Gilbert + Burke Blog

Custom Home Construction and Remodelling Tips



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Spending time at the cottage means sun, fun, and relaxation. But that doesn’t mean the home and property will maintain itself. Maintenance shouldn’t be a reactive approach to repair something that’s broken. Maintaining your Muskoka cottage should be a proactive strategy, just as your car needs oil changes! Staying on top of these recommended maintenance tips will help you avoid future headaches and keep your Muskoka cottage in tip-top shape.



  • Keep gutters clean
  • Weed gardens regularly
  • Pump the septic tank every 5 years (no matter how often you use the home)
  • Make sure trees and branches are not too close to the house
  • Repaint exposed surfaces
  • Equip home with:
    • Chainsaw
    • 6-foot ladder
    • 24-foot extendable ladder
    • Cordless drill
    • Lawn mower (push mower for smaller yards, ride-on for larger properties)


  • Inspect water heater for leaks
  • Clean out dryer vent
  • Test electrical outlets
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils
  • Make sure:
    • Windows and doors are airtight
    • Security system is installed and working properly
    • Deck is in proper order — no missing rails, wood is not rotten
    • Floors are level, not deteriorated
    • Chimney is swept often and capped
    • Heating system filters are replaced
    • Water is tested
    • Batteries are changed in CO2 and smoke detectors twice a year

Regular maintenance of your Muskoka cottage can actually save you time and money, and keep the value of your home! And you can likely tackle all of these tasks yourself. Print off this checklist and stick it on your fridge to refer to each time you open and close up the cottage for the season.


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