13 Tips To Start Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb Business

April 27, 2022      Shed Blog

Airbnb has become wildly popular over the last decade. More than ever before families and friend groups are choosing Airbnb destinations over traditional hotels and vacation homes for their lodging on trips. Many are recognizing this trend and starting their own Airbnb business. 

A very popular trend these days is turning a prefab cabin into an Airbnb unit! Because we love building prefab cabins here at Timberline Barns and we love that people are using them in such clever ways we’ve put together this guide with 13 tips for starting your own prefab cabin Airbnb business. 

Make Sure Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb Is Legal

The very first thing to do when starting your prefab cabin Airbnb is to get the right permits. If you want to generate some extra income then you need everything to be legal and above-board. You will want to check with your local township or government authority to find out what zoning laws are in place and what permits you will need. Calling your local municipality’s office and asking them to point you in the right direction may save you some time on this step.

Adding things like a toilet, sink, shower, or other plumbing features to your prefab cabin will require permits of some kind as well. If you happen to live in a Homeowners Association and are planning on having your Airbnb cabin on your property/lot then you will need to check with your HOA. Putting in the effort upfront to get all of these “red tape” items taken care of will make your life so much easier once you have your prefab building and are turning it into the Airbnb of your dreams.

Finish The Inside Of Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb

Chances are high that the prefab cabin building you invested in came without a finished interior. This is often called a “shell cabin”. This can be both good and bad. The good side of this is that as you are converting your prefab cabin into an Airbnb you can install all the plumbing and electrical lines and insulation correctly and exactly the way you want to. The bad news is that you have to install all those things or pay a contractor to do it for you. 

Run Electrical Wiring In Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb

The beauty of this not being done for you when you get your prefab cabin is that you get to decide where the outlets go, where the light switches go, and whether or not you add a ceiling fan. It is so much easier to run all your wiring before the interior cabin walls have been installed. Take advantage of this and think through where everything that needs power will go and wire up the interior of your prefab cabin Airbnb accordingly. Just make sure that you have the proper permits from your township or municipality.

Install Plumbing For Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb

Plumbing is a big deal when it comes to creating the perfect prefab cabin Airbnb. You will want your visitors to be totally comfortable and have what they need to enjoy their stay. This means adding a toilet, standing shower, sink, and maybe kitchen sink to your prefab Airbnb cabin.

The complicated part of installing plumbing is either connecting your prefab building to your on-lot septic, township public sewer, or selecting a composting toilet (we do not recommend these for Airbnbs because guests do not seem to like this as much). We highly recommend you consult with a professional for this part of the process.


Insulate Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb’s Walls And Ceiling

The next step, once your electrical and plumbing lines are all installed, is to insulate the walls and ceiling of your Airbnb prefab cabin. The reason for this is to help with temperature control in hot and cold seasons.

Have you ever walked into a regular, uninsulated shed in the heat of summer? Your Airbnb guests will not be able to handle that kind of temperature increase. And in the winter (if it gets cold where you have your Airbnb cabin) they will not be able to enjoy your prefab space if it is too cold inside. Installing proper insulation will make it easy to keep your Airbnb prefab building at the right temperature during all seasons and stays for your guests. 

Put Nice Flooring In Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb

Flooring is probably one of the less-likely things you would think about when planning your prefab cabin Airbnb design but it’s an important one. If your prefab cabin comes as a shell then it probably has a simple wooden floor. The good thing is that this existing floor can serve as your subfloor so no matter what kind of new flooring you want to install in your prefab Airbnb, having that shell flooring already in place makes it a lot easier. 

Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb Needs Big Windows

When you start to pay attention to what is important to people and what isn’t it can sometimes get a little confusing and strange. Believe it or not, having windows and especially big ones can really affect the popularity of your Airbnb cabin. Airbnbs seem to be more popular when they have bigger windows and more of them so make sure you upgrade the window on your prefab Airbnb if you have the opportunity. 

Make Sure You Set The Prefab Cabin Airbnb Kitchen Up Right

Your guests are going to want some kind of kitchen amenities and it’s important to provide those as you are finishing off the interior of your prefab cabin Airbnb. You don’t need to go all out here but adding a small fridge, a hot plate burner, and maybe a toaster oven should do the trick. It doesn’t have to be fancy but it has to be right. 

Use The Loft As Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb Bedroom

A lot of prefabricated cabin sheds come with lofts. This is a really great way to leverage the loft space, by making that the bedroom area. It probably will not be a space large enough for an adult to stand up in but adding a mattress to the prefab cabin loft will allow for more space in your Airbnb cabin to be used for other things. 

You could even add a futon to the living room area for extra sleeping space or a sofa-bed that pulls out. You have lots of options to make the best use of your Airbnb but using the loft in your prefab Airbnb cabin is one of the ways we recommend you free up more space. 

Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb Needs A TV

It’s a much more common mindset these days for people to be choosing prefab cabin Airbnbs and the like to “unplug” from the busyness of their everyday lives. So, fewer people may care whether or not your Airbnb cabin offers a TV but it’s a good idea to have one just in case. Enough visitors may enjoy cuddling on the sofa and watching a movie or their favorite show as a family and you want them to be able to do that and bond during those times during their stay. 

Decorate Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb Interior 

Decorating the interior of your Airbnb cabin is really important. You want your guests to feel so cozy and so at home that they will tell all their friends. Creating the right atmosphere can come down to details like throw pillows, area rugs, cute art or signs, and anything else that can create the perfect feeling Airbnb cabin space. 

Spruce Up The Exterior Of Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb

You may get a prefabricated cabin that is already painted or has siding installed, if this is the case then you’re ahead of the curve. If your prefab cabin building that you’re turning into an Airbnb business does not come painted or with colorful siding then you’re going to want to update the outside of your cabin. First impressions matter, the first impressions your guests get of your Airbnb prefab cabin will be from the exterior. Pick a fun color scheme so that the roof and the sides complement each other. You can also choose to match your house colors if your prefab cabin is close to your actual home. 

Take Incredible Pictures For Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb Listing

After you’ve done everything you need to do to get your prefab cabin Airbnb ready, take some incredible pictures and post them online. This is an important step so you want to be very intentional about the pictures you take and post. Take pictures of your prefab cabin’s best qualities. Find those moments when the light is filtering through the windows just right and social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are great places to market a prefab Airbnb cabin. You can use those platforms and the perfect pictures you take to help people find your little cabin Airbnb getaway. 

Starting Your Prefab Cabin Airbnb In VA, KY, TN, OH, Or GA?

If you are starting your prefab cabin Airbnb in VA, KY, TN, OH, or GA then consider getting your prefab Airbnb building from Timberline Barns. We build all of our prefab cabins out of quality materials that last. You can choose the standard T1-11 siding or upgrade to LP SmartSide which comes in multiple colors. We offer a lofted prefab cabin that would be a great starter model for an Airbnb cabin and we also have a deluxe lofted cabin that would be an amazing prefab building to start your Airbnb business off with. 

Contact us today with your questions about our prefab cabins if you are in our area, find a dealer close to you, or design your own prefab Airbnb cabin with our 3D shed designer!

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