The Apres Chalet was our first attempt at a multifamily property specifically designed to be short term rentals. This property seemed like a great way to sink our teeth into the short term rental game since it was priced right and located a mile from the base of the ski area in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. When we purchased the property we knew it would challenge us, but by the time we finished it tested us more than we ever imagined. Our plan was to buy the property in the fall and have it ready to rent by Christmas. However, we ended up in heated negotiations with the seller for an extra month because there was a major structural issue with the floor.
The structural repair required adding helical piers 30 ft into the ground; luckily the weather stayed good and this portion of the project was complete in a matter of days. We then dove into the inside of the property with an ambitious task list of remodeling both kitchens, both bathrooms, insulating between the upstairs and downstairs unit while removing a drop ceiling, updating flooring, lighting, appliances and pretty much everything else inside the units.
As we opened up the walls both my electrician and plumber realized things were not to code and needed serious attention. We ended up rewired the whole house, put in a new plumbing stack and all pex water lines. Because of this we needed to open up more of the drywall than anticipated.
Once we got our plumbing and electrical stubbed out, we could start putting the units back together. Insulation, two layers of drywall and a sound dampening hanger went up on the ceiling of the lower unit. By losing the drop ceiling we gained about an extra 8 inches of height. This may not seem like a lot but it made the unit feel so much bigger!
With drywall going up we were ready to get our IKEA kitchen cabinets assembled and in place, which are both a blessing and a curse. While we got an amazing deal on some great looking cabinets, the assembly took days. We opted for quartz countertops as they are considered the gold standard these days – no maintenance and very durable.
The bathrooms were also starting to come together. We wanted something classy but not over the top and we had pretty limited space, so we went with a fairly inexpensive vanity from Lowes, all of the tile was purchased at Floor & Decor while the fixtures and tub came from a local plumbing supply in the Steamboat area. One other item that is often overlooked in renovations are toilets. We like the Niagara Stealth for it’s water efficiency, which can drop your water usage for the toilet in half compared to older units.
Christmas was just around the corner at this point and the property still had drywall repairs and painting to finish inside. We were also waiting on permits for a new roof structure to go over our exterior stairway. On December 18th, Jake asked the contractor if he still thought we could get it done, and he said it would be close. At this point, we mentally prepared that renting for the holidays wasn’t going to happen, but was still holding out hope that it was possible.
Our desire to move fast was now biting us in the butt. Furniture had been delivered, all the small appliances, mattresses, etc were sitting in our shed and the painters were trying to work around all of the items to finalize the interior. On December 22nd the contractor dropped a bomb, “I’m leaving for Mexico in the morning.” WHAT!!!! We couldn’t believe he didn’t mention anything about this earlier. After confronting him he said he thought we could still get it done in time. Unfortunately, this led to the roof of the stairway not going up for another 10 days as basically nothing got done while he was gone, even though he insisted work would continue. We finally got the finishing touches on construction done about January 10th. “Great, we made it!” Little did we know there was still a lot to be done…
This is a small property at about 1400 sq. ft total, but there were still hang blinds to be hung on all the windows, then curtains and bathroom accessories, plus put up about 20 pictures on the wall, unpack all the furniture, put it together, add mattresses, linens, unpack and clean kitchen appliances, plates, bowls, cups, etc. This took about 2 weeks, and the night before our first check in Jake was still there washing linens, labeling the property and adding stock items like toilet paper, paper towels and more. Overall in 3 months, we accomplished quite the feat! This property went from a run down old multifamily apartment to a luxury Airbnb! Want to check it out: