CURRENT PROJECTS // Vacation Rental Renovation

Photo : Country Living
Photo : Country Living

Awhile back we did a little snippet of a post on our current project we were working on over the summer : A vacation rental property in Big Bear, CA.  This project was so awesome to be a part of and we wanted to share some information & expertise for other's who might be taking on a project like this, because there are definitely some factors worth knowing before heading into the purchase of a vacation rental! 


First things first, is always the house hunting.  If you're looking for a vacation rental, chances are you want a property that you are going to be able to use as well, so look for somewhere that your family would enjoy visiting, creating memories and somewhere that would be relatively close to where you live.  For this property, the client's chose Big Bear Lake, CA.  Here's why: 

  • Year Round Vacation Rental Market
  • Lake in the Summer, Mountains in the Winter
  • Plenty of hiking for Spring & Fall
  • Your only an hour to two max from major cities like LA, San Diego,  and Orange County
  • Plenty of vacation rental management companies to choose from
  • Popular local vacation destination
  • Lively downtown atmosphere
  • Big Bear was RECENTLY purchased by Mammoth Mountain // Read: TONS of city improvements being done, major developments happening, meaning it would be a perfect time to get in as the growth is still new, before it all takes off.

The home that was eventually chosen, was a vintage Maltby Style log cabin, built in 1947.  This house was not previously a vacation rental,  it was a home to someone for the past 15+ years! So there were a lot of vacation rental specific things that were needed to be done to the house before it was to be ready for guests. With our knowledge of the vacation rental codes, luckily this was a breeze but could have been a huge budget hindrance. 

The house was in need of some definite TLC.  We took out old curtains, old carpet, old cabinets, TONS of wallpaper and CONTACT paper, hah! Dated light fixtures, overdone woodwork, etc etc. After the clean out was done, here's what we tackled: 


  • Paint : the entire house got a fresh coat
  • Kitchen Facelift
  • Bathroom Facelifts
  • New Flooring
  • Rebuilt stair banister to meet codes
  • Refinished original wood floors upstairs
  • Retro-fitted the furnace
  • Brought fences, gates and stair railings up to vacation rental code
  • Filled the house with furniture & decor


  • Furnishings $5,000 : Couch, chairs, (5) mattresses, decor 
  • Wall Paper Removal & Interior Paint $2,000.00
  • Kitchen Facelift $1,500
  • Mudroom Facelift $500
  • Kitchen + House Necessities $700 : Pots and Pans, dishes and glasses, silverware, sheet sets + comforters.


  • Rebuild Stairwell // $1,700.00 : fortunately the stairwell was original to the house, so the height that was shorter than code was able to be grandfathered in. We still had to rebuild it to make it sturdy again. 
  • Outdoor Stairs/Railings/Gates : $2,000.00: Vacation Rental Property code required stairs to be brought up to their standards of safety and regulations
  • Re-key $100.00 // The house had to be re-keyed so that all locks were the same. 
  • Retrofit Furnace $900 // Furnace needed to be retrofitted for safety reasons. 
Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn

A vacation rental property can be a GREAT investment for years to come! Not to mention a fabulously fun place to make great memories with family and friends. If you are looking at purchasing a property like this, but are in need of a guide to walk you through the specifics, and be sure that the investment will be a wise one as well as a POPULAR one among renters, send us an e-mail, we would love to be a part of your next project.