As the temperature cools down and the fall days get shorter it’s time to tackle shutting down the lake house for the winter. It’s not the most fun family chore but we’ve got a straightforward checklist that’s easy to follow. Our list is targeted for a four-season cabin that we partially heat in the winter. Winterizing a three-season cabin will require additional steps since they can’t be heated in the winter months. Here are the steps we take on how to winterize a cabin or lake house for the winter months:

  1.  If you heat the property with propane gas or heating oil, top off the fuel level before you leave for the season. Be sure you have an automatic refill plan in place.
  2.  Close and lock all the property’s outbuildings including sheds, porch, garages, boat house, and more.
  3.  Move all liquids from the garage that might freeze. Place them in the house or remove them from the property.
  4.  Remove all liquids in the house that have any chance of freezing.
  5.  Purge the refrigerator of all perishables.
  6.  Remove all the trash and recyclables from the premises. Trash attracts rodents and other animals that might try to get into the house.
  7.  Turn down the heat thermostat to 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off any air conditioner units if you have them.
  8.  Turn off the circuit breaker to the well or water supply. This prevents water from being pumped into the house if a pipe freezes or breaks. Turn off the water softener depending on the unit.
  9.  Turn down hot water heater thermostat to the lowest vacation setting available. Keep the pilot burning, though.
  10.  Shut the fireplace flue if the fireplace has been used over the summer months.
  11.  Unplug kitchen appliances such as a toaster, coffeepot, microwave oven and more as it saves power. Unplug the TV and other video equipment as well.
  12.  Turn off the lights.
  13.  Check that all doors, garage doors and windows are closed and locked.

These 13 steps on how to winterize a cabin keep us on track as we shut down our lake house. You probably have some additional steps to add to your specific winterization plan.  Lake House Livin’ made an easy-to-use and printable checklist for you. Plus, we saved some room for you to add your extra shut down steps. We’ve also provided a blank form if you want to write up your own winterization plan. We hope this home hack makes your cabin shutdown process go smoothly.

Do you have any tips to share on how to make fall shutdown easier? Lake House Livin’ would love to hear from you!!