Scott McGillivray Shows One Family How They Could Make an Extra $75,000 a Year on "Vacation House Rules" Premiere

Kelly Corbett
Photo credit: HGTV / JOHNNY C.Y. LAM
Photo credit: HGTV / JOHNNY C.Y. LAM

From House Beautiful

Today, Canadian contractor and real estate expert Scott McGillivray returned to HGTV in the new series Vacation House Rules. During the series premiere, he helped husband and wife Katharine and Jason renovate their California lake cottage into a stunning coastal rental.

The cottage, owned by Katharine's parents, had been in her family for 44 years. Knowing that she and her brother John would eventually inherit the property worried her. While they wanted to keep the house in the family, maintaining a property that big would become a huge financial liability. She called on McGillivray to not only help her fix up the cottage—which was in desperate need of an update—but to learn how to effectively market the property to potential renters when she wasn't using it. She needed some Vacation House Rules.

But first, McGillivray had a huge renovation to make. To name a few of the cottage's most glaring issues: there was only one bathroom (for 10 people), the staircase wasn't up to the code, the interiors were very plain, and the tiny kitchen seperated from the rest of the first floor.

Alongside his designer, Debra Salmoni, McGillivray transformed this sinking lakefront cabin into a beach-inspired waterfront rental. According to McGillivray's estimates, the cottage, which had never been rented out before, could go for $500 a night. If the family rented it for 50 percent of the year, they'd rake in $75,000 — allowing them to not only keep the property in their family and still use it, but profit off it when not there.

Photo credit: HGTV
Photo credit: HGTV

McGillivray sure gave Katharine's family home a massive facelift. He turned the depressing brown exterior into a radiant blue, added an extra bathroom and an outdoor shower, brought the staircase up to code, and gave the interiors the ultimate coastal living aesthetic. While we loved the whole renovation, there were a few pieces that really caught our eye, so we decided to track some of these products down. Get a look at these gems!

  • The cool wavy blue wallpaper on the fireplace feature wall is called Ontario Kate Golding and can be purchased here

  • The light blue kitchen backsplash tiles are made by Céragrès and can be found here

  • The artificial plants found throughout the house are from Decor Veroneau and can be shopped here

  • The outdoor shower is made by Zippity and can be found here

  • The bathroom vanities are from McGillivray's own furniture collection and can be found here

  • The bathroom light fixtures are sconces from DVI Lightning and can be found here

  • The gigantic inflatable beaver and loon pool floats are from Float-Eh and can be found here

You can catch Vacation House Rules every Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV. Also, pro tip: McGillivray welcomed Katharine and Jason into the house during the final reveal with a gift basket and suggested they pay it forwards to renters. Perfect idea!

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