Completing a refurbishment is 100% inevitable at some point in time at all resorts. While it is inevitable, the best way to save money is to make sure a quality job is done, which saves you time between refurbishments and therefore the most money in the long run.
Here are the top tips for getting the most out of your refurbishment for the least amount of money and keep your resort functioning throughout the process.
1. Bids! Without a question you must get three bids on everything, and let your vendors know you are getting other bids. It’s the only true way to get the best quality for your money. Most importantly, be sure to compare apples to apples. Don’t just go for the cheapest bid, go for the bid that is going to give you the most time and usage for the best price.
2. Surround yourself with a good in-house maintenance staff. This is one of the most important tips! With a skilled staff so many things during a refurbishment can be done in-house such as demolition, sheet rocking, pop corning ceilings, painting, trim work…the list goes on. Doing as much as possible in-house can save an insurmountable sum of money. It all goes back to having an experienced maintenance crew that cannot only complete the work, but complete it with high quality and maintain it well.
3. Check, check and check again. You save money when you make sure you get EXACTLY what the agreement was between the resort and the contractors. By continuously checking every room, at every step of the way you will avoid issues later when all the work is done or has moved on. Nothing costs more than having to have something redone. Sit on the toilet, lay on the bed, sit in every chair, and inspect the grout. A keen, detail oriented eye is going to make a huge difference.
4. Save what you can! Sometimes refinishing can be cheaper than replacement. If you have high quality wood that just needs refinished or reupholstered you can save money.
5. Test before you buy! Don’t pick the cheapest product and go with it. Maritime Beach Club in North Myrtle Beach, SC recently went through a complete refurbishment and General Manager, Barry Brady checked and tested every single thing through the process. “While we were working with vendors I took every test pillow home and slept a full night on each one. If you won’t love it, you can’t expect your guests to even like it,” said Brady.
6. Upgrade your doors and windows. At the Maritime Beach Club, more money was spent up front to get UV glass doors because not only is the door higher quality but it will save the furniture fabric, carpet and drapes from fading and save on your electric bill each month.
7. Don’t cut corners. Carpet is one area where corners are often cut because it looks great when new, no matter what grade it is. Many people opt for 28 ounce grade because it’s more affordable, but you should have at least 36 ounce in guest rooms and 42 in public areas to add years to its use.
8. Set precautions in place from the very beginning. One of the biggest epidemics to hit resorts in recent years is bed bugs. Even the nicest places have fallen prey to these little critters. If you set the precautions in place during refurbishment it will benefit you greatly. Choose hard wood, not wicker or rattan and protect your mattresses and furniture from the second it comes to your resort.
9. Proper planning and maintenance is essential to making a refurbishment affordable. When high quality items are purchased and taken care of a resort has time to properly plan and fund their reserves to make updates in due time. When things are not well maintained and begin to fall apart before the reserve fund is adequate a special assessment could be necessary in order to just restore the property.
10. Keep guests happy. During most refurbishments it needs to be planned out how to keep guests happy. By remodeling in phases that can be sectioned off from paying guests you don’t upset your owners or renters. Also, make sure that all owners and guests are aware of the fact that construction is underway so they don’t begin their vacation with an unpleasant surprise which could lead to poor reviews which leads to the possibility of decreased rental revenue.
Overall, wise choices, proper planning, constant inspection and shopping around are the most important aspects for an affordable refurbishment.