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Opening the Cottage

The ice has come off the lake – that is always an exciting time for cottage owners –it means that May two-four is just around the corner, and that is cottage opening time.
Preparing ahead of time for May two-four can help make that week-end not just a chore-filled experience, but rather ensures that you have some time to kick back and enjoy the views from the deck. Gathered here is a must-do list for opening the cottage. It is a simple list of those things you absolutely need to do -not the complete exhaust yourself – no time to relax list. Remember, you have all summer long to complete everything! This list will prepare you for the first wonderful weekend:

Before you go

  • Make sure your electricity is turned on. Also the phone and any other services you will need before heading up.
  • Be sure everything is insured and you know where those papers are. This includes the cottage and also any boats, trailers etc. If you do have a trailer – check those lights before you load the family up.
  • Keys! – All and any, gather them up. There is nothing worse than forgetting those keys.
  • Pack the tool kit. All of the ones you will need – heck, throw some duct tape in too.
  • Cleaning supplies. After a long winter, it is a good idea to freshen up the place. While you are packing this up, grab any filters you will need to change and some batteries too.
  • Now pack the cooler and you are ready to go.

On arrival

  • Outside – do a walk-about. Check power lines, phone lines, chimney, deck, windows and under the cottage too. Look for tree debris and check for any branches that may need trimming.
  • Inside – check the cupboards, drawers and counter tops for signs of mice. Look for any water damage that may have occurred over the winter.

The Tune up

  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and flashlights
  • Check fire extinguisher
  • Clean out eaves troughs
  • Replace any filters that need changing

Turn on the water

Arguably this is the most important and most involved part of opening the cottage. If you pump water from the lake, here is a check list for you:

  • Inspect the lines.
  • Replace the pump filter.
  • Prime the pump.
  • Ensure cold-water valve on hot water tank is closed. Now open a cold-water tap in the cottage.
  • Switch on water pump at panel box.
  • Open valves between pump and the cottage.
  • Open all cold water taps to remove the air.
  • Close all the taps looking for leaks or hissing.

Turn on the hot water

  • Be sure hot water tank is off and taps are closed.
  • Connect a hose to the drainage valve and run it outside. Open that tap.
  • Open a hot-water tap.
  • Close the drainage valve.
  • Turn on cold water intake to fill the tank.
  • Once water is flowing through the open hot-water tap, the tank is full.
  • Turn on the hot-water tank.

Now it is time to rest easy! You have checked the cottage inside and out, opened things up properly and you have hot water! All you need now is something to eat…and maybe a beer.

Enjoy a safe, long and warm summer.

If you need assistance with insuring your cottage, please call us at 1-800-361-0941. We have several insurance companies that love cottages!

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