How to get the cottage ready for summer

May 20, 2021

Owning a cottage can be a lot of fun, but there’s also plenty of hard work involved. After a long cold winter, there are a number of opening weekend chores that you’ll have to take care of before enjoying a cold beer on the dock.

How to get the cottage ready for summer

[Photo Credit: AC Photography]

If you’re heading out of the city for the first time this season, these opening weekend cottage tips and tasks will help get your second home ready for summer.

Before you leave
Before packing up the car, run through this cottage opening checklist to make sure you’re ready to hit the road.

  • Turn on the utilities: Ensure your electricity, gas, and any other utility services are turned on and in working order before you arrive.
  • Pack your supplies: If you don’t have a set of tools on site, be sure to bring along anything you might need for minor repairs – screwdrivers, hammers, duct tape – along with a first aid kit, batteries, and water filters.
  • Stock the cupboards: Pick-up all pantry staples (olive oil, sugar, condiments, coffee) and other seasonal items like sunscreen and bug spray before you set off. You’ll also want to bring cleaning supplies to give the cottage a thorough scrub down.
  • Verify your insurance: Make sure your cottage insurance policy is up to date and that you have the necessary coverage for recreational vehicles such as your boat or ATVs.
  • Don’t forget your keys: Double-check that you have all the keys you need to access different parts of the property, including the boathouse, shed, or bunkie.


Make sure you’re ready for opening weekend at the cottage.
Let YP find a Hardware Store where you can stock up seasonal supplies and essentials.


When you arrive
A good inspection is important to uncover and fix any damage that might have happened over the winter months.

  • Survey the property: Walk around inside and outside your cottage and take note of any safety issues that need to be taken care of ASAP, such as water leaks, downed power lines, mould, foundation damage, or animal infestations.
  • Inspect mechanical systems: Test your heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems to ensure your cottage is ready for guests. If it’s been more than five years since you had your septic system emptied, schedule a service.

Opening weekend chores
Once the major concerns are taken care of, it’s time to tackle all the routine cottage opening weekend tasks.


  • Open all windows and doors to air out the cottage and get rid of any musty smells.
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and flashlights.
  • Wipe down countertops, floors, light fixtures, shelving, and any other areas that have collected dust.
  • Make sure fire extinguishers are fully charged.


Proper summer maintenance will ensure you and your family enjoy a fun and safe cottage season.

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