Renovation shows are all the rage on TV these days. A quick mental count across free-to-air and subscription television offerings brings at least five or six front of mind. You know the ones. Shows such as The Block, House Rules, Love it or List it, Selling Houses Australia and even the resurrected and Gogglebox-panned Changing Rooms. There’s no shortage and clearly, Aussies love their renovations.
Which begs the question, what is it about it that we love? Do we engage with the characters, their personal lives and the inevitable break-ups-and-make-ups that happen week-to-week on The Block once a nail is hammered out of place? Or are we really in it just to see why a room is being designed the way it is? Why put that bathtub there? Why that shade of ochre for the laundry? Why are there plants growing above the shower? Is it entertainment or a chance to quietly peer over the proverbial fence and critique the reno attempts of others?
Or does it genuinely give us ideas for our own renovation projects? If we see Kerrie and Spence from The Block investigating custom joinery options and how they can tailor furniture to fit specific spaces while retaining full functionality, it makes you wonder how you can fit that somewhere in your own home. We’re always looking to improve our block or keep up with the Joneses somehow. So then, when the ads come on, loaded with renovation companies, hardware stores and tradespeople, the ideas in our head then turn to ‘who should we go with’ and ‘can we afford it?’
There are some subtle and major differences when it comes to preparing to renovate a hotel. Like on TV, devising and planning that hot new look in guest rooms and public spaces such as the lobby requires expert assistance and planning. This is where you need an expert team by your side.
But unlike a private residence, where inconvenience may be limited only to the resident themselves as work is carried out on their own dwelling, renovating a hotel carries with it more commercial considerations. Hotels are just like any business – how does money come through the front door if there are no customers doing the same thing?
For this reason, renovating a hotel can take significantly longer than a standard house. And for a project such as a hotel, it’s critical to get the preparation stage right. A hotel, particularly a luxury hotel, cannot look like a construction site, so surreptitiously moving tools, equipment, materials and workers in and out can be like trying to pour smoke through a keyhole, but it has to be done.
Most hotels, particularly those in cities, struggle to identify a ‘quiet time’ when guests are not coming or going at a consistent rate. Sometimes, this can be during the short window of 10am to 2pm between check-out and check-in and in that time, you still need housekeeping staff going about their duties to prepare rooms for the next occupant.
Right from the start, parties must consider the visual impact of the works on both guests and the surrounding area. One solution can be found by installing floor-to-ceiling timber hoardings which, while not visually appealing despite the matching vinyl display to blend it in with the hotel’s exterior, can serve the job of keeping the public safe, blocking view of the work and acting as a noise barrier. Of course, factors such as the physical location of your hotel – whether in a city, suburbs or otherwise – and its proximity to residential areas that can make this task easier or more difficult.
It can be quite a juggling act but sometimes, the simplest solutions deliver the best results and give your transformation project the crucial momentum is needs right from the get-go.