If you are building a new home, consider creating a homebuilding notebook to organize information, invoices, and inspiration ideas during the construction of your home. With a homebuilding notebook, you can start organized and stay organized.
The most important tool to starting and staying organized is the three ring binder. Purchase one with round rings, 2 inches wide. This will make your notebook about 2 ½ inches thick. Binders with 3 inch rings will work, but anything larger becomes cumbersome to handle. Office supply stores carry a variety of binders and accessories.
Clear overlays on binders provide additional versatility. A floor plan, elevation or some hot topic can be displayed for easy access. Another convenience is to have pockets on the front and back covers to hold papers that you have not yet catalogued. Ideally, another slot for your builder or construction supervisor’s business card will be built into the inside front cover. If not, then another section deals with displaying all business cards.
The following are suggestions for notebook sections. Each section should have tab dividers with the title of the section displayed on the tab.
1) Contract – Use the entire contract if possible, but the contract’s placement in the binder depends on how often you will refer to it.
2) Allowances – The builder will have established allowances (expenses built into the cost of your new home) for certain items such as kitchen appliances. You will want to keep your own tally of actual expenditures.
3) Construction specifications – This section refers to such items as the type of roofing materials, spacing of studs and quality of paint. It is a good idea to reference this section as you inspect the house during construction.
4) Business card filler pages – Purchase these binder inserts to hold the multiple business cards you will accumulate throughout your home construction project.
5) Selection Sheets – If the builder does not provide selection sheets, create them. The selection sheet provides spaces to list your hardware, paint colors, tile choices and all other choices the builder requires during construction or pre-construction. Keep blanks and completed selection sheets here.
6) Vendor Resources – The builder often utilizes a group of vendors from which you will make your selections. It may be a certain paint company, carpet dealer or appliance store. Create or file the list of preferred vendors in this section.
7) Vendor Invoices – In some cases, you may directly purchase items for your new home. For example, you may use the internet to find the perfect ceiling fan. Keep account of the vendors and expenditures for these items.
8) Inspiration – Collect the photographs, magazine pictures or articles that inspire the design and décor of your new home and place them in the Inspiration section.
9) Builder Notes – Often the builder or construction supervisor will communicate via letter or email. All such communication should be saved.
10) To Do List – You will have action items with timetables that are critical to the construction process, and these items can become unruly to manage if you don’t track them.
11) Calendar of Construction -The builder will provide you with a general calendar for such activity as foundation pours, framing, and tile installation. If not, ask for one.
12) Calendar of Appointments – The construction process requires meetings and conferences to keep the project on track.
Construction of a new home is a lengthy and complex process. When developed to fit your needs, the homebuilding notebook will provide organization and access to the information, decisions, selections and issues that arise during new home construction.