Winterizing Your Cottage

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Winterizing Your Cottage

Not everyone wants to think about the impending winter during the late summer. But for cottage owners, ensuring you’re fully prepared with a winterized cottage will ensure that you can worry less now while you’re enjoying your cottage in the summer months. More importantly, a winterized cottage is useable year-round and is more ideal than a summer-only cottage, whether you want to spend more time there with your family or rent it out to generate extra income.
 
Not every cottage can be winterized, but here are several things to be aware of if you’d like to consider updating your cottage for winter-use:

Insulation

Your insulation may need to be upgraded and you may need to install a vapour barrier if you intend to use your cottage over the winter. This is because you'll be using the heat over the winter months, and this will increase moisture in the house that can create serious issues if not dealt with properly.

Plumbing

This can be one of the most expensive aspects of winterizing your cottage, particularly if the plumbing is only designed for use over the part of the year. This means the septic system and water-using appliances may need to be upgraded to accommodate an increased water load.

In addition, pipes freezing is another concern if the cottage is in use year-round. Pipes may need to be re-run on the inside of the insulation to keep them warm through the winter when they are only being used periodically.

Heating and Electrical

If your cottage currently uses electric heat, as most summer-use cottages do, this is extremely expensive to run for longer periods of time. A wood stove can help ensure that your heat costs are kept down.

You may also need to increase your electrical service because of an increased load.

Of course, when buying a cottage it will save you time and money to look into a cottage that is already winterized. Even if you do not intend to use it yourself in the winter months, there is always the potential for rental income from the large number of people who would love to rent a winter cottage.