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A Quick Wisconsin Lake Home Maintenance Guide

A Quick Wisconsin Lake Home Maintenance Guide

A Quick Wisconsin Lake Home Maintenance Guide

A Quick Wisconsin Lake Home Maintenance Guide

by Patrick Austin, Realtor | ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR


Ah, the golden summers of yesteryear spent at our family cottage near Kosir’s in Oconto County!  


The memories I created at the waterfront cottage were so impactful that I decided to continue the tradition by purchasing my own cottage in the same area years later. Being passionate about waterfront, particularly lakefront properties, I have gained valuable insights into maintaining these beautiful places over the years.


In this concise guide, I will share my top tips for looking after your lake home, enabling you to derive continued pleasure from your property for years to come. Cheers to lakeside living!


Important Note: There are federal, state, and local laws and regulations that govern many aspects of shoreline property maintenance. Implementation of the steps in this guide will not assure that you are in compliance with these laws and regulations. Always contact your local DNR and zoning offices before making any changes to the landscape of your waterfront property.


Lake Home Landscaping




  • Preserve, expand, and refresh indigenous plants in the region, such as trees, shrubs, wildflowers, native grasses, and low-lying ground cover.
  • Maintain a natural vegetation “buffer zone” around your landscaped area.
  • Implement adequate storm water and erosion control measures that align with the land’s natural topography.


Lawn Care


  • Opt for low-maintenance lawns for lakefront properties.
  • Select grass or ground covers that require minimal fertilizer and pesticide use.
  • Keep lawn areas compact and surround them with shrubs.
  • Explore the concept of a “No-Maintenance” lawn by letting natural vegetation regrow on its own.


Caring For Lakefront Wildlife & Aquatic Plants

Wildlife & Aquatic Plants


  • Only remove aquatic plants essential for boating or swimming.
  • Use shrubs, logs, brush, and rooted aquatic plants for erosion control.
  • Protect the trees along the lake’s banks that extend into the water, as their branches offer vital shelter for fish and aquatic life.




  • Locate your garden away from the shoreline.
  • Before you plant, test your soil to determine it’s nutrient needs and proper pH.
  • Plant early in the season to avoid peak pest time.
  • Make sure to remove any pest infested plant material from the property.

General Lake Home Maintenance

General Maintenance


  • Instead of watering down driveways and sidewalks, sweep them.
  • Opt for low-phosphorus detergents.
  • Ensure soaps or cleaning agents do not flow into the water.
  • Wash vehicles on the grass rather than on the driveway.



Patrick Austin

Author Background

Meet Patrick Austin, a licensed Realtor with a focus on lake home sales. With more than 17 years of experience, he has been dedicated to helping buyers and sellers of waterfront properties in Northeast Wisconsin. Patrick stands out as one of the leading Realtors in Oconto County for waterfront properties. His extensive knowledge of the region, coupled with owning a lake home, ensures that his clients achieve the outcomes they desire.


Patrick Austin
Cell Phone: (920) 595-0758