Owner’s Manual for Your Home?
I bet you don’t have an owner’s manual for your home. What do I mean by owner’s manual? I mean a binder with several tabbed dividers to hold everything that happens in or to your home. Things like home improvements are a no brainer. Make a tab for that deck you are adding and keep all the appropriate paperwork in that place. Then it will be easy to find when tax time or insurance renewal time comes around. I keep a tab for every improvement I’ve made in the 30 years I’ve lived in my home. I know when I installed the tile for my kitchen floor, painted the walls and replaced carpets . The binder should have the owner’s manuals for all your large appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers etc.
Every time I need to hire a plumber or have some electrical work done, I refer to my manual so I can remember who to call and document the work. My landscaping is documented so I know that my yard service planted such and such a plant on a particular date.
How to Use Your Owner’s Manual
That way I can call back the guy who pressure cleaned my deck three years ago without searching all around or hiring someone else. I can tell how long my cleaning service has been coming to my house. When my fence falls down two years after it was installed, I can find the warranty and get it replaced. The best reason to keep an owner’s manual for your home is that someday, when you sell it, a potential buyer will have a complete history of your home. They will know that your water heater is 4 years old and your roof was completely replaced 7 years ago. The owner’s manual will be a HUGE selling point for your home someday when the time comes.
If you don’t have such a manual, now is the time to begin documenting everything that happens in your home.
We originally published this article in March 2014. We have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.