Remodeling projects: making a list and checking it twice

Posted by Jeffrey Anderson ~ October 19, 2012

Have you ever returned home from a shopping trip only to realize a much needed item never found its way into your cart? Okay … maybe it's just me, but I've found that a hectic daily life full of small details can make it tough to remember everything.

At least that's where I'm placing the blame … there's absolutely no way that my age could be contributing to the problem. In any event, during my remodeling projects one tool is always within reach: a well-used yellow legal pad.

remodeling project lists

Have you called your electrician?

Stay on top of the details with remodeling lists

Regardless of size, just about every remodeling project requires coordination and paying attention to the details. Keeping on top of everything can mean the difference between a job that runs smoothly and one that seems to have no end. Here are a few situations where a remodeling list can come in handy:

  1. Questions -- Do you have anything that needs to be discussed with contractors, building officials, or material vendors before or during the project? Putting questions down on paper as they occur to you can ensure none go unanswered.
  2. Materials -- A project can come to a screeching halt if the contractors run out of the materials needed for their phase of work. Make a list of what needs to be picked up or ordered to keep the job moving forward in a timely fashion. Don't forget to make note of what materials may have a lengthy lead time when the order is placed.
  3. Scheduling -- How much notice do you need to give your roofing contractor and did you remember to call the plumber? Keep a list of the contractors that will be used on your remodeling project, their contact information, and how much lead time each needs to meet your schedule. Keeping each apprised of the job's progress can help them plan ahead and may go a long way toward getting them at the project as needed.
  4. Inspection items -- Walk with building officials when they inspect the project and write down any items found not to meet code. While many inspectors provide a list of discrepancies, taking notes often demonstrates that you value their time and expertise. Maintaining a good relationship with your local building officials is always a good idea -- especially when you have a remodeling project.
  5. Punch-lists -- Carry a tablet when inspecting each contractor's work and make note of any problem areas that might need a little more work. Give the contractors a copy of your punch-list that they can provide their crews and use the original to check off items as they've been corrected

remodeling lists include ordering windows

Is there any lead time for your windows?

While a yellow legal pad has always worked for me, there are many methods for making lists -- in a pinch I've even used a scrap of framing lumber but you might prefer an iPad. When you have a hectic lifestyle, it's usually best not to rely on just your memory during remodeling projects.

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