Getting Your Cottage Ready for Sun and Fun

Outdoor patio area with phantom motorized screens
Photo courtesy of Visbeen Architects, Inc.

Say goodbye to sweata’ weatha’ and hello to sunshine, lakeside lounging, and a cool beverage always on hand. Your home-away-from-home might still be your home (if you’ve got the perfect patio space with Phantom Screens), but if you have the space and place for it, a cottage is a perfect getaway it’s ready to receive its guests.  

a dock at sunset looking out onto lake

Cottage, cabin, chalet, lodge, summer home, whatever you call it, wherever it resides, it’s time to open the doors and let the fresh air in. The work you completed in the fall to winterize your cottage will help make the transition to Spring and Summer easier. Make a checklist during your first trip back after winter to help get you back into the groove of things. This will also help the chores and tasks seem more attainable.

The great outdoors

Wind, heavy rains, and snow can cause minor damage, so take a walk around the property on your first time back of the season, focusing on wooden decking, patio, or stairs for mold and/or rotting. 

Power washing can help with leftover wintertime dirt and debris, giving you a fresh start to the season. If your windows and doors are equipped with retractable screens, follow these steps to clean them: 

  • Clear the tracks of dirt and debris using a vacuum or a rag, and lubricate them with Phantom’s greaseless silicone spray
  • Once or twice a season, clean the mesh and casing with water, mild detergent, and a soft brush—never use harsh chemicals or a pressure washer

Have a motorized screen with vinyl, or need more maintenance tips, find them here

Remember to clear away any oversized shrubs to keep your views uninterrupted. 

Dining outdoors doesn’t mean you have to be more casual. Love going all out and making a statement? Go for it. Let your personality shine through and get creative. Whether it’s a small get-together with your immediate family or an intimate gathering of friends, setting a unique, extravagant or even quirky table can let your personality and dinner atmosphere shine. 

Creating a dining experience that matches your home, your interests, or your personality makes dining experiences much more special.  No need to buy new outdoor dishes to create the perfect al fresco dining experience, use what you have. Head into your kitchen and bring out your favorite plates, vases and other decor outside to create a unique dining area. Add cut flowers and greenery from your own backyard or your local florist to bring elements of nature to the table. This is super easy to do and makes an immediate difference to the table. 

three friends in camping chairs enjoying drinks

Let’s turn up the heat

You’re ready for bathing suit weather and lounging on the lake, but unexpected weather or cooler nights may have you reaching for the heat. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, check for unwanted surprises in the chimney, such as leaks, nests, and other obstructions.

If chimney maintenance seems too daunting to you, professional chimney sweepers can help with the initial check-up so you can get back to enjoying cozy nights by the fire. If your cabin has an oil or propane heater, don’t forget to check for maintenance. It’s recommended to do this before turning on the fuel or lighting the pilot light. 

Getting your appliances ready

our appliances should now be ready to be plugged in, and the electricity turned on. Ensure all your circuits are working, and if your cottage has a washing machine and/or a dishwasher, now is the time to run them through a couple of cycles to flush out any antifreeze remnants from the winterization. 

Restock and relax

Before you put up your feet and relax, the last thing you’ll need to do is make sure your space is restocked. It’s best to keep the pantry and kitchen empty and clean, so you don’t attract any unwanted guests. Then grab your hat and the sunscreen (or lower your Phantom Screens for shade), sit back, and relax.