How to Bed and Breakfast: Why build an Optimized B&B?
Optimization is a word the experts use to characterize changes that we make. The changes increase the positive features of something... in this case, your home! In this article we'll see how this applies to a bed and breakfast.
So you've taken the plunge and decided to try your hand at running a B&B... that's great news! Here are a few reasons why you should think about changing your house a bit before you start.
· Examine Your House
Demographics says that those who start B&Bs are retirees, or close to it, and are occupying a reasonably large home which has become an empty nest. With a little luck, the kids all have jobs and probably won't be returning to reoccupy their rooms (the parents can only hope!) If this is you, then you may have 2 choices: sell or do something else with the house. Maybe you can't sell because the memories are important. Operating a bed and breakfast will create a whole new set of memories, only now the occupiers of the bedrooms will be paying to stay there! So take a long, thoughtful gaze around the old place, and let's talk about changing it a bit.
· Optimize to Avoid Burnout
Now I don't want to spoil the mood here, or dampen your spirits, but the bed and breakfast industry has a burnout rate just like any other. It may soon seem that every corner of you home is exposed to public perusal, and your personal space is in jeopardy. If your own bedroom door is right across from your guest's, or guests must traverse your kitchen to go to the bathroom, you may tire quickly of the nusiance. Remember that the central purpose of your home--it is your personal sanctuary--must not be comprimised for business reasons. Constantly sharing washroom facilities with strangers takes a special kind of person. Providing guests with private bathrooms is almost a must. If you are used to sleeping in peace, opening a B&B may change that, if your house walls have not been properly insulated.
· Optimize for Your Wallet
I have been talking about bathroom projects, and insulation projects, and general home streamlining projects. I would like to make the point that oftentimes doing these things for your home would be a good idea regardless of your business ideas. Most of the things we'll talk about in the following articles will add value to your home. B&B's are sometimes worth more than if they were just homes, but homes that have optimal function and form are always worth more. Ask your realtor if you're in doubt.
· How Much Can I Do Myself?
I'm certainly not advocating that you turn your house upside down for the sake of a B&B. Suppose you are handy enough to frame a studwall, but feel uncomfortable about mudding and taping drywall. That skill set is OK for the scope of work that we'll be discussing; just bring in a pro for the parts that are too difficult. If you can do most of the rough work yourself, it certainly keeps the cost down. And the more you do yourself, the greater the source of pride in the finished product.
The next article in this series will examine some bureaucratic steps that are necessary: How to Bed and Breakfast: Permits One