You have $1000 to spend...

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Madeleine's picture
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...and it needs to be spent on the inn. (I could spend it 5 times over on myself!)

What would you do to get the most bang for your buck? What needs updating that could be done for $1000? (That's all I have so no major overhauls please!) Go ahead, go crazy...I'll let you know what I end up doing!

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Madeleine's picture
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What I got:

  • 2 new flat screen TV's
  • 2 comfy chairs for the lounge
  • 1 rug for the lounge
  • 4 comfy chairs for 2 guest rooms
  • 1 console table for the lounge
  • 8 luggage racks
  • 3 lamps
  • 1 console table for a guest room

Yes, it was more than $1000, but well worth it. Now, however, I lock the credit card away until summer! I am repurposing a lot of the room furniture, moving it to different rooms, painting it, etc to freshen each room.

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were the luggage racks commercial feeling? if not do you have advice on how to find them?

Madeleine's picture
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naomisinn wrote:

were the luggage racks commercial feeling? if not do you have advice on how to find them?

The luggage racks are not like what you find at hotels. They are sturdy, I've been using them in two rooms for a year now and other than some easily touched-up dings they're fine.

BB&B- http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=13029784&RN=2018&

If you have any coupons (20% off in just about any 'home' magazine) they're not that expensive.

Joey Camb's picture
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My chamber maid has been on holiday for 2 weeks and while she was away we did 3 new comfy chairs in bedrooms, completely redid the layout in room 9, 2 new 32inch flat screens, huge junk clear out, she was like did you wait till I went on holiday to change the whole place? this week have a new king size mattress for room 12 which has had a double mattress on it since it was built even though it is a king size bed and then the double will go into room 4 which did have a 3/4 bed in which I hated so bought a nice bed from my neighbour 5 doors up for £30 ($60)  bargain which she had got on buy one get one free with another bed and thought she might as well have it and sell it so virtually brand new so that room will have a better bed and mattress. want to get room 4 redeorated next as there was a really horrible border on by the previous owners but 1 which the next owners then covered up with a slighly less hidious but old fashioned border so to get rid of them both I have to redecorate the room. plus neither of them did behind the wardrobe so that which I also want to get rid of can't be gotten rid of till the walls are redecorated plus they have carpeted round it so I have to replace the carpet as well. a small job is made into a huge expensive job which must be done in one go because of cheapness.

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YAY! 

Can't wait to see photos with your improvements! 

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Madeleine's picture
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I'll take some quick snaps but no 'good' photos will be appearing on the website. Can't afford that. I will have to go back thru my stash of photos to find ones that don't show the parts of the rooms that have changed.

Silverspoon's picture
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 Wow!  You did quite well to get all that in one year.  I hope you will be passing the cost on to your guests in the form of a slight rate increase.  I always send out e-mail to my "regulars" keeping them up to date with the recent improvements. That way it's not a shock to them if the rates are $10-$15 more a night than they were last year.

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Madeleine's picture
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$4. Not much, I know. But we budget about $5k each year in upgrades of one sort or another. Last year was not a good one so we painted.

I let guests know all about the improvements in the newsletter. Everyone knows we do stuff in the winter so they're always waiting to see the changes.

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I agree with Arkie, paint is always the most bang for your buck in freshening up a room.  Maybe try something to update and add a trendy spin on rooms?  Accent colors with new toss pillows or throws, shower curtains, hand towels.  Something to add some "punch" in guest rooms or common areas. 

I saw a bunch of comfy and awesome chairs at World Market and Pier 1 when I was shopping with our newlyweds recently - right around $100/each.  You could get a couple to complement any consignment buys.

DH and I were just looking at model homes in a retirement destination and I saw plenty of simple, non-cluttered looking bedroom accents which I've seen in those kind of stores and would be suitable for B&B guest rooms as well.

Try stepping out of your comfort zone & experiment!  It's a new year! 

 

Arks's picture
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Paint is cheap if you can do it yourself. Repainting brings the most dramatic change you can get for the money.

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InnBloom's picture
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Maybe you already have great photography.  If not, I'd consider spending it on that.

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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OOH!!! That would put a nice dent in what I have planned for my PAII trip:

Looking for new -

1. Bathrobes

2. Reservation and guest tracking system

3. Champagne flutes with our logo on them

4. about 15 other things I can't think of right now because I've only had 1 cup of coffee....

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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Aussie Innkeeper wrote:

OOH!!! That would put a nice dent in what I have planned for my PAII trip:

Looking for new -

1. Bathrobes

2. Reservation and guest tracking system

3. Champagne flutes with our logo on them

4. about 15 other things I can't think of right now because I've only had 1 cup of coffee....

I was just looking online for engraved champagne flutes a few days ago. Our current supplier will not be doing them any more. The cheapest I've found for laser engraving is discountmugs.com  You can also choose less expensive ones if you want them engraved, just printed logo. We just purchased metal water bottles with our logo from this company and they were fast and efficient and cheap!

Tom
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discountmugs.com gave us good service, also.  We are working our way to a new order, one broken wine glass at a time.

Arks's picture
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Thanks for the discountmugs tip! Their clear laser engraved prices are HALF the prices of the best place I'd found earlier!

Regarding the shipping overseas, I recently went through that when I shipped clothes to the grandchildren in Sweden for Christmas. I researched and found that the post office costs MUCH less than using UPS or FedEX, but it's still high. I squeezed the clothes into their largest "flat rate" box (if it fits, it ships) and shipping cost to Sweden was about $60, which was still cheaper than them buying the same Ralph Lauren clothes in Sweden and paying the VAT!

As I thought about it later, I realized that the flat rate deal may be a good deal if you're shipping heavy items, but for something light weight like clothes I probably could have sent them cheaper at regular rates.

But glass is heavy and would need a lot of packing. Shipping it to England would no doubt cost a lot more than the cost of the glasses themselves.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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pic removed

 

Joey Camb's picture
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I wouldn't do glass I think that would be a bit risky from a packing point of view but they do all sorts and it doesn't have to be heavy. ie pens

Joey Camb's picture
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they won't deliver to the UK even if you offer to pay extra postage! grrr

Breakfast Diva's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

they won't deliver to the UK even if you offer to pay extra postage! grrr

Would it make financial sense to have them ship it to one of us and we mail it to you?? Glassware would probably be too heavy and costly, but if it were something like the water bottles, those were light!

Country Girl's picture
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I would love to be able to have each room on it's own thermostat.  

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 We would use it to help finish the basement off to make more space for OURSELVES!

 

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Joey Camb's picture
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I would be onto ebay like a crack - (this is a concept ie very fast) you can if you are patient get some excellent bargains. I don't know  your place well enough to advise exactly what to do or buy but some things help to pay for themselves ie we bought a new dryer cos the other one blew up but it is a lot quicker and more electricity efficient to the extent in 3 years it will  have paid for itself. Are there any energy saving projects that would help you save money ie insulate the boiler? the loft? storm windows? things like that? People I know on another forum were discussing solar pannels as in the UK they are offering grants to people to help with the cost and people as well as their own needs are making £50 a month on top which is good in the long run and we have crap sun so sunny places would probably do better.

Tom
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Put in a bocce court, more landscaping.

Madeleine's picture
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Tom wrote:

Put in a bocce court, more landscaping.

I did a survey that I sent to 600 guests asking what sorts of indoor/outdoor additions would they like to see. About 10% wanted outdoor activities which really surprised me. I bet they'd play if the things were out, tho!

I'd love a bocce court. Or horseshoes.

Tom
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bocce would be as much for DW as for guests, but it is a relaxing and civilized game.  I have a spot in mind out back, partially beneath a gigantic black walnut.  Hanging out in the shade on a hot summer afternoon, sipping chianti, listening to the click of the balls and DW's mild curses (she is competitive).  I probably would never hear the guests arriving for check-in.  Delightful.  

gillumhouse's picture
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We have 2 tournament grade bocce courts under roof (rain no problem) w/electricity (dark? no problem) with a fence around it (to keep out the slugs who cannot allow anything nice to exist) at our City Park. We have bocce leafues in the summer and hold several tournaments.

Madeleine's picture
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I'm thinking new chairs for the rooms. I could redo the whole living room for that price. Might wait for the big mattress sale and redo the last mattress set.

I'm off to the consignment shop to see if they still have the 2 desks I wanted.

gillumhouse's picture
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I LOVE the Penny Pincher - the Mission's store in my city. I got 2 sets of dishes there and it is a place I can take stuff I no longer want/need. I think we just got a new consignment shop too. Have to check it out.

gillumhouse's picture
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New air conditioner window units. What I have are from 1996. I am hoping the new ones are more efficient, smaller and lighter.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Hmmmm...probably new linens (sheets, towels, comforters). Also a 2nd dehumidifier. With all the moisture living at the coast, the rains and our whirlpool tubs, the rooms get pretty moist in the winter. We have one we are able to roll into a room at check-out, but it would be really nice to have one dedicated to our cottage.

$1,000 is an interesting amount. No enough to do major stuff around here, especially in the winter. It makes me look at the smaller things I could do.

 

Madeleine's picture
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That was the idea...small things. Not really enough to redo an entire room, but lots of little things.

gillumhouse's picture
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I could get an A/C for each room plus one for the pvt bath for $1000.

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