Cottage Reno

No Stress, We Handled The Mess

We bought our cottage “as is”, so we had a huge job clearing it out. Once we had sealed off the end bedroom, our next task was removing the carpet. Along with that went the old sofas. The mice had taken up home in those at one point in time and we found little mice skeletons on it!

52 Inside cottage through window

I neglected to take photographs inside before we started to move things around. This is a photograph taken through the window of the door that my son took for us when he checked the place out before we got to see it.

52 Inside cottage

This picture shows the other end of the cottage the day we took possession. As you can see there was a propane stove and fridge that came with the cottage.

DSC_9703 side of oven

We were a little concerned about using them to begin with. The oven was in bad shape, but eventually we did use the hob until we bought a new stovetop. I decided there was little point in replacing the whole stove, as I can’t see us using an oven at the cottage. We have a BBQ and stovetop, which covers all I intend to do there. I looked into using the fridge and was advised that it isn’t safe because it vents into the cottage. These days’ propane fridges are vented outside, but this fridge is too old and isn’t designed to do that. We used it as a place to store our food out of the reach of mice for a while, but eventually we moved it into one of the bedrooms because I found it an eye sore and it was taking up more space than was useful. We ditched the oven, but we have kept the fridge, because if we ever get the shed we would love to have, maybe we can run it out there without having to worry about it being vented outside. As long as it is not in a place where we are sleeping, I don’t think the venting issue should be too great. Given that we have no electricity and fridges take a huge amount of electricity, even when we get the solar system we would like, running a fridge might not be something we want to use our limited electricity on. We have been managing with cooler boxes and ice, but that only keeps us going for three days at the most. If we had a fridge-freezer running on propane and had a ready supply of ice, it would be a big improvement on what we have now. The fridge still may follow the route the oven took, but for now we are keeping our options open.

DSC_9928 bedroom DSC_9931 bedroom

It took us several weeks to clear everything out of the cottage. We thought about hiring a dumpster, but getting it down the slope of our driveway was an issue. In the end we decided that filling our trailer on each visit and visiting the dump was probably the best option for us. I hate to see things going into the landfill, but there was so little we could salvage and so many things had mould on them. We got rid of everything in the bedrooms except one chest of drawers and a wooden bed frame, which seemed to be fine once they had been given a good cleaning. All the bedding and mattresses had to go. Our neighbours timing for getting rid of an old mattress was great for us. They offered us their old mattress, which we were delighted to take off their hands! You know, as much as we love camping, getting older and sleeping on the ground was becoming more of an issue. We invested in an inflatable mattress, but being able to have a “real” mattress in our “big wooden tent” does transform the camping experience!

60 Inside cottage

By the end of the second weekend there we had stripped out the carpet and had ourselves a place to sleep in the main room of the cottage. The bedrooms were sealed off, as they were still a work in progress with emptying them.

We toyed with keeping the dresser. Perhaps I could paint it? However, when we moved it out, the whole back of the dresser was covered in mould. We were struggling to totally get rid of the smell in the cottage, but when the dresser finally went it took the smell with it and the air cleared. I did manage to salvage some of the china in the dresser. It came home for a trip through the dishwasher first!


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