Bryan Baeumler is host of Disaster DIY: Cottage Edition. New episodes begin airing tonight at 9 p.m. on HGTV. Metro will be bringing you previews of the DIY projects Bryan takes on every Thursday.

On tonight’s episode, my crew and I spent a week with Deb and Chris at their cottage near the shores of Georgian Bay.

Like many families, they spend their weekends there with the kids having bonfires, roasting marshmallows, playing games, and spending time at the beach.

Unfortunately, their cottage is in need of some TLC and they share it with bugs, bats, bees, raccoons, and even a frog!

Most people buy cottages to relax, but it’s also a building, and like any building it needs to be maintained. Balancing work and play on the weekends is a challenge, especially if you’re not skilled and experienced with the task at hand.

Animals are smarter, and can be more destructive, than you think — lattice won’t keep a raccoon from taking up residence under or inside your cottage. I helped Chris install galvanized steel mesh around the perimeter of the cottage, being sure to trench at least 6-inches and securely fasten it to the framing to discourage animals from squeezing under or over the barrier.

Raccoons: Evicted. Bees, wasps and bats can find holes in your old siding and make themselves a nest — seal up any holes or joints with caulking, or if your cottage is like Chris and Deb’s, finish installing the new siding!

Standing water is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes — if you want to stop slapping yourself around on the weekends, make sure you have eaves troughs and downspouts, and that they are in good working order to move rainwater away from the house.

Put the beer on ice until the work is done, then reward yourself!

Bryan Baeumler is host of Disaster DIY: Cottage Edition. The show airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on HGTV.

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