Project Organization

Today I started to put together my project binder. What exactly is a project binder and what is it used for you ask? Let me explain.
Basically, a project binder is a way to organize your information during the building/remodel process. Typically, it is a simple 3-Ring binder full of ideas gathered from magazines, photographs, home shows, and the internet. It's also used for keeping track of measurements, for storing samples and materials, and can also be used to track your budget. I also like to include a page with contact numbers for my contractor, subs and suppliers. I can't stress enough how very important it is to create one of these as soon as possible in the building/remodel process.
You can buy existing project binders like this one I found online called a Home Project File. Or, you can get a really cute one! See Jane Work and Russell and Hazel have a great assortment that go up to 3" wide.
I've decided to stick with a plain old Avery 3-Ring binder from Wal-Mart. I chose a 3" wide book so that I can add lots of pictures and samples to it. My book in particular contains categories like exterior and interior. I've broken down those categories into specifics such as kitchens, fireplaces, bathrooms, flooring, landscapes, etc.

I usually make notes on each picture. There are so many things going on in each photo that I often forget what I liked it in the first place.
Dividers for my binder.
Some of the categories I like to use.

It's also great to keep your binder in some sort of tote so that it's easy to carry around. Make sure it's big and sturdy enough to carry samples too! I always include a tape measure and copies of my floor plan in there as well. Ballard Designs has some fun bags to choose from.
Over the course of building our house, I will refer to my binder. A lot. It will also a great tool for showing the contractor exactly what we want. I can't wait to add more ideas to my binder!

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