Collect Critical Household Information Into a Binder

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Help yourself and the next owner of your home

When you buy a house, be sure to ask the prior homeowners (if any) if they have information about the house's appliances, repairs, etc. When the dishwasher breaks the night before Thanksgiving you'll be happy that the previous owners have the instruction manual for the dishwasher—with information about who to call to get it repaired or, better yet, how to fix it yourself—in a 3-ring binder with all of the other major appliance information.

Do you have a binder or folder with all or most of this type of information about your house?

  • Yes
  • Some information
  • No
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Things to Put in Your Home Information Binder

Manuals, receipts, specialty tools for adjustments, maintenance, and warranty information for all of the following that are applicable:

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Also include:

  • Information about any improvements you've made to the house, such as replacing windows and doors, adding a deck, or major construction.
  • Routine maintenance schedules
  • The plot of your land, including where underground infrastructure (electricity, gas, etc.) lines run.
  • The landscaping blueprints, if the yard was professionally landscaped.
  • Any home inspection reports done by a professional inspector.
  • Names of the companies or individuals who have done work on your house.
  • A map of your immediate neighborhood and the names and phone numbers of your neighbors are also quite helpful.

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It's Not Too Late!

Even if you don't currently have a binder, and don't particularly want to hunt down all of this information, it's not too late. Start a large (3 inch D-ring is best) binder. Then, any time you run across information, you can quickly 3-hole punch it and place it in the binder. Also, any time you have work done on your house you can include originals (keep copies) of the work orders, lien waivers, etc.

Paint? Take clear photos of the paint cans in your storage space. Print them out and put them in the binder with the name of the place it is used (if you know it) written on the photo.

Wallpaper? Same thing. Information about the wallpaper is usually printed on the back side of the wallpaper for your reference. Photograph both sides and keep the photos together.

This speedy trick can be used with many of your appliances, too. Instruction manuals can often be found online (Google the appliance name).

With a camera/camera-phone, in 15-30 minutes you can have a somewhat well-populated home information binder with very little work.

Then, as things change, remember to add all of the information that you'd really want in there in case of a breakdown in that appliance or major scrape to the middle of your living room wall, the name of the repair contractor, etc.

About the Author

Information about the author, a list of her complete works on HubPages, and a means of contacting her are available over on ==>Laura Schneider's profile page. But wait--don't go there yet! Please continue scrolling down to leave ratings and any comments you have about this article so that it can be improved to best meet your needs. Thank you!

All text, photos, videos, and graphics in this document are Copyright © 2013 Laura D. Schneider unless indicated otherwise or unless in the public domain. All rights reserved. All trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

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Comments 2 comments

Georzetta profile image

Georzetta 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

Don't forget the septic system and well. Knowing who has worked on both and when can save you a lot of money.


Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 6 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA Author

You're right, Georzetta! I totally forgot that one.

Another one I forgot to mention is fencing, if your yard is fenced or includes "invisible fencing" for pets.

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