Escaping To a Cabin Can Improve Your Health

by Mikkie Mills

Sometimes you need to step away to get a clear picture of where you are. The break you get can be a useful tool for taking control of your overall health and wellness. Consider these five ways that escaping to a cabin can help improve your health.

You Can Step Away From Constant Comparisons

In a hyper-connected world, it is nearly impossible to escape comparisons. You look at other people’s lives on social media and on the screen and automatically judge your own against those standards. The next thing you know you are wondering “Is hydrogen peroxide safe for teeth?” in an attempt to get a radiant smile like everyone else. However, filters and selective sharing mean that what you see is virtually never the other’s full reality. Sadly, there is a growing body of evidence that these constant comparisons can be detrimental to your health. They negatively impact self-esteem and undermine confidence. So, use your cabin escape as a way to step away from social media and embrace who you are.

You’ll Be Surrounded By Nature

The natural world has an amazing ability to heal and soothe, and a cabin retreat is a perfect way to take advantage of that. As you enjoy your time away, embrace nature and immerse yourself in it to feel better physically and emotionally. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Take a daily walk through the woods
  • Swim or paddle in a nearby lake or stream
  • Pick flowers to make an arrangement for your table
  • Open the windows and let a breeze flow through your space
  • Sit quietly and listen to the sounds of nature
  • Learn to identify different birds and other wildlife.

You’ll Have Ample Opportunities To Move More

You might have noticed that many of the nature activities involved some sort of physical activity. That is because a cabin adventure is an excellent way to get moving more as part of daily life. There is no 24-hour gym beckoning with a HIIT class and no yoga studio telling you how to find your zen. Instead, there is just an awe-inspiring natural backdrop and endless opportunities to move around in it. Walking and hiking are great ways to move more throughout your day. If you have a bike that is suitable for trail use then you can really get your heart pumping. Simply spending time in the garden pulling weeds or skipping stones on the water are also great ways to use your body in a natural and healthy way. Moving more matters because many adults do not get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. That can lead to serious health consequences, such as the increased risk of chronic diseases and some types of cancer.

You Can Appreciate the Small Things

If your normal life runs at a breakneck pace, you may not have time to stop and smell the roses on a day-to-day basis. Now is a great opportunity to do that. Slow things down and take the time to notice the little things around you. From the beauty of flowers to the joy of an afternoon thunderstorm, you may find that you are missing out on countless things that inspire and bring peace to the soul.

You’ll Have a Chance To Reflect

When was the last time you simply sat in a quiet place and experienced your emotions? It’s probably been a while — if you’ve ever done it at all. That is incredibly unfortunate because, without that awareness and reflection, people never learn to recognize and respond healthfully to their emotions. Use your vacation time in a cabin to really get to know yourself. Learn a new meditation technique or two before you go so you have something to work on during your stay. Some of the most effective practices can be done in short sessions of just a few minutes each, giving you a simple way to get used to embracing your feelings without judgment or reaction.

A cabin getaway could be exactly what you need to take charge of your health. It gives you a chance to reflect and appreciate nature and the beauty in little things, while also giving you a much-needed break from social media comparisons.

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Remote Lifestyle At Your Cabin

By Craig Middleton

Working remotely can seem like a dream, even more so if you find yourself able to work from the comfort of a cabin. There are lovely views and ample time to focus when you are surrounded by quiet. If you work an office job and find yourself needing to get away but have to take work with you, take a gander at vacationing in a cabin. You may find that your focus is even better, especially with the view.

Here are a few reasons why working remotely in a cabin is like a dream and why you should give it a try.

The Quiet

Nature has its own noise, and it’s surprisingly quiet and peaceful. There is something to be said for the lack of cars zooming by, replaced by footsteps in the woods. Running hoodie will be your favorite clothing item, as you find mornings in a cabin are restful and recharging. By the time you finish your jog and fancy a coffee, you’ll be feeling fully alert and ready to work.

Less distraction makes work go faster, leaving you open to taking time to yourself.

Workspace View

You can work from the comfort of the cabin or outside of it if the weather is agreeable. Work becomes more efficient because the stress is further away with the view. If you feel yourself daydreaming more than typing, you can always take the laptop back inside and create a working space that’s right for you. The quiet will alleviate distractions and whether you can handle having a window near you, showcasing the gorgeous outside, is up to you. Either way, whether you enjoy the view while typing or reward yourself with the view when the job’s complete, it’s still worth seeing every single time.

Creativity

Creative juices flow when your atmosphere doesn’t hinder you. Remote work life from a cabin is about the balance between getting work done, feeling inspired, and enjoying the space. You can choose your space and set up your work environment to have everything you need nearby.

Understand your work style so you can be successful in remote working in a beautiful location. Find your rhythm in your workflow and if that means having certain things close to you, make sure they are nearby. Having what you need easily accessible makes drinking coffee and working on a laptop a lot more pleasurable.

Taking Time

Being in a cabin near beautiful scenery beckons to be appreciated. You may be working remotely, but remember to clock out when it’s time. Your mind needs to recharge and take in the peaceful nature around you. You’ll see how easy it is to clock back in the following day if you’ve allowed yourself time to recharge and be refreshed.

Taking this time allows for a restful night, and if you’re getting the right amount of sleep, your mind’s clarity for performing will be where it needs to be. Don’t forget that recharging doesn’t mean just waiting until it’s time to clock out. Allow yourself to have a break.

A downfall of remote work can be employees feeling like they need to put in additional hours. A healthy you will know the right balance between work and enjoyment. Don’t run yourself ragged and forget to take the time you need to appreciate your surroundings.

Remote work requires discipline, but there’s something to be said for feeling inspired from where you work. Enjoying a cabin while working offers so many perks. The quiet aids in focus and concentration, the view gives your mind something to be inspired by, and options for where you work in the cabin are pretty limitless. To make remote cabin work successful, understand your work style and keep things near you that are helpful to keep you in the zone with your workflow. Probably the most important aspect of working remotely is taking time to remember to clock out and unwind. After all, the view is gorgeous.

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Renovate Your Cabin For Year Round Use

By Mikkie Mills

If it’s getting more difficult each year to close down your cabin and say goodbye, it might be time to think about living there full time. For many families, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain two separate homes anyway, so why not stay on vacation permanently? Plus, with so many people working remotely, it could be a viable option. If you’re considering your summer cabin for your full-time base of operations, here are four ways to renovate it and use it the entire year.

1. Install a Swimming Pool For Summer

Not all cabins are lakeside, so spending long summers at your new permanent home will only be better with the installation of a swimming pool. With a convenient and easy pool loan, you’ll be well on your way to endless summertime fun for the whole family. The benefits of a swimming pool at your cabin aren’t just limited to amusement. A swimming pool provides you with the perfect exercise especially if you can’t drive to the gym every day. Swimming is good for all ages because it works every muscle while remaining low-impact.

Inevitably, the time will come when you want to entertain friends at your cabin. Pools are a great backdrop for picnics, birthday parties, dinner gatherings or any type of celebration. Plus with the right lighting, you can swim well into the evening on a balmy summer night.

2. Enjoy Autumn With New Windows

Another cabin improvement that will bring you joy throughout the year is new windows. When you were using your cabin exclusively for the summer, chances are you spent so much time outside that you didn’t give your windows much thought. Staying at a cabin year-round gives you a front-row seat to the beauty of fall and winter, so enjoy every minute of it with spectacular glass vantage points.

 

When selecting windows for your cabin, take your vista into consideration when choosing a size and style. Window frames are now available in all different colors, so find one that blends well with your cabin. Also, opt for windows that are energy efficient for the winter months.

3. Add Additional Heating For Winter

Heating your cabin for the winter is completely different than simply starting a fire on a chilly summer evening. Installing a conventional heating source will greatly depend on where your cabin is located since you’re far from gas lines and oil delivery might not be feasible. This means your best options are electricity or a pellet stove.

Along with your new heating source, it’s important that your cabin be insulated if you’re going to stay there all year. Insulation not only keeps you warmer, but also prevents condensation in and on your walls. This moisture could cause rot and mold come spring, so take precautions.

Another area to insulate is your pipes. Since you’ll no longer be draining them for the winter, wrapping them will prevent them from bursting if you lose heat. Lastly, do an inspection of your cabin for basic winterization. Have your chimney cleaned and seal around your windows and doors against drafts.

4. Design a Deck For the Four Seasons

If you’re entertaining a permanent move to your summer cabin, there’s no better way to enjoy all four seasons than from a deck. A deck increases your living space and brings it right into the great outdoors. You can use a deck for sunbathing, entertaining or for dining outside in the summer months. It even makes a great place to grill in the winter if you keep it shoveled off. When selecting a material for your deck, take your environment into consideration. Highly-shaded areas might rot a wood deck, so ask about composite materials instead. If you choose wood, remember to keep it sealed and stained.

If you’re thinking about making your summer cabin into a year-round residence, a few important changes are in order. With the addition of a deck, pool, alternate heating source and new windows, you’ll have the house you always dreamed of.

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Building Your Dream Lake Home in Utah

Jordanelle Reservoir in Utah

By Paisley Hansen

Depending on where you build your dream lake home, you are going to run into different rules and regulations. Utah has pretty strict building codes and laws. The beautiful scenery and tourist destinations make the process worth it. Follow the tips below to make your dream home-building experience less of a nightmare.

Start With a Starter Home

When it comes to building your dream lake home, you don’t actually need to build the house from the ground up. Buying a starter home that has already been built by Utah home builders can help to cut through some of the red tape. Starter houses, even when you plan to use them as a vacation home, tend to be cheaper than buying a home that doesn’t need any work on it.

While you will need to put a lot of hard work into a starter home, you will need to put a lot more work into building a whole new house. Plus, with a starter residence, you will have the opportunity to customize your home more than you would be able to with a newer and larger building. However, whether you decide to go with this option or build a house from the ground up, you will still need to get a building permit.

Get a Building Permit

Utah has strict laws when it comes to building permits. For example, Salt Lake City’s civil enforcement and building website FAQ page says, “basically, all work being done requires a permit. The only exception to this is painting, laying flooring, or other cosmetic issues.” Meaning, if you’re doing anything other than minor fixes and decorative changes, you are more likely than not going to need a permit. If you are not sure if you need one or not, go to the same website to get more information, or call someone in the Building Services and Civil Enforcement department.

Before you apply for any kind of building permit, you will need to have building plans laid out. If you are hiring a contractor or another professional to do the building work, then they are the ones who need to submit this documentation. If you are the one to submit the paperwork instead, then you would be liable to make sure all of the building is done up to code rather than the contractor. The final cost of the building permit will entirely depend on the type of project you are working on. The bigger the build, the more expensive the permit will be.

Don’t try to build without a building permit if your project requires one. This can land you in some legal trouble. If someone is caught building without a building permit, then the Utah building department can legally put a hold on the build. If the build is not up to code, then the state has the authority to demolish it or the part that is being built on. With legal fines on top of all of this, it is potentially much more expensive to try building without a permit than it is to get a permit.

Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

Depending on what kind of homeowners insurance policy you have on the property, the insurance may or may not cover home renovations. It is best to check this out before you start working on any large projects.

There are a couple of types of insurance policies you can use while working on a home. If you are living in the lake home already, then you may want to get “dwelling under renovation” coverage. This can help to insure building supplies and certain damages that can happen to foundations and other parts of the house while construction is ongoing.

When building your vacation lake home in Utah, it is important to remember that this state’s laws may be different than the laws in which your regular residence is. Always make sure to check local laws and insurance policies before you start your build, whether you are building a home from scratch or beginning with a starter home.

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Buying A Vacation Home

by Paisley Hansen

If you are tired of drifting from one vacation to the next and want a touchdown space to relax, it’s time to invest in a vacation home. This haven can help you unwind from the chaos of everyday life which is why finding the right space is paramount. This can often be an easier said than done process; however, don’t worry, you too can find your dream vacation home. If you want to find the space of your dreams, here are six tips that you should keep in mind when buying a vacation home.

Amenities

While your vacation home is an escape from your normal life, it should be anything but ordinary. Although a home away from home can help you remove yourself from your normal environment, don’t be afraid to be a bit more extravagant and look for your dream features. Everything from a waterfront balcony to enjoy your morning coffee to the perfect pool designs Mobile to give you the backyard features of your dreams will help you find your way to a more restored and recharged state. When you are buying a dream vacation home, make sure that it has everything you have ever wanted.

Location

Whenever you are purchasing property, you need to make sure that you take into consideration location. While this influential factor will impact the property’s value and your ability to eventually resell, it is even more important when choosing a vacation home. Don’t choose a location that is so far away from your home or a hassle to get to. This will make for a stressful travel experience whenever you go and make it difficult to deal with any maintenance issues that pop up. The location should be one of the key considerations as you think about buying a home.

Community

Your vacation home is unlikely to be your primary residence; however, the community that you move into still matters. Take a walk around the neighborhood and talk to some of the other residents. This can help give you a sense of the community and whether the property is a good fit. If you find out that the neighborhood is mostly rented to short-term vacationers, this may be a factor that influences your decisions. Vacationers have little responsibility, accountability or investment in the health of rental properties or the community and this can lead to unnecessary noise and destruction of spaces. If you are looking for a location where you can unwind, this may deter your decision.

Care, Upkeep and Management

When you have the financial freedom to choose whatever vacation home you want, it may be enticing to consider the most expansive and expensive option. While you can certainly choose a larger property, you need to ask yourself important questions about this investment and consider how you will maintain it. Everything from routine maintenance to general upkeep to cleaning will be aspects of the home that you need to consider. If you want your vacation home to remain in good shape, don’t forget to take into consideration its long-term care.

Ambiance

With a vacation home, you will want to feel like this is your second home. You need to get a feel for your new space. While you can certainly make changes, home improvement upgrades and adjustments to decorations, you need to like the place. It is better to hold out for something that you love than to settle for something mediocre.

Usage

With vacation homes, homeowners have a wide array of uses for these properties. Whether you plan to spend half of your time there, you plan to only spend weekends during a particular season or you plan to rent it for part of the year, this can vastly influence the type of space that you are looking to purchase. As you are looking at options, consider how you will be using the space and then buy a home that can support those different uses.

When it comes to vacation homes, you will want the perfect place to help you unwind. Don’t let your vacation home trigger any more stress and instead make sure that you spend the time finding the home of your dreams during the buying process.

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Getting the Most Out of Your AirBNB Lake House Property

By Craig Middleton

If you have a lakehouse property that is also an Airbnb, and you want to ensure that all your guests have a wonderful time, a little preparation can go a long way, especially if you have visitors that are not local to the area and might not know what to expect. These tips can help you make the most of your property and help you to earn good reviews later on.

Stock Everything Your Guests Will Need

What do your guests need to have a good time? You don’t have to go out and buy them dinner for their stay, but make sure they have items they would need like toilet paper, enough towels, and even small toiletries. Think of yourself as a hotel of sorts, and ask yourself what people would go through while they are staying at one. Then, make sure you have enough of everything stocked. You don’t have to go overboard either, just make sure they have a couple of backup items for the duration of their stay.

Let Them Know What Activities They Can Do

Guests that aren’t local likely aren’t aware of all the activities they can take advantage of. It might be helpful to provide them with brochures of nearby activities like mini-golf, where they can rent a boat, how they can get a fishing license to fish on the lake, and so on. If you have certain items at your lake house, like fishing poles or a croquet set, let your guests know where to find them. Having access to fun activities, like games, can make their vacation even more memorable and special, ensuring they come back and have fun at your Airbnb again.

Forewarn Them of Possible Problems To Watch Out For

Think about possible issues that you might know about, but guests who are not locals would not. Maybe there is a snake nest in the woods nearby, or perhaps certain areas are prone to flooding. Consider what type of natural problems you notice in the area that doesn’t have to do with the house or otherwise can’t be fixed, and make your guests aware. Giving them notes you type up might help so they have a clear reference point, or you could provide them with a welcome email. This can save on confusion and even help to keep your guests safe.

Have a Neat and Clean Atmosphere

Having a clean and well-organized Air BNB goes without saying, but it can really make a positive difference to your guests. Make sure all linens are on the bed in a welcoming manner, and consider learning how to fold a fitted sheet so your extra linens look nice in case your guests need to use them. Go over each room once, and notice anything that looks dirty, out of place, or needs to be changed, and fix it. Keep a record of any items you throw out so you can replace them, ensuring your guests never run out of what they need to have a comfortable stay at your lake house.

Having a lake house Airbnb can help you make a lot of extra money, especially if you know how to present it. Make sure you have extra items stocked, in case your guests run out of anything and let them know where they can go to enjoy certain things, like nearby activities or even games. Make sure they know what to watch out for, such as plants or animals that are home to your area but might be dangerous, especially if they are not local and wouldn’t know about them. Having a clean atmosphere helps a lot, and can make your guests feel welcome and happy, no matter where they are coming from. Best of all, going the extra mile is likely to earn your Airbnb positive reviews and ensure people return again soon to visit you.

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Prepare Your Lake Home for Winter

by Craig Middleton

You probably spend tons of weekends in your lake house over the summer. In the winter, however, you likely return to your regular home. Before you leave your property on the lake, you must make sure it is prepared for the harsh weather. Otherwise, you could end up with water or ice damage. Here are four tips for getting your lake house ready for the winter.

Secure and Protect the Exterior

Heavy snow can build up on your roof during the winter. A weak roof with unsecured or missing shingles can collapse under this weight. Be sure the shingles are properly in place. While you are checking out the roof, you should also unclog the gutters.

The grass surrounding your lake home needs protection from the elements, too. Local winter lawn care experts can help you keep the yard fertilized so the grass is ready to grow in the spring.

Insulate or Drain the Pipes  

During the winter, water inside pipes can freeze. The ice may then expand until the pipes burst and flood your home.

If you do not plan to be in your lake house during the winter, you should remove all the water from the pipes. Turn off the main valve and then run the faucets until the pipes are fully drained. To make sure the pipes are completely dry, you can also blow them with an air compressor. Pouring anti-freeze down each drain works, as well. Do not forget to drain the pipes leading to your washing machine and dishwasher, too.

Of course, if you are going to spend the cold months in the lake house, you will need to keep the pipes running. In this case, you should insulate and wrap the pipes so they do not get too cold. You should also make sure the pipes are close to the heat. Put warming units near the pipes, and keep open any cabinet doors that house pipes.

Remove Summer Items

Ice storms can destroy your seasonal dock if you leave it out in the cold. You will probably have to hire a professional to remove the dock for you, but this will keep your dock in good shape once the weather is warmer.

Similarly, any outdoor items, including hoses, patio furniture, and watercraft, should be stored in the basement before you leave the lake house for the winter. This way, you will not have to replace them each year. You also will not have to worry about the items blowing away during windy storms.

If you do not have storage for your items, you should at least cover them. You can also try spraying wood items with teak oil and metal furniture with WD-40 for extra protection.

Prepare Your Heating System

If you are staying in your lake house during the winter, you will probably be running the heater frequently. Have a professional check the HVAC system to ensure it is in good shape.

You may be tempted to turn off your heating unit when you are not in the lake house. However, prolonged cold temperatures could cause the pipes to freeze and burst. This, in turn, could cause mold to grow inside the cabin. You should thus keep the thermostat set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit if you are not living in the lake house for the winter.

Of course, leaving on the heat will increase your utility bill. However, you can cancel out this added expense by limiting the electricity the lake house uses when you are away from the property. Before you leave the premises, you should either unplug all the appliances and electronics or shut off the power via the circuit breaker. Just be sure to leave on the security system and the front porch light to deter potential thieves.

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Design Ideas for Your Dream Lake Home

stone fireplace and winter scenic background. Photo realistic 3d rendering

by Craig Middleton

If you’re lucky enough to be able to build your dream vacation home by the lake, you may be searching for ways to customize your getaway. Here are five design ideas to get you started.

Gourmet Kitchen

For the kitchen of your lake vacation home, you’ll probably want a versatile space capable of handling preparations for both large events and intimate family breakfasts. A functional yet attractive gourmet kitchen can meet your needs and fit in with the overall aesthetic of your home.

Designing a kitchen with a light and airy feel can help you bring the open lakefront aesthetic indoors to the heart of your home. To keep things bright, consider installing glass-fronted cupboards and pantry doors so the room doesn’t have a boxed-in feeling. Built-in appliances do a better job of providing a seamless look than stand-alone units and can contribute to the sense of openness. Even extra features that make your kitchen more practical, like a trash compactor, wine refrigerator, or dish warmer, can be unobtrusive and help maintain the uncluttered, airy feel you’re going for.

Window Wall

To further capitalize on the sense of openness and airiness, and to take advantage of your undoubtedly gorgeous lake frontage, featuring a wall of windows in your main living spaces is a must. Floor-to-ceiling glass will allow more natural light to flood in while providing unobstructed water views, and your windows can be designed in a multitude of styles to fit with your home’s exterior. If privacy is a concern, you can install automated blinds that can be dropped or raised as needed. Vertical sheer shades can also preserve your privacy while still allowing you to take in your beautiful views.

Dining Deck

Although you’ll likely have a traditional indoor dining room in which to enjoy meals during poor weather, dedicating an area of your deck to outdoor dining will help you take full advantage of your lakefront locale. You’ll want your table and chairs to be both weather-resistant and comfortable, and you should plan for enough space to accommodate your entire family and a few additional guests.

To cozy things up, add an outdoor area rug and decorate the space with plants and other greenery. Be sure to have sufficient lighting so guests can see their meals and each other, but avoid anything glaring that would detract from everyone’s ability to enjoy dining in such a special setting.

Attached Boat House

In the same way that your garage is likely attached to your home back in the city or the suburbs, your boathouse can also be attached to your lake home. With an enclosed dock located next to or below your living quarters, you can enjoy the convenience of piloting your boat right up to its own protected moorings while you’re just steps away from the cozy indoors. Being able to access your boat from your house can make it easier to unload your haul when coming back from a grocery run, and it can be so much simpler to pile in your whole family, plus your water toys, for a day of fun on the lake.

Custom Spa

If you’re worn out from a day frolicking on the lake, few things are quite as relaxing as spending time in your own custom spa. Taking in a nighttime view of the lake from your multi-jetted hot tub can be an unparalleled pleasure, as can soothing your muscles in your own steam or infrared sauna. To round out the personal spa experience, a cold plunge pool can reinvigorate you so you’re ready for another day of kayaking, paddleboarding, or tooling around on your personal watercraft.

If you’re building a lakeside vacation home, you’ll want to make it uniquely yours while taking advantage of your waterfront location. Whether you use one of these ideas or come up with some of your own, you’re sure to find options that will help you design the lake house of your dreams.

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Keeping Your Vacation Cabin Safe

by Mikki Mills

Your cabin is where to go to escape. It’s where you take in the exhilarating view of the mountains or the peaceful waterfront energy of the lake. And to make sure your cabin remains the sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of, there are a few things you can do to keep it in tip-top condition.

While it might be tempting to focus more on the aesthetics of your cabin, keeping safety first is paramount. Even though every cabin is different, there are a few things that should be prioritized to make sure your cabin remains a safe place for all to enjoy. Here are three to add to your checklist.

Protect the Electrical System

One of the most important components of your cabin home is its electrical system. How in tune with it are you? Do you know if it’s up to date? Is it safe?

Having the system inspected regularly and updated as needed will ensure your system operates as it should. Taking it one step further and installing an electrical disconnect will prevent damage to your property in the event of a power surge, or as added protection during routine maintenance.

Additionally, installing GFCI outlets and using power strips with surge protectors will add a layer of protection for your appliances and devices. If you’re experienced with electrical DIY, swapping out traditional outlets for GFCI units is a fairly simple and affordable project.

Prevent Mold

While not pleasant to think about, it’s important to note that cabins are often prime locations for mold growth. Whether it’s due to constantly being exposed to lake moisture, having wet items brought indoors to dry or having an outdated ventilation system, excess moisture can add up very quickly. Its impact can be devastating to both your health and the integrity of your cabin, so be sure to take mold prevention and treatment seriously.

Understanding how to prevent mold is important, as is knowing what steps to take if you notice it. One of the first steps you should take if you notice water damage is to call in a mold remediation specialist to determine its extent and come up with a plan moving forward. This could be replacing damaged wood or sheetrock, applying mold-resistant primer and paint to high-moisture spaces, removing carpeting, or applying moisture-proofing house wrap on vulnerable exterior areas.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do regularly to keep moisture at an acceptable level. Running exhaust fans when bathing and cooking will help remove airborne moisture vapors. If you don’t have fans installed, consider doing so. While opening a window for ventilation might help, you could be doing more harm than good if it’s humid or raining outside. Running a dehumidifier will also help to keep the indoor environment dry and comfortable.

Since mold can happen year-round, it’s important to check in on your cabin as much as possible. Consider hiring a property manager to keep tabs on things when you’re unable to. This will prevent any larger issues upon your return.

Keep Wildfires in Mind

When it comes to devastating events, wildfires rank highly. Taking the risk into consideration could mean the difference in if your cabin survives or not.

While there is only so much you can do in this case, taking the time to survey your property and the immediate areas around your home will make a big difference here.

This could be trimming back trees and other vegetation around the cabin to create a large clear perimeter, storing firewood away from the home and keeping flammable items away from propane tanks. Use caution when enjoying bonfires, making sure it’s located in a safe space away from the cabin. A healthy, well-watered lawn around your cabin is a natural way to provide a buffer as well.

Keeping your vacation home safe will be a blend of many different things, some of which will depend on your specific situation. But no matter what, taking the time to check-in, making repairs and updates as necessary and implementing a solid maintenance plan will ensure it remains a safe, relaxing and enjoyable space to retreat for years to come.

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Inspect Regularly in Your Cabin

by Paisley Hansen

Not everyone lives in their cabin year-round, so it can be easy for issues to occur in the off-season that you won’t learn about until much later. These tiny issues can quickly grow into expensive and dangerous problems, so it is crucial that you know what to look for. Even if you live in a cabin all year, here are five things you should get into the habit of inspecting regularly.

Roof

The roof can be tricky to inspect, but you may be surprised at how much you’ll notice just from the ground. If you notice missing or damaged shingles, your roof may be in need of repairs. You might also notice pieces of your shingles washing off into your yard or gutters. Many cabins are located in areas where the elements can cause damage quickly, so do a quick check any time you get a lot of snow or a big storm. From the inside, you may notice leaks, drafts, or sunlight poking through. Issues with insulation could be the cause of higher utility bills, so if you have an attic, do a quick inspection once in a while

Utilities

For safety reasons, it is absolutely crucial that you understand the basics of how your different utility systems work within your home. For example, you need to know how to turn off the water to your home, or how to restore power. If the electricity does go out, do you know how to find your breaker and use your medium voltage switchgear? This is a good time to look for issues with pipes, your hot water heater, or your vents. Switch out filters and perform any other necessary maintenance as well.

Security

Security can be tricky for lake and mountain cabins. If you’re in an isolated location, you may not need to worry too much about intruders. Then again, with all the wildlife around, the intruders you need to worry about may not be human at all. Regardless, you should make sure that your locks and doors are sturdy. It’s not a bad idea to make sure you have a clear view of your driveway or the road leading to your property. If that’s not feasible, cameras may be a good solution. You may even want to install a full security system that gives you the ability to lock doors and operate cameras from an app or other secure location. Having a system that can call the authorities can make scary situations in the wilderness a little less worrisome.

Fireplace

Many cabins utilize fireplaces for both heating and aesthetic purposes. Before you start tossing the wood in at the start of the cold season, check for any damages or blockages that may have occurred during the warmer months. It’s not uncommon for birds or other small animals to build nests in chimneys only to get hurt when the fire starts roaring. Plus, the aftermath tends to be messy and result in a terrible smell. It’s also important to inspect your chimney for your safety. If it’s not cleaned properly, you could potentially start a fire or release harmful chemicals. Any built-up material in chimneys has a tendency to catch fire easily, so you should make sure to clean yours at least once a year.

Doors and Windows

Doors and windows are important for safety, but that’s not the only reason you should be inspecting them. Cracked, warped, or moldy windows and doors can indicate larger problems. For example, leaky gutters can cause water to pour down the sides of your cabin, causing the wood around your windows and doors to rot. Windows and doors are also prime suspects for leaks that let out cold air in the summer and hot air in the winter.

Cabins can make wonderful homes, but they should also be inspected and maintained just like any other home even if they aren’t occupied all year. When you inspect and care for your cabin regularly, you can maintain your lovely cabin for years to come.

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