Getting the cottage ready for a summer of fun!

Home Inspector with Mid America Inspection Services, LLC North Dakota 19 & 93

Lets make our summer place as carefree as possible by hitting the maintenance or potential maintenance items right out of the box.

Start by making a few 'phone calls.

If you use fuel for cooking and/or heating call the provider and have them check fuel levels so that when you arrive there will be fuel.

Call your local electricity provider and have the power reconnected.

Make sure your "guy" has de-winterized the plumbing system and don't forget to have the septic checked and pumped, if needed, before the crowd arrives.

Depending on your families view of what constitutes cottage life you may also need to make certain the 'phone and Internet will be ready so you'll never be far from what you are trying to get away from.

If your cottage is a lake home you will want to have the dock in and the boats out of storage when you arrive. Make the call!

On arrival let's get the cabin inspection out of the way. Things happen when you are away and you'll want to get them corrected as warranted as soon as possible.

On the outside;

Check the roof for any damage. Look for broken or missing shingles and branches that have grown to the point of rubbing the roof and wearing shingles. Don't forget the gutters, fascia and soffit. Damage here can lead to pests getting into the attic and setting up home. Have any problems professionally corrected. The gutters most likely need their first cleaning of the new season to help keep water away from the cabin.

Look at the foundation, any new cracks or other damage?  How's the siding? Notice any new defects that should be corrected and on log structures look for checks that need chinking and any decay starting. Problems caught early are almost always cheaper than when let go.

Check the doors and windows for any winter damage and make sure any caulking or sealing is still intact and serving its function.

On the inside;

Is the heat working? AC? You should change filters if there are any.

Walk through each room, check the ceiling for signs of leaks that will need correction. Check walls beneath windows for water stains there and put any on you Honey Do or Handyman list. Verify operation of lights and fans and that windows and doors operate as expected.

Check the bath and kitchen fixtures to make certain there is hot water and water is flowing and draining properly. If it was a long drive you may have already check some fixtures for operation. Don't forget to look under vanities for any leaking traps and get any corrected as soon as possible.

Final check, are the oven, range, microwave and refrigerator working properly? Time to get back on the 'phone if not.

Whee! That's the basics, time to sit back and enjoy.............


Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Marshall, great checklist. When we had our Cottage it was on Fort Myers Beach. We usually kept the utilities hooked up, but just turned off where they entered the house.

Jun 27, 2011 08:50 AM
Marshall Brown
Mid America Inspection Services, LLC - Fargo, ND

Thanks for the post. May this summer be great even if it's not at Ft. Myers Beach.

Jun 27, 2011 02:53 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

It is important to do the correct items to prepare your summer home, and thanks for sharing.

Jul 04, 2011 03:08 AM
Marshall Brown
Mid America Inspection Services, LLC - Fargo, ND

Thanks for stopping by and your comment. Many of these same items apply equally to our primary residences too.

Jul 04, 2011 03:48 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Along with sitting and relaxing after doing all the maintenance work, I like to have some nachos and a margarita! JJJJ

Jul 18, 2011 02:26 AM
Marshall Brown
Mid America Inspection Services, LLC - Fargo, ND

Russel, Notice I left the "enjoy" up to the reader so you're covered for Maggies and chips. Thanks for stopping by.

Jul 18, 2011 09:44 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Happy Monday!

Aug 14, 2011 09:30 PM