Inside Scoop on When to Update YOUR Vacation Rental


Every vacation rental needs to be updated eventually, and many owners are surprised to hear that everything doesn’t have to be updated or upgraded all at once to meet guest expectations. Monitoring your property should guide you on where and when to update your vacation rental as needed. You can’t prevent all the items inside and outside your vacation home from sinking, scruffing, peeling, degrading, or malfunctioning, but you can take preventative measures to extend the life of most items for renters. 

Regardless, it’s important to know the average lifespan of your appliances, linens, sofas, and general inventory when you have guests coming in and out of your property regularly  — more on this below! Plus, keeping your property up to standard (or soaring past it) assures bookings in a competitive market, which fosters repeat guests and positive reviews. 

We know you care about your vacation property and guests…or you wouldn’t be reading this. So, whether it’s natural wear and tear, accidental damages, or an item has simply reached the end of its lifespan, it’s important to stay on top of maintaining, repairing, and updating every aspect of your property to make the most of your investment. 

How often should I update my vacation property? Honestly, it depends — on the item in question, its original purchase quality, and the rate of guest turnover. You can even extend the life of some items with routine maintenance checks. As professionals in the vacation rental business, as needed is our best answer!

Average Lifespan of Common Vacation Rental Items

Indoor & Outdoor Sitting Areas
When guests arrive at your property, they want to rest, relax, and recharge from their travels. That means the first place they’re looking for is a spot to sit! Living room and outdoor furniture tend to get the most use in this arena. And if your property has a great view, you can bet these items might wear out a bit faster. The last thing you want is a guest to find holes, poking springs, scratches, and sunken spots. Don’t forget to keep an eye on any other sitting areas in the home, in the bedrooms, loft, game room, theater, etc. 

  • Cloth seating | deep clean regularly and replace every 3-5 years
  • Leather seating | replace every 5-7 years (longer-lasting alternative to cloth!)
  • Coffee and end tables | refinish or replace every 5-7 years

Kitchen Appliances & Inventory
Well-functioning appliances, tools, dishware, and cutlery in the kitchen is essential for your vacation rental business. Often, a fully equipped and updated kitchen is a selling point for reservations. Making meals at your property is a great way to cut down on vacation costs for families, friends, and large groups. It’s a common space that gets heavily used, whether for cooking full meals or storing snacks, so if something’s broken or on its last legs…you’re going to hear about it. 

  • Dishes, glasses, mugs, cutlery, etc. | replace biannually or as needed
  • Cookware | replace every 1-2 years 
  • Minor appliances | replace a few times a year (descale coffeemakers regularly)
  • Major appliances | check routinely and replace every 5-8 years

Mattresses, Pillows & Sheets
Great sleep is important on vacation especially, so it’s important to monitor the health of mattresses and linens at your property. Now, not everyone is going to love the bed or bedding chosen, but as long as you ensure the quality and cleanliness of these essential items, especially the mattresses, it will be appreciated. Keep in mind that pillow fluff wanes, so watch out for flat pillows…they’re the enemies of relaxing vacation rentals!

  • Sleeper sofas | replace every 3-5 years (commercial frame plus 5-inch spring mattress is best!)
  • Mattresses | replace every 5-10 years (flip/rotate regularly)
  • Comforters, bedspreads, and duvets | update every 1-2 years
  • Sheets and blankets | replace every 2-3 years
  • Pillows | replace annually (use protective covers)

Flooring & Walls
Curb appeal matters when it comes to your vacation rental. Guest satisfaction is paramount, and if they don’t get the quality they see in the photos when booking (even if it’s a year in advance), they won’t be happy. People are paying to relax, play, cook, sleep, and make memories in your vacation home, so it’s vital to present it well — with beautifully painted/finished walls and sanded/stained/cleaned flooring.

  • Exterior siding, porch, and decks | pressure wash and/or re-stain every 7 years
  • Drywall | repaint every 5 years (great opportunity to redecorate with the best paint colors for rentals)
  • Hardwood flooring | sand and apply polyurethane every 10 years
  • Laminate flooring | replace every 5-7 years
  • Carpet | replace every 3-5 years

Laundry Appliances & Towels
A great homey convenience guests appreciate is a space to do laundry at your property. When you provide a washer and dryer, it allows for lighter packing. Loads of clothes and towels are often washed more frequently than at a normal home since guests are constantly coming and going, so expect the machines to take a punch. Does the cost outweigh the benefit? Definitely! Guest satisfaction is great for repeat business.

  • Washers and dryers | replace every 5-8 years
  • Towels | replace every 1-2 years (note Georgia Cabins for YOU provides towels for your guests!) 

Bonus Budget-Friendly Upgrades
Making small changes can make a BIG difference when you need a refresh. If you’re looking for some simple, cost-effective rental upgrades instead of a full makeover, consider a few of the following.

  • Switch out cabinet pulls and knobs in the kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Have kitchen cabinets painted and replace old kitchen faucets. 
  • Swap light fixtures for modern options.
  • Replace backsplash. There are even stick tile options! 
  • Upgrade the showerheads. 
  • Create an accent wall in the master bedroom. 
  • Use durable contact paper to refresh kitchen drawers. 
  • Replace laminate countertops with granite/stone. 
  • Swap out old/faded switch plates and light switches. 
  • Add a cozy (washable is a bonus) area rug to the living room. 
  • Stock a bookshelf with some board games, books, and movies. 
  • Add a modern doorknob or knocker to the front door. 
  • Create a gallery wall of quality local artwork in the main living space. 
  • Replace old toilet seats. 

A Few DOs and DON’Ts

  • DON’T furnish the cabin with old, outdated furniture you’re getting rid of during a move out at home.
  • DO add details to make the space feel like home for guests. 
  • DON’T overclutter a small space with knick knacks. 

Professional Quality Inspections

Keeping up with maintenance, housekeeping, inspections, and replacing or upgrading items is a full-time job…and that doesn’t even include calls, reservations, marketing, and monitoring reviews. It’s not a DIY kind of thing. At Georgia Cabins for YOU — a full-service vacation rental management company — we take care of everything so you can focus on your profit without the stress of dealing with upkeep. And our teams of professionals are trained to know what to look for and can determine replacement versus repair to save YOU money.

Our full maintenance teams and housekeeping staff keep your property in great shape. Best of all, we have dedicated inspectors whose sole purpose is to make sure every appliance, tool, floorboard, bed, chair, etc. is up to standard and in optimal working condition. Inspections with Georgia Cabins for YOU cover more than the basics! Our inspectors check everything from window treatments, home decor, and grills to game tables, hot tubs, fireplaces, and other unique features.

Opt for professional inspections with Georgia Cabins for YOU to provide a top-notch rental home for your guests, remain competitive, prevent negative reviews, and cultivate repeat guests — without lifting a finger! Speak to an owner representative at 1.800.580.5524 or shoot us a message today. We’re always here to help!