Cottage season is beginning to wind down and after an amazing summer, some will be bidding their cottages farewell until the next year. That being said, as Coronavirus cases in Canada continue to increase, more people are working from home, some of which may even be interested in extending their cottage stay for the fall and winter seasons. Although many of these cottages are only liveable during the spring and summer months, these 4 tips can help change your summer oasis into your all-season sanctuary.
- How are you going to heat your cottage this winter? – You’ll want to consult with a professional to find out which heat source would best suit your cottage. The kind of heat source you want can be based around price and where your cottage is located. Insurance policies and coverage vary depending on what heat source you plan to install. So before you choose your heat source, you should call your insurance broker to make sure that you are covered and see how different heat sources can affect your insurance premiums.
- What kind of electrical and plumbing do you have? – Your electrical and plumbing systems may need upgrading or replacing to support all-season living. To prevent your pipes and plumbing from freezing this winter, you will need to run your pipes on the warm side of the insulation. It is important that an electrician or plumber comes and inspects your house as they can tell you what work needs to be done to winterize your utilities.
- Ramp up the insulation – Canadian winters are notoriously cold, so you’ll need to install proper insulation in your cottage if you plan on being there this winter. Add a vapour barrier to prevent condensation from developing inside the walls, or else your cottage could be at risk for mould and rot. (Mould and rot are not covered under a standard home policy)
- Upgrade your windows and doors – Many cottages windows and doors are outdated and are not properly sealed, which is fine if you are not there during the colder months. Ensure that all windows and doors in your cottage need are properly sealed to prevent drafts from coming in and warm air from escaping (this also helps with energy savings). Depending on the type of windows currently installed at your seasonal property, they may need to be swapped out for a year-round alternative (such as new double-paned windows).
How does winterizing your cottage affect your insurance?
If you’re thinking about converting your summer cottage into a four-season home, reach out to your insurance broker to make sure you have the coverage you need for year-round protection. Contact your local broker at Miller Insurance to see if you have the right coverage during renovations or to see if there are any limitations if you plan on renting it out.