Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We-Design-Day: Home Evaluation - Ready, set, GO!

Thanks for checking back in with me! I wanted to take some time to let everything we've covered settle. Not only is this a lot of information to digest, it's a lot to prepare too so I want to make sure I cover the right things and make my documentation and information as thorough as possible. Furthermore, I like to share additional resources and in order to do that, I have to make sure they are valid and correct!

This week, I want to look at how we start to put all the things we've learned together. We know all the parts and the roles they play in our home and now we need to start putting them in a workable format. I like spreadsheets for this – there is software available for things like this – but the flexibility a spreadsheet offers and the ability to expand, adapt and customize it makes it my preferred choice. Before we get there though, we need to ensure we've got a workable document that we can insert our inspection notes and findings and record our evaluations. Additionally, the we need to document conditions with pictures or sketches. This is an essential piece of our report as we need a written record in order to plan our budget and develop a proper project scope.

Design Tip: We need to know what we have in order to define the parameters of our project.

To ease in the development of your scope, I've created a worksheet for you to document your findings. Feel free to print it off and use for your personal home evaluation document. This is the first piece in your "Evaluation Kit".

Tools for your Evaluation:
Home Evaluation Worksheet (direct link to the PDF being hosted on my ScribD account)
Canadian Wood Frame Construction Book

The book isn't essential but I would highly, highly recommend it for anyone (in Canada, anyway) that does any DIY, home renovation or design work. Having this book when you're hiring a contractor is helpful too. It provides a broad overview of the residential construction process and highlights very important factors that every homeowner should know. It was the “go to” reference guide for me when I was in design school and it is still an industry “go to” guide for practicing architects and designers. If you find a second hand copy, pick it up – the building code changes every few years but most of the fundamentals to wood frame construction remains fairly constant, thus making even an older copy of this book useful.

Once you've printed off the worksheet and have your trusty camera in hand, it's time to go back through your house and look at all the features we've discussed since January! I'll be back next week with the start of my home study to share with you and please feel free to email me any questions you may have about your own study!

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