A comprehensive guide to securely closing up your seasonal summer home

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As summer’s vibrant colours give way to the warm hues of fall, it’s time to think about closing up your cherished seasonal home – be it a cozy cottage or rustic cabin. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a first-time seasonal homeowner, protecting your cottage/cabin during the winter months is crucial.

Join us as we take you through this practical guide on best practices of how to prepare and protect your seasonal home as we approach the colder months of the year. 

The importance of closing up your seasonal home

Closing up your summer home in time for winter is more than locking the door and saying goodbye until spring. It’s about protecting your investment, preventing damage, and ensuring a smooth reopening when warmer days return. Let’s explore why it’s important:

  • Keeps unwanted visitors away: A vacant property can attract trespassers and vandals. Properly securing your seasonal home is vital to deter unwanted intruders.
  • Prevents winter problems: Winter weather can be unpredictable. Frozen pipes, ice dams, and snow accumulation can turn your haven into a chilly disaster.
  • Saves money: By properly closing up your cottage, you’ll save on heating costs and reduce energy consumption during the winter months, which is good for your wallet.

Our checklist for closing up a vacation home

To ensure your vacation home remains safe and well-preserved during the off-season, a checklist is your best friend. Now, let’s dive into the complete checklist for closing up a vacation home.

Plumbing and utilities

  • Drain the pipes: Make sure to drain all water lines, including plumbing and the hot water tank, to avoid freezing.
  • Unplug appliances: Don’t forget to unplug appliances like the refrigerator and microwave to prevent electrical issues and save on utility costs.
  • Utility shutdown: Instead of unplugging appliances and adjusting temperatures, you can also turn off your home’s electricity and gas supply for safety. 

Heating system

  • Chimney maintenance: If your cabin has a fireplace or wood stove, clean the chimney to reduce fire hazards.
  • Temperature adjustment: Set your thermostat to a minimum temperature to keep the interior warm enough while preventing freezing. It’s like giving your cabin a snug winter sweater.

Exterior maintenance

  • Gutter clearing: Clean gutters to ensure proper drainage and prevent ice buildup.
  • Yard care: Trim trees and shrubs and store outdoor furniture to prevent damage. 
  • Snow removal plan: Arrange for snow removal services or ask a neighbour to help keep walkways clear.  
  • Window and door security: Seal gaps around windows and doors to keep drafts and critters out.
  • Roof inspection: Check for loose or damaged shingles to avoid leaks.

Winterizing the interior

  • Cleaning and decluttering: A clean, clutter-free space is less inviting to pests and easier to maintain.
  • Remove perishables: Take out all food items, including those you’d like to donate to food drives. Non-perishables can be given to local food banks.
  • Valuables storage: Protect valuable items by taking them home or storing them in securely. Your vintage record collection doesn’t want to spend the winter with strangers. 

Security measures

  • Install motion sensors: Consider installing motion-activated lights or security cameras to deter intruders.
  • Locking all entrances: Secure all doors and windows with sturdy locks or deadbolts.
  • Neighbour notification: Inform trusted neighbours of your departure and provide them with contact information in case of emergencies.

These precautions will have you enjoying hot chocolate by the fireplace and looking forward to spring’s return. Now, as you close up your cabin/cottage, don’t forget about protecting it with some insurance love. After all, even the coziest cabins need a safety net.

Insurance policies to protect your cabin

Many people dream of owning a seasonal home to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s essential to protect your cherished retreat with the right insurance policies. In this section, we’ll delve into the insurance options that will provide the peace of mind you need for your seasonal home. 

Seasonal home insurance

Think of seasonal home insurance as a warm and protective blanket for your cabin. This policy is designed specifically for vacation homes and covers a range of risks, even when you’re not there. Coverage highlights include fire, vandalism, theft, liability, and additional living expenses.

Liability coverage

Liability coverage is essential for anyone who owns a seasonal cabin. Accidents can occur, and if someone is injured on your property and decides to take legal action, liability coverage can be your saving grace. Coverage includes legal protection, medical expenses, and financial security.

Dwelling and contents coverage

Dwelling coverage protects the physical structure of your cabin, while contents coverage safeguards your personal belongings inside. Together, they ensure that both your cabin and the items you treasure are protected.



We hope this in-depth guide has given you the knowledge and confidence to safely close up your seasonal home for the winter.  

As you get ready to lock up and say goodbye to your special place, remember that you’re not just leaving a building; you’re preserving memories and protecting your investment. Winter might bring challenges, but with this information, you’ll be well-prepared. 

As you get ready to lock up and say goodbye to your special place, remember that you’re not just leaving a building but preserving memories and protecting your investment. Winter might bring challenges, but you’ll be well-prepared with this information.

Our insurance experts understand the importance of safeguarding your home and your investments. For expert insurance solutions to protect your seasonal haven, contact one of our insurance professionals today to learn what fits your needs best.

Together, let’s make sure your seasonal home will be safe and waiting for your return in the spring. Enjoy your winter break, and when the snow melts, your getaway will be ready for you.  

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