What to Consider Before Preparing Your Cabin for Fall
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What to Consider Before Preparing Your Cabin for Fall

Here are five tips to prepare your cabin for fall, whether you plan to stay in or rent it out for the season.

Written by Rose Morrison
 Photo by Vincentiu Solomon / Unsplash

Conventional wisdom says summer is the best time to stay at a cabin. Although vacationing in a secluded house in the woods from mid-June to early August has merits, being there during autumn is underappreciated.

Cabin life in the fall gives you a much-needed period of relaxation before the crazy holiday season rolls around. The weather is also perfect, for there’s less humidity and the temperatures are just starting to drop. Nature around this time of year is also vibrant. Witnessing the darkening hues of leaves and scenic cloudless sunsets is something most urbanites and suburbanites yearn for.

Here are five tips to prepare your cabin for fall, whether you plan to stay in or rent it out for the season.


1. System Inspections

The best way to determine whether your cabin is in good shape is to thoroughly check its heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), roofing and plumbing systems. Performing cursory inspections may help you spot problems like a malfunctioning thermostat, missing shingles and clogged drains. However, you need someone trained to identify hidden issues that worsen when left unaddressed early.

For example, you need a professional roofer to look for damaged flashing, worn-out underlays and other common causes of roof leakage that are hard to miss from the ground. Discovering and fixing problems during fall can help protect your cabin from water damage in the winter. Remember — roof installers and repair experts are different professionals, so hire the right person for the job.

Fall is also one of the better seasons for cabin maintenance. Autumnal weather presents pleasant working conditions that help contractors finish projects more quickly. Likewise, booking the best HVAC, roofing and plumbing professionals in September, October and November is easier because many cabin owners like to tackle maintenance in the summer. If you give your property the TLC it needs during home improvement’s slow months, you may be able to pick your desired inspection and repair dates and get a better deal.


2. Pests

Unwanted guests may invade your cabin for various reasons. They may like rotten or old wood for food, take shelter to protect themselves from the elements or nest to nurse their young.

Act quickly if you have an insect infestation to mitigate damage that may result in severe structural issues. Contact an exterminator specializing in the pest you want to get rid of safely and swiftly. It’s vital to act immediately to prevent long-term problems.

If woodpeckers bother you, you can cover the damaged areas with metal sheets, Mylar or aluminum foil strips. Any of these materials will create an unpleasant noise when pecked, driving away the bird. Put any bird feeders you may have away from your cabin to avoid attracting them in the first place.


3. Energy Efficiency 

Did you list your cabin on Airbnb? You should ensure your rental is energy-efficient to woo snowbirds who want to go off the grid and stay in a cozy getaway house in December, January and February. Predicting how many renters will make a reservation in the winter is hard. However, be a gracious host and make your cabin as comfortable as possible should someone want to book it before spring. 

If you own a full scribe log cabin, additional insulation may be unnecessary because your property’s solid and thick wooden walls can inherently slow heat transfer. Otherwise, your rental probably has extra material for walling or siding that hides insulation. If this is the case, you need to call a pro for an inspection and determine whether you need an upgrade.

Furthermore, pay attention to your windows and doors. They affect your property’s airtightness and insulating properties. Feeling drafts when closed means they have gaps that allow air — and water — to come in, so buy new weatherstripping to seal them.

Look for dirt, grime and hard-water stains on windowpanes and door frames. They ruin the view and affect your glass fixtures’ ability to capture and retain the sunlight’s free heat to keep the indoors warm. When cleaning glass, use soapy water and a nonabrasive brush on a cloudy day to prevent leaving water spots and cleaner residue on surfaces.


4. New Furnishings

Change sheets to make your cabin occupancy ready. Unlike linens in storage that tend to develop a musty smell after an extended period, fresh ones feel clean. The same goes for towels and blankets. No one wants to use something that’s been hanging up for months.

Buying new furnishings is a significant consideration when trying to impress renters. Get stylish area rugs if you want to update the look of your property interior without spending a fortune. These tiny additions can make a massive aesthetic or functional impact on your cabin. Fluffy white rugs lend warmth, fur ones scream rustic and soft mats cushion hardwood floors.


5. Supplies 

Stock up on cabin essentials based on your vacation’s length. Food — including ice — should be high on your agenda, so pack enough while keeping your fridge’s capacity in mind.

Are you unsure of how safe your cabin’s drinking water is? Bring an adequate supply for the rest of the family. Boiling water for a couple of minutes may suffice to kill harmful microorganisms, but it’s ineffective in lowering the amounts of heavy metals like copper or lead.

Here are the other things you should include in your cabin checklist:

  • Toiletries
  • Fuel
  • Matches and lighters
  • Batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlights
  • Books and cards 

A good rule of thumb is to bring only the household goods your cabin lacks. If your vacation home has adequate kitchenware, save your vehicle’s luggage space and make enough room for your other camping essentials. 

Whatever you bring, ensure its biodegradable to manage your cabin waste straightforwardly and sustainably. The less garbage you need to take home, the more convenient your experience will be.


Are You Ready for Cabin Fall Maintenance?

Keeping your cabin in good condition this fall can be daunting, especially when going there involves a long drive. Fortunately, proper planning can minimize your trips and save you time, energy and gas. Take the necessary steps to prepare your property like an expert.


See Also: Your Fall Yard Maintenance Checklist

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