How to Create a Vacation Rental Exterior Checklist for Winter

Kristen Martinelli

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You’ve already completed your interior vacation rental checklist. Now it’s time to move to the exterior parts of your property.

It is important to make sure you control the interior parts of your home like the temperature. But is it possible to control the exterior? You cannot decide how much snow your property will receive, but you can control how the elements affect your property.

This article will discuss how to make an exterior checklist and prepare your home for winter.

An Exterior Checklist Prepares Your Home for Winter

Creating an Exterior Checklist

The exterior winter preparation for your home has two parts. First, is the home preparation itself. Second is preparing the property surrounding your home.

Exterior Building Checklist

  • Gutters – Remove leaves and debris to allow for proper drainage
  • Roof Inspection – Make sure there are no weak spots or missing shingles on your roof. Over the course of the winter, these areas can weaken and break.
  • Exterior spotlights – Replace bulbs and set timers for exterior spotlights. This deters burglars from targeting your home.
Exterior Checklist: Remove Debris from Gutters for Proper Drainage

Cover Patio or Deck Furniture

You should cover any patio furniture. Bring the cushions inside or pack them away in a shed. Consider wrapping them in plastic bags, so mice do not ruin them.

Is your patio furniture too heavy to move? Stack the chairs on the table or push them close together and cover with a tarp. Covering your furniture from the elements will extend its use. You’ll save money since you won’t replace it every few years.

To protect outdoor grills, put them under your homes’ overhang. Or invest in a thick grill cover. A rusty grill isn’t attractive for your future guests.

Pack-Away Outdoor Accessories

The personal details of your vacation rental property add to its character. You want to make sure these details last. Thus, you should pack away any outdoor decorations. This includes birdbaths, clocks, flower pots, flags, or hammocks.

Lock Your Shed

Where do you put your packed items? Such as the lawn mower, furniture, and outdoor accessories? In the shed. Make sure you remember to lock your shed. Neatly stack everything for next season to prevent any damage.

Drain Sprinklers and Garden Hoses

The exterior pipes of your vacation rental property are just as important as the interior. If you have sprinkler systems, make sure you clear the lines of water before winter.

You can schedule your lawn maintenance to come and do this for you. Or you can do it yourself using an air compressor. Disconnect any hoses from your house. This will make them last longer since water will not freeze inside of them.

Arrange for Snow Removal

Do you live locally? Do you maintain your rental property yourself? If you do, make sure to fill your snow-blower with oil and gas. Keep a spare tank of gas in your shed for refills. Consider having a bag of salt to throw on sidewalks.

If you manage your vacation rental property remotely, hire a snow removal company. They will keep your property’s driveway and front walkways clear.

Your property will appear occupied if it is maintained. This will deter burglars. It will also assist repairmen or neighbors who may access your property in case of an emergency.

Manage Landscaping

Cutting away dead flowers and trees will prepare your yard for spring. Clear gardens also make for easier shoveling and snow removal.

Pay particular attention to tree limbs which are close to your property. Consider calling a tree service to inspect your trees. They will tell you if your trees are dying, have a disease, or need trimming.

Snow and ice during the winter season can cause tree limbs to droop and break. This can cause damage to your property. It is important to consider this as a part of your exterior checklist.

Drooping, Heavy Tree Limbs Damage Vacation Rental Properties

Winterize Your Driveway

Do you have an asphalt or concrete driveway? Think about the condition of your driveway. Is it cracking and crumbling? Is the color faded? Depending on your area’s climate, you may need to reseal your driveway to prepare for winter.

In climates with harsh winters, you may need to seal your driveway once every year or two. For warmer climates, you could go as long as four or five years before your next sealing.

How Do You Prepare Your Vacation Rental Property’s Exterior for Winter?

There are two sections of your property’s exterior that need winter preparation. The full checklist includes:

  • Clean gutters
  • Inspect roof
  • Pack up patio/grill
  • Lock shed
  • Arrange snow removal
  • Inspect/trim trees and landscaping
  • Exterior spotlights
  • Pack outdoor decorations
  • Drain sprinkler lines
  • Winterize driveways

Using this checklist for exterior parts of your vacation rental home will keep your property safe during winter. Remember that every property is different. There may be extra items for your homes’ exterior checklist.

Do you have extra items for our exterior checklist? Do you have a specific routine when winterizing your vacation rental property? Share your thoughts and suggestions below.


About Futurestay

Futurestay pioneered the first operating system designed to empower rentalpreneurs with the connectivity and automation previously out of reach for everyday people running short-term rentals. Building on its promise to help rentalpreneurs succeed at any stage, Futurestay is so much more than a platform, offering anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a room to rent the chance to learn, earn and grow at every stage of their rentalpreneur journey.

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