Writing Your Own Home Repair Checklist
Why write a checklist? Well, there are actually several good reasons. A home repair or remodeling project is a complex process. Having a prioritized list of steps that need to be completed serves as your preliminary job management plan. It will consolidate all of the necessary tasks such as:
* Selecting materials and finishes
* Interviewing Contractors
* Obtaining permits
Into one list in which items ca be prioritized and checked off as you go. It should also help to to make sure you don't forget anything. As far as where to start the checklist, the first thing we need to know is what, exactly, are we doing. Let's say, for example: We're going to do a kitchen remodel. Make a list of specific things you would like to do. For instance Flooring, Paint, Wallpaper, New Cabinets, New Appliances. Okay, now what are the "behind the scenes" jobs that may need to be done. New appliances may require wiring or gas pipes to be moved. Tearing out the old cabinets may damage the sheet rock, making drywall repair necessary. As you begin your checklist, make a list of as many possible scenarios as you can think of. Many of them may not apply, but it is much better to consider them now than when your halfway through the project.
Now that we know "What we're going to do", we need to figure out "Who's going to do it". Since you've come to Yourself Home repair, there is a pretty good chance that you will be doing at least part of the work. Depending on the size and scope of the project, you may need
to help out with other phases of the job. As part of your checklist, try to list 2 or 3 potential contractors for each trade and a list of questions for them concerning your project and their qualifications. The final step of this process is to begin calling the candidates and scheduling appointments.
Okay, we know "What we're doing" and who we want to talk to about doing it. Now we need to consider what type of products or materials we need. This list will consist of everything from paint colors, to light fixtures, to flooring and much more. Even if you're planning on using a general contractor and having them buy everything, you've got to tell them what you want. Start a list and begin making choices now. It will make your job run quicker and smoother if you make these decisions before you start the project.
The final list to-do list I want to talk about concerns permits and building codes. This should possibly be the first list of thing you need to check off. Make a list of anyone you may need approval or permission from to do your project. It seems like you shouldn't need permission. After all, it's your house. However , it's not quite that simple. Depending on your area, you may needs building permits from the local city or county government. If you're not sure, the best thing to do is just call, tell what you're thinking about doing, and ask what the requirements are. This can sometimes be frustrating because local codes change periodically and you may have to go through several people before you find one who can actually answer your question. But, stick with it until you are satisfied that you have gotten the correct answer. You may be able to find this online, if you know where to look. The other consideration would be your homeowners association. This should generally only apply to exterior work. Read the deed restrictions or call a board member. This is probably the most frustrating part of the home improvement process, but, it is critical that you get these items checked off before beginning the work.
For more information on these procedures as well as fill-in-the-blank checklists, contracts, cost estimates, and much more, see our
Do It Yourself Contractor Kit
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