fresh but don’t smell fresh, that’s a problem. Throw some scented fabric softener in with the load for a soothing aromatherapeutic effect.

Make It Homey

Make your renters truly feel at home, no matter how far they’ve traveled. Supply enough toiletries for each guest, leave commonly used charging cables for smartphones, tablets and other electronics.

Small details such as folding towels nicely or even mastering toilet paper origami can add an element of charm to your space that guests will remember.  

For an extra-special touch, heed Airbnb’s advice: how off local craftspeople that make your area unique. Hang a neighbor artist’s art on your wall, or provide coffee from a roaster down the street.

Take down pictures of you and your family so your renters don’t feel like they’re impeding on someone else’s space. Depersonalize your log home to fodder the feeling of a home away from home for your renter.

Go the Extra Mile

Renters remember charming details that make them feel welcome. Leave a “housewarming” gift, like a bottle of wine or hot cocoa mixes, along with a friendly note.

Leave a guestbook on the coffee table for guests to see who else has enjoyed your home. Stock the kitchen with breakfast items such as eggs, pastries or juice (just be sure to clear the fridge of perishables between guests).

A handwritten note with answers to commonly asked questions and numbers for nearby doctors in the case of an emergency is a thoughtful touch. Extra points for addressing it to them directly — it’s much more personal.

List things to do in the area, such as local farmers markets, museums, music venues or nature trails. Provide basic entertainment like a deck of cards, books, movies or bikes if you live in a nice area for riding. If your home is in a winter destination, leave your guests with sleds and tubes for some family fun.

If you have a fireplace, leave behind some chopped wood so they can easily start up a fire on a cold winter night.

Make Your Log Home Easy to Find

Leave directions for your renters as well as the Google Maps address. Provide physical landmarks, street names and distance to travel, in addition to time estimates. Be sure to warn guests if GPS navigation is finicky in your neck of the woods!

Key Handoff

The key handoff should be the easiest part. If possible, greet them personally at the home to give them the key. If you don’t live nearby, secure the key for them and make it easy to find. Provide the lock combination to access the key to your guests beforehand.

For an extra touch, create a keychain with your phone number in case of emergencies, along with a clip for a backpack or belt.

Secure Valuables

Securely store anything you don’t want your guests to see or access. This could include valuables such as expensive sports equipment, musical instruments or jewelry; personally identifying documents (including bills), or personal hygiene products that could take away from the ambiance (or cause confusion about which products are meant for the guest).

The Fine Print

Before you rent your cabin, educate yourself on local city or county codes that might restrict renting your home. If you’re a homeowner, there may be restrictions in your mortgage agreement that prohibits renting.

Homeowners associations can also prevent vacation rentals, and the punishment could be a heavy fine.

If you’re a renter, look at the restrictions in your contract about subletting. Discuss the matter with your landlord before making any moves to rent your space.

Find more tips on how to keep your log home standing for years to come >