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Electrical & Electronics
As you think through your vacation rental rehab, keep in mind that the cabin needs many electrical outlets for all the devices you or your guests may require. These include various lamps, computers, power strips, holiday decorations – not to mention that from time to time the furniture may be rearranged and some outlets could be covered in the process.
When analyzing our Tahoe cabin electrical needs after buying it, our electrician helped me check out the load center in the garage and we eventually added a second box to cover our additions and allow for future growth. Our house was built in 1981 and had maxed out almost all the available fuse slots.
We checked each room to be sure there was an outlet on each wall and that all were working properly. Since we changed out light fixtures in most rooms, we also checked the wall switches as we went. Ceiling fans and outside floods were added as well as new switches for these – all with adequate labeling for guests.
Each time we personally visit the cabin, which is 4 times or more per year, we always check every light bulb and wall switch to make sure they are working properly. We keep an ample supply of every type of bulb in the utility room for guests, ourselves and the housekeepers to use.
All 3 bedrooms and the den have a TV with a DVD/VHS player on all but one. We keep a good supply of movies in both formats for guests in a shelf under each set. (NETFLIX is also available)
A desktop computer and printer with ample paper supply is furnished. Wi-Fi is available. This and the hot tub are the 2 most favorite features, I believe. We phone the door access code and the Wi-Fi password to guests 1 day prior to their arrival.
Yes, things get haywire sometimes with all this electronic gadgetry. Signals get lost, remotes get misplaced and we do have to call in help periodically to straighten this all out. This is not a serious problem, but it has happened several times and now we can diagnose most tech issues ourselves based on prior experiences. Part of the learning process, I guess. Keep the phone number of a technician to help you with this.
Our carrier bundles the cable TV, internet and phone – including long distance – into one package. That is why we can offer free long distance on our land line phone in the kitchen. Some cell phones do not work at our altitude (6500 feet). Keep cable company’s contact info handy – as this service fails periodically.
Some of our outside floodlight bulbs have been unscrewed, which we suspect was from neighbors or neighbor’s guests. The houses on both sides of us in our cul-de-sac are also vacation rentals. Just check to make sure these bulbs are screwed in all the way before junking them.
All original purchase and warranty paperwork is kept in a special folder for our reference concerning electrical and electronic products. We have used this numerous times to get service help. We have a locked owner’s closet to keep personal items in. We also have some parts and connection wires stored for fixing some problems.
Try to keep things as simple as possible in your tech equipment and have clear written instructions on how to use these. Our desktop computer is not accessible for just anyone to add to or take away features as it is locked with an administrative code/password.
We have a fax machine but it is not available to the public, I can take it out of the locked cabinet and plug it into the land line phone connection in the kitchen, use it, and then return to cabinet. It has come in handy several times.
There is a small irrigation system with timer controls that came with the cabin purchase, but we leave the maintenance and settings to our housekeeping service – which provides many other services besides cleaning. It is disconnected during the winter and during lawn watering bans.
If your vacation rental has a garage door with an electric opener like ours, keep the name and phone number of a good repair service handy as these malfunction periodically. Sometimes they may even be accidentally damaged. Our garage is used for a game room for the ping pong and foosball tables so it is normally closed. We keep 2 small electric heaters in her during the winter months and this warms the room quite nicely.
Tip – After our visits, we usually have left over food that needs refrigeration, so we bought a small refrigerator and keep it in the owner’s closet. This saves us from throwing away a lot of food at the end of our visits. (Phyllis’s idea)
David S. Martin
David Realty Company