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View Poll Results: How do you close up the cottage for the winter?
We do it ourselves 36 78.26%
We hire a firm to do it 10 21.74%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-14-2016, 02:18 PM   #1
Pineedles
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Default Closing Up for Winter

I am seeing posts of folks closing up their cottages for the winter. I am curious as to how many DIY or hire a service.
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:26 PM   #2
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Default DIY - Semi Close Up for Winter

We drain the water ourselves so we can turn off the heat and not worry about it, But we do occasionally go up for an overnight depending on how much snow has fallen. 200 foot inclined driveway, too much to maintain all winter.
We can't stay away all winter !!

Hope that helps,
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:39 PM   #3
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Default Leasing - owner does work

We have been leasing the same camp for the entire season since 1986 (renting for vacation weeks before that since 1959). The owner takes care of all the closing chores like draining the water. The only thing we do is unplug the fridge, kill the circuit breakers for the kitchen & bath water heaters and turn off the pilots for the cook stove and the propane heater in the living room. What's nice about leasing is that we can leave our dishes, linens, etc. but since we are 300 miles away, someone who lives there year round keeps an eye on the place.
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghfromaltonbay View Post
We have been leasing the same camp for the entire season since 1986 (renting for vacation weeks before that since 1959). The owner takes care of all the closing chores like draining the water. The only thing we do is unplug the fridge, kill the circuit breakers for the kitchen & bath water heaters and turn off the pilots for the cook stove and the propane heater in the living room. What's nice about leasing is that we can leave our dishes, linens, etc. but since we are 300 miles away, someone who lives there year round keeps an eye on the place.
We own our house on the lake but lease (via VRBO) during off season in various places in FL and Caribbean and it works well. Leasing is UNDERRATED. Yes there are drawbacks but upside is no hassle and peace of mind.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:39 PM   #5
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None of the above, keep it open all winter.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:06 PM   #6
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We keep the house open year round. The whole house is monitored electronically and heat and a/c can be adjusted remotely.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:41 PM   #7
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We do all the water draining / winterizing ourselves. We have a pretty good system and it takes roughly 2 hours from start to finish. I will admit to subbing out taking the docks out in the fall and putting them back in in the spring, that got to be a little too much fun.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:57 PM   #8
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I close the cabin. Island services takes out the dock.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:15 PM   #9
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Our house was designed for quick winterization. No need to use a compressor. The hot and cold water pipes are sloped to central feeders in the basement with purge valves. To winterize, I close the main water valve, open the purge valves and open all faucets, flush toilets until tanks are completely emptied. I then add RV antifreeze to all traps and toilets. I dump a little antifreeze in the toilet tanks to prevent residual water from from freezing.
The hot water heater has its own drain, so I simply turn off the breaker an open the drain spigot.
I fill the dishwasher sump with RV antifreeze then start and cancel a cycle so it drains and fills the trap with antifreeze.

It takes about 15 -20 minutes.
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:09 PM   #10
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Default ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by loony View Post
Our house was designed for quick winterization. No need to use a compressor. The hot and cold water pipes are sloped to central feeders in the basement with purge valves. To winterize, I close the main water valve, open the purge valves and open all faucets, flush toilets until tanks are completely emptied. I then add RV antifreeze to all traps and toilets. I dump a little antifreeze in the toilet tanks to prevent residual water from from freezing.
The hot water heater has its own drain, so I simply turn off the breaker an open the drain spigot.
I fill the dishwasher sump with RV antifreeze then start and cancel a cycle so it drains and fills the trap with antifreeze.

It takes about 15 -20 minutes.
Pretty much the same routine and we are on an island and do it ourselves. Dock is crib so we just put a circulator in. Only springtime plumbing issues we've had are: kitchen sink hose faucet cracked (now I make sure to drain that), and toilet tank fill valves cracked (in tank anti-siphon valves need to be opened up.....four screws and blow water out with a quick puff after lifting the small membrane).
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bear Islander View Post
I close the cabin. Island services takes out the dock.
That is our approach this year. In the past we had done it all but we decided to let the young guys do the heavy lifting dock work from now on. We will still get the water out and get all else set for winter.
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:57 PM   #12
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I open and close my place myself... Including the dock work.... It has gotten a bit easier now that I have teenagers... I let them get in the water for the dock work.....

In the camp the water has a low point, and drains nice and easy....

I am now in the process of slowly converting over to PEX for the plumbing... and see that soon I may go to a compressed air drain methodology, so I can stop taking facets apart...

The key I have found, is to spread the work out, so that open and closing basically takes 3 relaxing weekends....

1. Put in water and get the outside furniture out of storage
2. Dock installation
3. Toys into the water (Boat, Jet Ski etc)

and in the fall

1. Toys out of the water
2. Dock comes out
3. Outside furniture into storage and take water out

Admittedly in the fall step 3 sometimes turns into a multi-weekend event because I just don't want to let summer go!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-18-2016, 09:31 AM   #13
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Close the cabin ourselves and Watermark hoists the seasonal dock and takes our boat lift out. Same in reverse during the Spring.
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:45 AM   #14
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Thank you all for your comments, it will help build my case for DIY for non-dock issues. LOL. Please vote too, even if you comment. Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:16 AM   #15
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Default open, close, repeat...

We keep our house open year-round, but I winterize two other houses, and it's not a bad job if you have things (e.g. the water system) set up for it and follow a pattern so you don't forget anything.

There have been numerous threads on the Forum with tips and tricks for making the water systems easier to start up and shut down. I use a compressor to blow them out, just for added comfort/insurance.

I help with a friends dock, as we progress into our 60s, it gets a bit more difficult, but we still manage. We've got it down to a pretty good system now with using styrofoam floats and a winch... the owner said "I think we've set it up to make it easier next year", and a friend responded "you mean you're going to hire someone?!?!"...

It is still spectacular at the lake (even though i might need a step ladder soon to get out of the boat)... enjoy the fall everyone! -PIG
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:21 PM   #16
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I do everything myself. To cheap to hire anyone to do stuff I can do myself.

Even though I'm winterized I use my place a lot over the winter as well. I hope this year we actually have decent ice and some decent snow fall.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:55 AM   #17
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Can I leave my LED TV in the unheated camp or do I need to bring it home?
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:21 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by mcdude View Post
Can I leave my LED TV in the unheated camp or do I need to bring it home?
A LED TV will be fine in an unheated camp over the winter.
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:21 AM   #19
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Everybody I know, including me, leaves them. Just don't try to use them before warming up to room temp.

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Old 11-05-2016, 11:32 AM   #20
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Default Cool It

We left our LED tv at our cottage last winter. It started up fine when we opened up in late April. ❄️ ☃️
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:47 AM   #21
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I always did it myself for years...Had a routine with the putting things away, packing, moving things in, dealing with the pumps and plumbing, docks..Etc, ALWAYS forgot at least one thing.. Take stock in everything before hand and calmly write your self a checklist..And use that every time..
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