It`s that time of year again when cottage owners get ready to open up their summer retreats for another season of sunshine. And while getting the “home-away-from-home” ready for summer is a bit of work, these necessary tasks shouldn`t be avoided in order to properly enjoy the relaxing days away from the bustle of the city.
These recommended chores apply whether you own a chalet in the mountains, a classic lake-front cabin in the woods, or a cozy cottage on the seashore. Hopefully the work you did in the fall to winterize your cottage will minimize the number of repairs that are needed when summer returns. Make a checklist during the first trip back after the winter so you won`t forget any of the tasks you need to tackle before opening the cottage for the season.
Tidy up the outside
Start by walking around the property to take note of any damage caused by heavy winds, rain, or snow. If your cabin or cottage has a wood deck, patio, or stairs it is a good idea to check for rot and mold, plus power wash the surfaces to get rid of the wintertime dirt and debris. If your windows aren`t equipped with retractable screens, you`ll need to clean and put up the traditional screens to stop the bugs from finding their way into your cottage. And don`t forget to trim the new growth of the shrubs to keep them from blocking your views to the outside.
Turn on the heat
Even though the warm days of summer are around the corner, it is a good idea to be ready for the rain and cooler weather. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you`ll want to ensure that there are no unwanted surprises hiding in the chimney: check it for leaks, nests, or other obstructions. If chimney maintenance is not your forte, get a professional chimney sweep to come and do the initial check-up. This will ensure that you`ll enjoy cozy nights by a warm fireplace during rainy summer weekends. And if your cabin has an oil or propane heater, don`t forget to check the furnace filter before turning on the fuel supply tank and lighting the pilot light.
Get your appliances ready
Now you should be ready to turn on the electricity and plug in your appliances to make sure that all the circuits are working. It`s a good idea to run your clothes washer and dishwasher through couple of cycles to flush out any remnant antifreeze from the fall winterization.
Restock and relax
Before pulling out the lawn chair and enjoying a cold drink in the sun, you`ll need to restock your supplies. Throw out all expired foods that were left in the pantry, and make sure you`ll have enough sunscreen, bug spray, and after-sun skincare products. Once you`ve take care of all these tasks, you will be ready for the exciting summer months that lie ahead.