How to convert your cottage for all-season living

Your cottage may be your summer oasis, but why limit yourself to just a season? Continue reading to find out how you can prepare your cottage for year-round living.

Heating your cottage

Canada is well known for its cold winters – so if you decide to use your cottage over the colder months, how you plan to heat it should be top of mind. You’ll need to install an appropriate heat source, but it can be challenging since your needs may vary by location and the structure of your cottage. It’s best to seek the advice of a local professional who will know what type of system will best suit your cottage.


Properly insulating your cottage is a fundamental steppingstone to the creation of your all-season escape because cutting corners could make your cottage more difficult to heat and lead to mould and rot issues down the road. A well-insulated cottage will benefit you year-round by keeping your space cooler in the summer and conserving warmth during winter. While installing the insulation, it’s important to look for any openings or cracks that may let rodents and other pests inside.

Upgrade utilities

Your electrical and plumbing systems may need to be upgraded since winter can put a strain on them. You may want to consult a professional electrician or plumber with experience winterizing local cottages. They’ll know best what conditions your utilities will be operating under during the harsh winter months.

Windows and doors

Winter can pose some challenges for your doors and windows – especially if they’re older. Most cottages will require energy efficient double-pane windows and doors that can be sealed tight against the winter weather. If this isn’t in your budget, try boosting your cottage’s energy efficiency by filling all visible holes and cracks with caulking and applying weather stripping around the door frames.

Additional costs

If you plan to use your cottage year-round, you’ll spend more on gas since you’ll be making the drive more often. You’ll also have new utility bills, you may have to pay for snow removal services to ensure it’s accessible, and you may wish to purchase new winter gadgets like a snowmobile or snow blower. Plus, the new renos may impact your insurance rates and property tax bill – so it’s important to keep these additional costs in mind.

Insurance coverage

If you’re planning on winterizing your cottage, be sure to consult your insurance provider so they can make sure you have the right coverage for year-round protection.


This article is being provided by OSPE on behalf of The Personal which has a group sponsorship agreement with regards to home and auto insurance for our members.

The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories of Canada.

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.