Sunday, August 5, 2012

Home Building Binder

The Rice Home Building Binder

When my husband and I started thinking it's time to move we thought it would be ideal to build, but with the market, not necessary.  We thought we'd find our dream house and property after a few months of looking.  We began looking with our real estate agent in February of this year, going to all kinds of houses - old, new, big, small, lots of land, in a neighborhood, etc.  Being the impatient people that we are, we quickly got frustrated with the process and not finding something we fell in love with.  Before we got married we had our eye on a neighborhood that I grew up near - a small, mostly rural town that's not too far from suburban and city life; and it's almost right in the middle of both of our schools (I'm a teacher on the (south) west side, he's an administrator on the northeast side).  Long story short, I called the agent selling properties in this neighborhood and they didn't require a builder like we thought they did.  Because we weren't finding what we wanted in an existing property and house and because this neighborhood had been in the back of our minds all along, we made an offer within the week.


All that know me personally can probably picture me at that moment - once we had decided to make the offer, before we had even made the call to make the offer, and more so, before we'd eventually accepted the counter offer, I was making my binder for building and decorating our home.  
After seeing this picture of the cover of my binder, I'm going to change it, give it more color and fun.  I got the idea and organization of the binder from the Home Building Club - find information on the binder under "Your Organizer."  Another site I found that will be helpful and that I'll look into more is The House Designers.  The have what seems to be the same worksheets, but maybe some other ideas to consider.

I wanted to create a binder in the first place because I've been collecting cut outs from magazines and pictures that catch my eye (even a house I see on a drive, I'll stop and take a picture of it), so I wanted a place to organize all of these.  I'll list out the tabs I have in the binder and briefly describe what I use them for.

The first thing you'll see in my binder is a master to-do list and master calendar on top of all the tabs, then the tabs that follow.

  1. Budget Organizer- the budget really is the most important part, so I put some financing worksheets from the Home Building Club and some magazine clippings I found years ago on budgeting and financing a home -- little things not to forget and the like.
  2. Contact List- this is where I'll keep business cards.  Once w start collecting more business cards I'll put them in the plastic sheets for baseball cards (I use these for coupons too... post to come on my coupon binder).
  3. Land & House Plans- I printed the pdf file from the architect and used stick tabs to make notes on small cosmetic changes or notes to myself once we start decorating (you know, the really important stuff :)), see pictures to the right.
  4. Interior- this is where it gets really good.  I took the pdf file and blew up each room to fill an 81/2x11 sheet of computer paper.  Now I can make all kinds of tab notes, drawings, and measure furniture to scale (for the most part), etc.  This is also where I put most of the magazine clippings I've been collecting, putting them in sheet protectors behind the rooms where they ideas belong.
    *See pictures below #8.
  5. Exterior- same as the interior tab, just for landscaping, facade, porch, etc. ideas.
  6. Contracts & Permits- self explanatory.  However, because my husband is the general contractor, he keeps most of the items that would go behind this tab, but once the house is built, they'll go in my binder because it will be the professional, nice looking record of us building our home.
  7. Warranties- again, self explanatory.  I imagine I will keep all items for this tab versus in my husband's binder.  He keeps a binder because he'll be on the job most of the time and will need access to that important information.
  8. Receipts- this will come in handy for when we're all said and done and what to get a final tab on the house.  I'll probably keep receipts in a sheet protector or two.


Another spot that is huge in helping me stay organized with all my ideas for decorating every room in my future home is Pinterest.  I search the popular category and the Home Decor category under everything.  I'll also search websites like and even Google image, then pin pictures I like.  Follow me on Pinterest.

With the help of the world wide web, mostly Pinterest, and my binder to keep me organized, I've got tons and tons of ideas.  I could do a whole post on just my ideas for each room in the house... I think I'll get on that.  Happy home building :)

1 comment:

  1. We are a military family and every time we move the BOOK comes out. It's Mommy's Command Book. Everything from a list of who we have to contact to do address changes to garbage pick up days in our new town. Hope all goes well!