Winter Ready Tips for Cottage Closing

We’re almost here – cottage closing time – only a few more weeks to go. (Insert the sound of heavy sobs here.)

We are extremely lucky at our place; we can stay through the beginning of winter and open early in the spring without being uncomfortably chilled for the whole weekend.  Some things we’ve done to make this possible:

  • Installed good windows and doors
  • Caulked all the gaps we could find from the outside and inside the cottage. It was surprising how many places you could feel the cold air rushing in! We found them between the small gaps where the wall meets the ceiling or between wall panels* along outside walls. (I don’t even want to count how many tubes of caulk we may have used!)
  • Insulated the crawlspaces and plumbing box
  • Installed a programmable thermostat for the propane fireplace and a convection space heater.

That pretty much made it possible for us to keep the cottage open all year long. And then we discovered that the road conditions could either prevent us for coming or we wouldn’t be able to get back to the city for work on Monday. For us, the cost to keep the place warm enough to prevent freezing while we were away and internet for those few months outweighed the benefit. Besides, my Sister & Brother-in-Law have a bed and breakfast close-by so if we ask really nicely we can still come up to visit and stay with them.

So, while we have a few weeks of cottage enjoyment left, our minds also turn to closing day. Here are a few things we’ve done to make cottage closing super-stress-less:

  • Brian re-worked all the plumbing so the water lines drain back to one manifold. This way he can open the valve and drain everything in one spot.
  • Consolidated all the plumbing equipment to one corner of the crawlspace (the boxed in and insulated space)
  • Installed 2 – 60watt incandescent light bulbs that stay on and provide enough heat that he doesn’t have to drain the water heater or the softener. He still drains the pressure tank – just in case.

Hmm now that I’m trying to create a list, I’m realizing that the plumbing was by far the most complex part of shutting down when we first purchased the cottage. Brian’s made it so simple now that it’s not much more effort than my task of packing up the kitchen stuff that can’t be left to freeze. I guess that means we have even more time than I thought to relax and enjoy these last few weeks before closing!

* Yes we have mostly panelled walls still. What we have we painted and they’re lovely with the texture. Did you know that if you close your cottage and let it freeze for the winter, drywall will most likely crack? I’m sure that’s why you see layers and layers of wallpaper and panelling in most cottages.

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