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Tools You Need At the Cottage

Summer is almost here, and that means it’s cottage season! When it comes to keeping the cottage in great shape for your family, and maybe even generations to come, maintenance is key. You’ll need the right tools to get the job done, and there are certainly a couple of items you don’t want to leave behind when you make the trek to cottage country.

Open up and clean up

The first weekend always involves a lot of leg work, as you’ll be checking to ensure everything is functioning properly and potentially tackling some bigger jobs and repairs. After being vacant for most of the winter and spring, your cottage will need a good scrub from head to toe. That means the first trip up should include a load of cleaning supplies.

TIP: I love having a power washer on hand to clean the deck and dock after a rough winter. This one certainly isn’t a necessity but it makes life easier!

More is more

I always say it’s better to bring more to the cottage than less. Most folks do a lot of the maintenance work themselves, so it’s important to have the right tools to do the job correctly. Some cottages are remote, which means the hardware store could be far away. And if you forget something, the solution isn’t always as easy as asking Dave from next door for a helping hand.

Start with the basics

Start out by making sure you have a good basic toolkit! Even better, have more than one: try to make a small, basic kit for different repair jobs like plumbing repairs (plumber’s snake, plunger, pliers, etc) and electrical repairs (Phillips head screwdriver, wire strippers, etc). Having the necessities on hand will be worth it if a small repair needs to be done to the toilet and you can’t get a plumber out the next day.

Here are a couple of additional things I recommend putting together to keep on top of your maintenance and DIY projects at the cottage.

Other must-have cottage tools:

A chain saw, framing saw and good power drill with an array of different drill bits should all be in your trunk before leaving the driveway.

Smaller things that you may not think of include a tarp (in case of roof leaks), batteries (to replace the old ones in the smoke alarm and CO2 detector), and a couple of good flashlights. Make sure they work and that you have batteries for them.

Ensure you are fully stocked with tape: duct tape, Teflon tape, and electrical tape for starters. Also, some rope and plumber’s putty are all good basics that are worth having up at the cottage.

A back-up generator is always a good idea, too. If the power goes out, it’s best to be safe rather than sorry, especially if you have little ones running around. -H