Opening up the Vacation Cabin or Cottage

Monday, June 16, 2014

opening your cottageThe length of your to-do list to open up your vacation cottage for spring depends on whether you used it during the winter, and on what type of cottage it is. You can expect to perform some of the following tasks:

  • Before you leave home, pack the tools and cleaning supplies you will need to make the place habitable.

  • When you arrive, first check for damage. If you see frayed power lines, leaking water, a sagging roof, damaged doors or windows, rotten boards or raised nails on the deck, or damp spots on the inside of the walls or ceiling, you must call the appropriate repair services. It is unwise to do your own electrical and plumbing work.

  • If you use gas, check the gas lines for damage and re-connect it if everything seems fine. 

  • If you turned off the water valves to the washing machine, toilets and faucets, turn them back on and test that everything is working without leaks. If the water comes from a well, let it run in the garden until it is clear.

  • Turn on the water heater and test that it is working.

  • Turn on all electric plugs and plug in your appliances.

  • If you used antifreeze in your appliances to prevent freezing, run them through at least one cycle to flush it out. 

  • Remove animal life. Check the cupboards, vents and chimney for spiders and rodent droppings. Make sure no critters have nested in the chimney or made a new home in your home.

  • Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace the batteries if they are more than five years old. Test the batteries in the flashlights that you keep on hand in event of a power failure.

  • Replace furnace and air conditioner filters.

  • Clean twigs and leaves from the gutters, clean out the fire pit and sweep the deck and paved walkways around the cottage.

  • Cut large tree branches that may have been damaged by the winter weather, especially those closest to the cottage. 

  • Check that you have a sufficient firewood supply and put it in a convenient place.

  • Test the grill. Check that you have enough gas or charcoal.

  • Dust and wipe off all indoor surfaces.

Now your cottage is ready for a summer filled with holiday fun.