If you’re thinking about building a vacation home, there are several things you should consider — particularly if you want a return on your investment.
1. Minimize sand damage: When building a home at the beach, an important design consideration is how to minimize the sand that gets tracked through the house, whether the house will be rented or not. Consider including easily accessible design elements at entry points to minimize sand damage, such as outdoor foot washes, outdoor showers leading into a mudroom with water-resistant floors, laundry tubs for wet and sandy items, beach storage near the entry, and a powder room accessible when entering the house from the beach. Homes work well when they offer a clear path from the beach to a stop before entering the home for washing and hanging up chairs and beach items — and getting the sand off your body.
2. Use durable flooring: Wide-plank vinyl, tile and engineered hardwood are examples of durable flooring that help eliminate the wear and tear from sand and water. While some sand will make its way throughout the house, use products that will minimize damage to floors.
3. Consider traffic flow: When you have a vacation home, plan on having a lot of guests as well as renters. Wide stairwells and hallways provide ease of movement from room to room.
4. Add a separate coffee or cocktail bar: Moving the coffee or cocktail bar away from the kitchen allows meal prep to run more smoothly, especially during happy hours.
5. Include en-suite bathrooms: It’s especially nice for guests and renters to have their own bathroom adjacent to the bedroom for privacy and convenience.
6. Build a secondary TV room: Often there are three generations sharing the vacation house at the same time, so adding a second media room for the little ones who get up early or the teens who want to have their own space is a great idea.
7. Install an elevator: With multiple generations enjoying the vacation home, an elevator is a critical design element. With the kitchen and great room typically on the top level to capture the views, having an elevator for bringing in luggage and groceries is essential.
8. Offer game areas: A ping-pong table and/or corn hole in the garage or carport is another great way to utilize space and provide activities for rainy days or to take a break from the sun.
9. Plan on bunk rooms: With multiple families renting and with kids bringing friends on vacation, having a bunk room for the kids is certainly fun for them and a nice way to sleep more people.