How to Document the Home Building Process

Building your home is a unique experience filled with stories you will never forget. There is also important information you need to remember if you build, even after you settle in. Whether it’s for your family or for future renovations, documenting your build is an important part of the process. Keeping track of your documents and making sure your family stay in the loop can help you stay organized and make sure you remember everything about your build. Not sure how to stay on top of all of the details? Document the process with these simple tips so you can always look back on it fondly.

Airy white kitchen

Use social media and involve your friends. Image: Kroiss Development

Keep friends and family in the loop

The home building process is exciting and your friends and family will want to be included. In fact, you’ll probably find that your new home becomes a popular conversation topic. You don’t need to personally keep everyone in the loop. Instead, you can find ways to keep everyone connected online. Whether you start a blog for pictures, advice and stories, or document all of your progress on Instagram, your friends will appreciate the simple way to stay involved in the process. You can even use social media to crowdsource some of your tough decisions.

White home office

Use your smartphone to track spending and repairs. Image: Jennifer Pacca Design

Organize important documents

The home building process comes with a lot of paperwork. You can keep all of your documents and permits into a file folder, but those aren’t always easy to store or search through. Luckily, there are plenty of digital ways to document and track things like expenses and materials. Try using these apps and approaches to keep up with all your important documents.

  • Use an app like ScannerPro to scan documents – like receipts and contracts – with your phone. You can then create a filing system on your phone or computer to put every paper in its place.
  • Snap a picture to document your materials and finish choices. That way, when it comes time to touch up your paint, you can easily find an exact match. This also helps you find replacement parts like light bulbs and hardware. Take pictures of fixture SKUs in case you require repairs or replacements in the future.
  • Download an app like HomeZada to help you track material inventory, keep a building budget and plan out your next moves. This lets you know which materials you need and how they figure into your big-picture budget. A home management app is an invaluable tool to help you stay organized and save your sanity.
  • Keep paper copies of any signed contracts, especially those between you and lender and you and your contractor. Scan them for easy access or if you have a quick question, but always retain the hard copies in a file for future reference.
  • Keep a set of house plans on your phone. They won’t be to scale and they aren’t for use in building, but you can reference them when you’re walking through your unfinished home.
  • Take pictures of your home before drywall is installed. You can reduce pricey demolition in the future if you already know the location of major electrical and plumbing hookups.
Bright family room

Your building story can become part of your family legacy. Photo: Caroline Sharpnack

Preserve memories

Documenting the home building process isn’t just about business. While tracking receipts and recording SKUs can help you stay organized, documenting the process will help you connect to your new home. The home building process can be stressful, sure, but also meaningful. Take progress pictures and journal about the experience so you can share your story with family and friends for years to come. Create an album of pictures and stories you can refer back to any time.  You’ll meet new people and learn new things when you build a home and it pays to preserve your memories as your own home building story.

Whether you’re just starting your build or are currently in the thick of it, know that your build will become part of your family’s story. Make sure that your story is documented and organized to build a great future in your new home.

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