Your Cottage Season Checklist

to do list

The moment you have been dreaming about all winter is here! Along with spring, the time to open the cottage has arrived.

In all the glorious excitement that is the start of cottage season, there are some things you need to plan ahead for. Despite wanting to get there and get into the swing of things, opening the cottage can be a lot of work, happy work, but still work. A checklist will help you to ensure you have all you need, you never know what you might find after a long Canadian winter, a problem with plumbing, lighting or heating, or discovering you’ve left something important behind – you want to be prepared.

We know you want to get there and start the process of unwinding; there is something different about the air at the cottage, and the stress level! The more you plan ahead and prepare now, the smoother your opening will go, you’ll be in cottage bliss enjoying a drink on the dock sooner than you think.

Use these checklist tips to make the progression a little bit smoother, avoid stress as well as unnecessary costs.

Most important tip?  Make sure you brought the Keys!

When you first arrive, do a full perimeter check. Look for fallen trees, hydro lines, missing shingles, damage to windows and siding. Whether your cottage is on piers, blocks or concrete, frost can move things around, so have a good look at your

• Do a visual check of water lines, drains and any exposed wiring under the cottage.

• Check the stability of all stairs, decks, and railings. Time to go inside.

• Open all of the windows and doors to refresh the air.

• Look for any obvious signs of water damage or critter damage.

• Connect the water pump and prime it. Connect your dishwasher and washer/ dryer, if you have them. Close all bleeder valves and drainage valves.

• To prep your hot water tank – close the bottom drain, open the supply valve and open the pressure release valve near the top. Always make safety a priority!

• Before flipping the main hydro breaker, turn all of the other breakers off.

• Turn on the main, then each breaker one at a time with someone inside for safety.

• Don’t turn the hot water heater on yet.

• Go back inside and check the lights and use a tester for all of your plugs. Testers are an inexpensive way to keep safe.

• Now fire up the water pump and bleed the air from the cold water lines. One tap at a time. Once the hot water tank is full,
close the upper valve and flip the breaker on.

• Repeat the bleeding process for the hot water taps.

• Replace the batteries in the smoke detectors and check the charge of your fire extinguishers.

• If you are waterfront, check your dock system and shoreline.

• When you’re preparing your list of things to take, don’t forget to add a supply of batteries and a tester for your plugs, as well as bug bombs and repellent just in case any little critters have moved in.

• Stock up on non-perishable items and cleaning supplies on this first trip – it makes subsequent trips simpler.

• Prepare and pack up all the ingredients for a slow cooked meal, so all you have to do is plug it in and enjoy the aroma while you work.

Lastly, take a deep breath of fresh cottage air, cottage season is here and it’s time for summer fun.

By Dave Linkert Site Supervisor, Marshall Homes Port 32

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