Opening the Cottage: What You Need to Consider

It’s that time of year when the thought of lakes and wilderness lifts your spirits after a brutally long winter. Opening up the cottage is an exciting time for families across the country. Sunny mornings on the patio, warm afternoons on the beach and cozy nights by the fireplace are the things that happiness is made of!

However after a long winter, many cottage owners are terrified of what the off-season has left behind. So before opening up the cottage, read on for a list of things you should consider.

Upon Arrival

As soon as you step foot on cottage grounds, it’s very important to do an overall inspection of the property. Cobwebs and musty spaces are just the tip of the iceberg, but damage to the infrastructure can potentially lead to bigger problems. Weather elements like snow and freezing rain can do significant damage to hydro lines and water supply tanks. Check for outdoor cables that are disconnected or hanging low, and be sure to contact your local utility supply if you feel service has been disrupted.

Removing Waste & Debris

Cottages are often located in remote areas, sometimes making it tough to haul away all the junk left over from the winter season. Experts recommend contacting a bin rental company.

The good thing about this option is that you pick a bin size, the company delivers it to your cottage, you fill it with junk and then contact the company again to haul it away for you. Rates are much cheaper than hiring a professional waste management firm to do the job, and yet you can leave the hard part (hauling it away) to the team at the bin rental company.


A few minor checks and tweaks will ensure everyone is happy (and safe!) during the summer season.

Here are a few tasks that should be done each year:

  • Replace all batteries with fresh ones in carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms as they may have died during the off-season
  • Remove leaves and other debris from eaves troughs to prevent water damage to the home
  • Trim long branches that have grown too close to the property

It’s also important to check for animals that may be living in crawl spaces underneath your cottage. Check for rodents, raccoons and birds underneath your deck as well. Never handle a dead animal yourself as the corpse may be carrying diseases. Contact a wildlife specialist to remove animals from your property.

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