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Closing your cottage for the winter

Imagine if working from home meant working from your cottage

This year there are less options for vacations and all the other activities we usually do to enjoy our downtime. Even getting together with friends and family is more and more limited. Being able to get away to a cottage in the summer was a great way to enjoy a break and still be able to stay safe and healthy, but what to do in the winter? We are seeing a trend in customers wanting to winterize a cottage. This means turning your 3-season cottage into a place you can escape to any time of the year. Having your cottage fully winterized allows you to still get away throughout the winter when there isn’t anywhere else to go. Also, for those of you working from home it opens up the possibility of being able to work from your cottage. Now that is a home office any of us could get used to. It is not a small undertaking but it is more than worth it to have a home away from home you can go any time of year.

Don’t fall for this common mistake when planning to winterize a cottage

We have found that when a customer wants to undertake this project, they believe they have to frame in the underside of the cottage, then insulate and heat. There are other ways to successfully winterize a cottage that are much less involved. There are a few different steps that need to be taken. There are also a few factors to consider.

First things first, heat line

We need to put a heat line in to keep the pipes from freezing. But what is a heat line? Heat line is a type of freeze protect system cable that goes inside of your pipe.  It uses advanced technology that allows it to focus power to heat only to the areas that are dipping below zero. It also operates with a thermostat so it only comes on when required. If the pipe we are putting it inside is deeper than where the water will freeze down to it does need to be run all the way. The heat line only has to be run where the water will freeze.

Now for inside the cottage

The inside of the cottage is an equally important part when ensuring you and your family can stay comfortable in the winter. The appliances that allow you to have running water would need to be moved inside. Often times appliances, such as pressure tanks, are kept outside or in a shed. In the spring, summer and fall months this does not create any problems because the temperature stays warm enough. Once you try to use it in the winter you run into freezing and potentially burst pipes if you try to use the water when it is below zero. Other appliances that you would need to thin about would be pumps and hot water tanks. The water lines would need to be run through the cottage instead of underneath, as we often see. To make it more aesthetically pleasing they can be hidden inside walls. Another part that is often exposed to the elements is the tub or shower trap. This would need to be insulated to protect from freezing.

We don’t want to be out in the cold, lets get the heat on

Another common problem we would have to solve for when winterizing the cottage would be making sure they have a reliable heat source. When the weather starts getting colder you want to have a heating system that can keep up with the coldest nights. When the customer has a wood-burning heat source it can be hard to keep up with -30-degree temperatures. We can replace or supplement your wood-burning heating system with a Mitsubishi Ductless Mini Split, a type of heat pump.

There you have it, a somewhat summarized version, of how we can winterize a cottage. Then you have somewhere you can escape to as often as you would like, no matter the weather.

Winterize a cottage

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Thanks so much for sending Jason and Dan for this task. Both were capable and courteous and completed the job in short order.

— Al, Peterborough, ON


Just wanted to let you know that Kirk was at my home to correct a glitch with our tankless water heater - gotta' say, couldn't be happier.

— Mac & Diane, Peterborough, ON


Doyle sent two plumbers to my house to fix a leak in my kitchen. The best work I’ve ever seen, professional and courteous.

— Charles, Durham, ON


We had Doyle’s come to fix our furnace. The office staff are great, the guys work long hours so people like us have heat and don’t freeze!

— Debbie, Peterborough, ON


I’ve struggled with my air conditioning unit at my business for 5 years. The guys at Doyle were helpful and brainstormed several solutions. In the end, they fixed it!

— Becki, Cobourg, ON


AMAZING service… Starting with the first visit when the quote was provided to the QUICK follow up and scheduling of my appointment. Great work.

— Jeffery, Oshawa, ON

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