Are you looking to turn your property into an AIRBNB, Vacasa, Homeaway, or VRBO? What should you consider in terms of your local energy code as it relates to your vacation rental's energy efficiency? Does your vacation rental need a Rescheck or a Comcheck? With the rise in owner built vacation rentals we thought we would explore the energy report grey area of if your vacation rental would require a Rescheck, or a Comcheck?
Jobe Leonard is the Author of this blog post for the Reschexpert blog and Rescheck.info. He enjoys studying modern vacation rental construction projects and analyzing how they relate to Rescheck.
Are you looking to turn your property into an AIRBNB, Vacasa, Homeaway, or VRBO? What should you consider in terms of your local energy code as it relates to your vacation rental’s energy efficiency? Does your vacation rental need a Rescheck or a Comcheck? With the rise in owner built vacation rentals we thought we would explore the energy report grey area of if your vacation rental would require a Rescheck, or a Comcheck?
So let’s imagine that you are building a new home that’s sole purpose is to house paid overnight rental guests. These customers are acquired strictly from vacation rental sites like Air BNB, VRBO, Homeaway, Vacasa, or any number of others on the market today. What type of energy reports are you going to need to make sure that you get the largest return on your investment from each short term rental contract. More importantly, what type of energy report are you going to need to satisfy your local energy code, building inspector, and building department.
Simply put, if you were building a hotel with 3 or more rooms or units then your project would most likely require a Comcheck. In this instance since you are building or converting a single family home into a vacation rental, it may fall into a grey area. Typically, as long as you have a one or two family home that is less than 3 stories above the ground, it would fall under the Rescheck. If your vacation rental is higher than 3 stories or more than what is considered a 3 family unit the type of energy code compliance needed moves over to the commercial report of Comcheck. For example a duplex would be a Rescheck, but a triplex might be Comcheck. Also if your vacation rental was 3 stories above the ground you could opt for the Rescheck. If it was 4 stories above the ground your building inspector may require you to do the Comcheck.
Another scenario would be that you will be building and ADU or Accessory Dwelling Unit nearby your existing home. Typically these fall into the 800-1800 sq ft size range and can be used for guests or overnight renters. An Accessory Dwelling Unit or ADU would typically require a Rescheck.
In the Southwestern United States there is a large trend of building an additional home on properties and these units are called Casitas. These Casitas can have many uses including housing overnight guests or vacation rental customers. They fall into a similar category as an ADU and a Casita would typically require a Rescheck as well.
Sometimes, we see people building on a separate master suite on to their home for the sole purpose of housing overnight rental clients. These can be called Mother in law suites, FROG “finished room over garage”, or a finished basement that’s main purpose is to house paid overnight guests. In most cases these types of units for overnight rentals would require a Rescheck for addition. Some other examples that would qualify as a Rescheck for additions would be a garage conversion, pool house conversion, or taking an exterior porch and turning it into conditioned living space. All these types of additions would require a specific Rescheck that is for additions.
Your building inspector will have the final say as to what reports they require and if you let it be known that your project is solely for the purpose of nightly rental, then they might seek to have an energy code compliance check more like a hotel room. When Hilton, Marriott, or other large hotel builders build a hotel room then they have to do a Comcheck. This is because the number of floors, building purpose, and the number of units. However, you have also seen these larger hotel players moving into the vacation rental space, maybe because the actual scrutiny for these types of vacation properties are not what they would be at a busy interstate exit or downtown hotel location.
For large condo units that are rented out individually, you may actually see individual units needing a Rescheck instead of a Comcheck. This is because the condo units are individually owned. You might treat the exterior portions of the Condo rental unit as a stand alone structure. This allows the single condo unit to be calculated in Rescheck. It would not make sense to require a Comcheck for an entire 100 unit beach front condo unit, when a single unit is doing upgrades to their doors and windows.
In our opinion it really does not matter which report the building department requires. The local building inspector has the best perspective on the local construction, prevailing energy codes, and the nightly rental market in their area. You should allow the building department to make a decision. They will typically indicate whether they require a Comcheck or a Rescheck for dedicated vacation rental construction.
Owning a vacation rental on VRBO, Vasasa, Homeaway, or AIRBNB can be difficult to manage, maintain. and turn a profit. Setting the proper energy efficiency at the start of your project using Rescheck and Comcheck can help you keep more of your profits in your pocket and send less of your hard earned money to the utility company. Checking the energy efficiency of a vacation rental is a good idea and it is possible to use either Rescheck or Comcheck depending on the type of structure you are looking to use as a vacation rental.
If you are building a new construction, addition, or alteration that is strictly for an overnight rental then we can help you. Simply email pdf plans, jobsite address, and square footage and we will get you taken care of.