Recently on our social media, (if you’re not following us on Instagram and Facebook, you really should!) we posted about how helpful a homeowner binder can be. We got some questions about it and so we wanted to expand in a blog post. Read about some tips for putting together a Homeowner’s Binder and check out the Free Printables below!
With so many things available to download and media that’s easy to upload, it may not always seem important to have a hard copy record of something. A Homeowner’s Binder is a great tool and absolutely worth having a physical copy of. The binder allows you to store manuals to easily share with contractors and technicians so you’re not hunting through a search engine’s results. If you decide to move, sharing this with your agent can help them assess your home and share this information with the new owner.
So it’s pretty handy to have this information at hand, now let’s talk about supplies you need to put this binder together-
- Durable Binder (At least 3 Inches)
- Tabbed Dividers
- Pocket Folders
- Sheet Protectors
And that’s it for required supplies! Pretty simple, right? This is intended to be something easy to set up, so that you can readily put together this invaluable tool.
While not necessary, these things can help you organize your binder in a way that fits your needs. Supplies that are “Nice to Have”-
- Labeled Divider Pages (like the Printables below)
- 2 or more Zippered Pencil Pouch (for pencils or miscellaneous media, like a thumb drive)
- Three Ring Hole Punch for Binder
- Pens and Highlighters (everyone has them, but having them right where you need it is much more convenient
Above all, how you chose to organize your Homeowners Binder is really up to you. Therefor, you should feel free to organize your binder by room, by use, by time, etc. This is your home and you should feel confident that you can easily access the information about it.
The Sections in Your Binder
General Home Information Materials
In this section you can store your contract from purchasing your house, your insure information and other important, but fairly basic information about your house. Feel free to add in other relevant facts about your home here, too, like when it was built, how many previous owners, etc. If you have an HOA in your neighborhood, it would also be a good idea to put information about that in this section as well.
- Home Information Materials Content Suggestions
- General Info (when built, when bought, how many owners, interesting facts)
- Insurance Information (and claims)
- HOA Information (when applicable)
Maintenance is a regular part of owning a home. It’s a good idea to keep track of all the work you have done to your home, as well as all the work you need and want to do in this section. Next, consider putting in a Maintenance Checklist for your home so you can easily remember the maintenance you need to do yearly, or seasonally, etc.. Document any improvements and repairs you make. Use receipts, contractor statements, even “Before and After” photos are a great addition to this section. This is also a great section to put in your project ideas (like a new back porch or landscaping), jot them down and put in budgeting information to help plan and prepare for these improvements down the road. Lastly, contact information for contractor’s you’ve worked with (and when and why) can also go in this section, for easy reference.
- Home Maintenance Content Suggestions
- Maintenance Checklist
- Improvements & Repairs
- Contractor Information
- Project Ideas
“In-the-Walls,” Utilities & Structural Information
Your home isn’t just made up of living spaces, so much of what makes a home run is part of the structure of the house. Keeping your utility information (contracts for the cable company, who the power company is, etc.) in this section is a great idea. You can store information about necessary repairs and check-ups to the plumbing and electrical here, as well. Also make sure to carve out space for information about the roof, windows and the foundation. For instance, you can put in the information on when the roof or windows were replaced.
- “In-the-Walls” & Structural Information Content Suggestions
Quick, you’re at the hardware store picking up some paint for a touch up in the bedroom you painted 5 years ago, do you need eggshell finish or satin? It’s hard to remember every single piece of detail about the decor in your home, this section is a perfect place to keep every paint chip, fabric swatch and tile sample information you might need. Furthermore, in addition to the samples, you should also write down to where you bought it, when you used it and where in the house. Lastly, you can also keep warranties and purchase information for large pieces of furniture here, too.
- Decor Information Content Suggestions
- Paint Swatches/Chips (with finish information amount of paint used)
- Fabric Swatches/information
- Furniture Information (where purchased, type)
- Flooring/tiles etc.
The outside of the home is just as important as the inside. You should absolutely put information about the exterior of the house and when it received maintenance. Keep track of the flowers or veggies you plant and information about their care needs. If you use landscaping services or need tree pruning, put that all in this spot, too. If your home has a pool, it’s very essential to store that information where you can easily get it and this is a great spot. Information about sprinkler systems, security systems, or even an outdoor kitchen can all go here.
- Exterior Information Content Suggestions
- Pool, outdoor kitchen, etc.
- Sprinkler System
- Security System
Your home has so much going on and it may not all fit in any of the above categories, so putting together a miscellaneous section will help you cover all the rest. Is your home near the Monument Avenue 10k? Do you have a favorite park that’s practically in your backyard? Are there other hard copies of sort of random things about your home (pictures of the kids having a bake sale, a DVD from the time the news filmed nearby about the snow)? If you have any of those or more, this is the place for those bits of information to go.
- Miscellaneous Content Suggestions
- Fun Facts
- Tours Nearby
- Hard copies of materials
Contacts & Notes
These sections are pretty self explanatory, but important nonetheless and so they shouldn’t be dismissed. And even though you have most of your contacts saved in your phone, chances are your house sitter doesn’t. Remember, this binder can be a tool for lots of situations.
Let your homeowner’s binder be as detailed or as personal as you want, there really aren’t any rules. But it absolutely should be a resource that you actually find helpful- so set it up as you see fit.
Enjoy the Free Printables and be sure to contact us with any questions about becoming a new homeowner!