May 10, 2019

Headed to the cottage? Here’s a guide to opening it up for the season!

Before you head out:


It’s best to go at this task with a plan of attack. To begin with, make a checklist covering everything that needs to be done to get your cottage back in working order. This way you can make sure you don’t forget anything important.

Once you’re there:

What your checklist might look like:

Insurance Check:

It is important to ensure that your policies are up to date and cover everything you need for the upcoming season. Have you made any changes to your cottage? Make sure you notify your insurance broker if you have made any updates or suffered any losses. Policies can be very specific and you don’t want to be caught without the proper coverage in the event of an unforeseen incident this summer.

Inspect Utilities:

Water, propane, electricity, phone, internet, television

To begin with, call all of your regular service providers and make sure your services are reconnected before you arrive.

All of these things should be carefully inspected for damage and where necessary, turned back on.

Restoring your water supply is often one of the most challenging tasks for cottage owners. Be sure to check if any of your water pipes have frozen and cracked, or leaked over the winter. If you see signs of these things, it is usually a good time to call in a pro!

As well, it is often wise to have your well and septic system cleaned at the beginning of the season.

Critter Check:

Wildlife, rodents and insect pests

Often over the winter local critters will take up residence in your cottage, sheds, or boats. Take a moment to look for signs of these unwanted house guests. If you find that a critter has made themselves comfortable make sure you check to see if they are still there before cleaning up after it.

Survey Your Property:

Examine the cottage, its surrounding buildings (sheds, garages etc.) and your property itself for physical damage and perform basic maintenance. For this you should be paying close attention to the condition of your roof, siding, windows, and doors.  It is not uncommon for branches or fallen trees to be found. These should be removed from any infrastructure and moved out of the way.

It is also important that you remember to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace them if needed. As well as plug in your appliances to make sure they are all fully functional.

Dock Duty:

Now it is time to put your dock back in the water. If you have a dock that stays in the water year round, it is not uncommon for it to shift throughout the winter or to have been damages. Once your dock is fixed or carefully placed in its proper position, you can sit back and enjoy the view!