You have probably heard about people making colorful scrapbooks to keep their memories alive and to document significant events in their lives. The end result is always a delight to hold and one cannot help but appreciate all the details and work that goes into making one. Because creating scrapbooks involves placing a lot of details together to generate a neat overview of an event, it is also an effective way of documenting the building process of your small home. Except, when you scrapbook your home’s construction, you will include all the important documents, photos, warranties, plans, and permits into an organized timeline along with details on your contractors and contact persons. Read on for a detailed list of items to use for your small home’s very own scrapbook.
Nowadays every single gadget and phone seems to have a built-in digital camera, which is a good thing when it comes to building a house. You should document your progress from the very beginning and continue snapping pictures as often as possible, but at least before and after each major segment of construction work is complete. These photos will not only help you recall fond memories of your home building exercise, but also save you a lot of time and money down the road.
Imagine if you come home from work one day to find a huge water leak in your kitchen.Now that your paneling or drywall is up, it is difficult to remember the exact place of your pipes. Luckily, you can quickly find the photos you took right after all the plumbing was done and before you closed up the wall, so now you know exactly which panels to remove in order to get to the leaking pipe.
So make sure you always document on the stud level before the insulation is in place. You will have a nice set of blueprints for your electric, plumbing, ventilation and studs that will come handy during repairs and alterations. Moreover, photographs are also useful when you are trying to find just the right piece for your building puzzle. Take a quick shot of your measurements and projects before you head to the store, so you will not need to second guess yourself during your purchase.
Plans and permits
Even small homes start out as a simple plan on a piece of paper or a computer screen. Most of the time, these plans shift and change as the construction proceeds, but you still need to save the original blueprints in case of a dispute or remodeling project. While you are at it, make sure to include a copy of your property’s surveyor’s records as well. If you had to request permits for your building project, or for your alteration for that matter, also save copies of those in your scrapbook for future reference.
Names of contractors
It will be immensely helpful to dedicate an entire section of your scrapbook to listing the names and contact information for all your contractors. You should also include the time you originally contacted them and the quote you received before the project began. Attach a copy of the contract you signed, and keep a running tab of the estimated time of completion.
Unless you are using only salvaged and recycled materials, you will end up buying items that come with warranties. This can include anything from your windows to your chimney. Pay attention to these warranties and save a copy of them, along with corresponding receipts, in your scrapbook. Also, write down the name of the store they came from and the date of the expiration of the warranty. Hopefully most of your investments will work well, but you never know; maybe you are the unlucky one with the faulty washing machine or disintegrating kitchen cabinets. If your contractors are in charge of making these orders and purchases on your behalf, tell them at the very beginning that you wish to save these warranties yourself.
Documenting your materials
You will probably spend a considerable amount of time obsessing over paint colors or trying to decide between the different varieties of laminate flooring. Once in a while, you might get lucky when you instantaneously feel drawn to a product, and other times, you will have a difficult time making up your mind. Either way, make sure to document your selections. Swatches of material and tiles, the computerized color code of your mixed paint, the label from the box your flooring came in, etc are all important information you might need at one point during your home ownership. Perhaps you have to deal with some humidity in your basement and part of your carpet has to be re-done. Would you like to pay for new carpeting for the entire floor, or merely for the replacement of the damaged area? If you do not have the information on hand, you might not have a choice in the matter.
Building a small home is a process, and even if you get done with the construction, there is plenty of information to add to your scrapbook. Property assessments, home insurance documents, additions and new installations are all events you should make a note of in your small home’s scrapbook. Perhaps, the best way to look at house ownership as a process that only begins with drawing up a plan and continues until you move on to your next home.