Closing the Cottage with Dave

cottage on water with fall colours

I hope that everyone has taken the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful summer that we have had. From what I’ve heard, the fall is also going to be nice, and long.

Fall is so beautiful here in cottage country but it is also a reminder that I need to get the cottage ready for the offseason. Sad, but true.

I’m sure that most of you have done this a time or two, but some haven’t. Besides, it’s always good to review and ensure that all the bases are covered.

  First, start outside. Put all chairs, tables, toys and umbrellas inside if possible. Don’t forget the BBQ, and put the tank in a shed.

  Run all of your gas powered machines until they run out of gas, then store in a shed.

  You can cover your windows outside or in for security, and to protect your fabrics. Checklist marked red with a red pen

  Close the flue on the woodstove or fireplace and change batteries in smoke alarms.

  Strip beds and pack any clothes and toiletries to take home.

  Flush a double dose of septic treatment to keep it active for the winter. Chopped up liver works very well for this as well.

  Start shutting down the plumbing. If you are on a well then simply flip the breaker. If you use a jet pump, then unplug it and disconnect the inlet end. Open the outside and inside taps and flush the toilets. Don’t forget to disconnect the dishwasher and washing machine if you have them.

  Flip the breaker for the water heater then close the top valve.  Connect a hose to the bottom drain, open it slowly and be careful, the water is still hot.

  Pour an ample amount of plumber’s antifreeze down each toilet and the drains of sinks, showers and washtubs.

  Turn off the breakers for everything that won’t be used until spring, and unplug what you can in case of a power surge.

Leave power on for sump pumps, alarms and motion sensitive exterior lights.

The mechanical aspects of the building are likely the most important and make it easier for you to re-open come springtime.

Now pack up the cupboard goods and fridge contents and leave the fridge door ajar.

Once your vehicle is loaded up, do a final walk around inside and out, and maybe even take a few pictures.

If you have a company to watch over your retreat, now is the time to call and let them know that you are gone for the season.

Take one last deep breathe of cottage air; now you’re ready to head out.

Dave Linkert, Site Supervisor, Port 32 Marshall Homes

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