The administrative part of a reno, how to do it right and why it wins you 75% of the battle

So, what is the administrative part?
  • documenting what you do
  • figuring out which is the latest decision in relationship to a particular item
  • do you know the impact of a framing decision later on in the process?
  • budgeting
  • scheduling
  • tracking
  • tax deductions, if any
  • record-keeping for maintenance or, for instance, getting that paint for touch-ups

Any and all of the above, and so much more – and the amount of paperwork can be overwhelming. If you buy things online, even though it seems easier, you have to consider invoice management: oftentimes, if you pay by Paypal, you cannot correlate it to Amazon without a considerable amount of time and tracking. And so on and so on. Kid yourself not: keeping track of things is really 75% of your time. And if you don’t do it right, it can take four times more than what it should. The result? Exhaustion, frustration and likely! Many bad or forgotten decisions.

Image source 123RF

Here are your basic tips:

Don’t get an app, but scan and keep things electronically in organized folders; and for a start, here are the most useful folders to set up:


Split folders per material: tile / appliances / plumbing and so forth. As you research for reno products, you may choose to add store names inside each one for easy finding. In no time, you will get to an unmanageable number of resources, and then you will not be able to find anything.

Image by Dane Danear courtesy of Dochia Media


Split folders per category type: furniture / decor/ construction materials. Scan and keep a copy of these bills here separated like this. An easy Excel sheet can add them up, and you will be able to track your expenses at each moment of the project. So when you see that superb chandelier in a store two months into your reno project, you will know if you can or cannot afford it.


If there is one truth about renovations, it is that changes are part of the everyday reality. Always changes always redirects. Hundreds. If you think you don’t need to track that, you’re in for a sour surprise. The best way to do it is alphanumerically by date. Keep folders with the decisions on the go. Second, if any decisions become obsolete or superseded by others, archive them.

This is by far the reference folder that you will use most because every decision early on impacts numerous decisions later on. Every time you need to make a decision, you will need to look at what’s been already changed and what can possibly be impacted later. You will look at this folder constantly.

Good luck with it, and remember! It can be fun if done right.

👍 If you liked this you may like…

Home Pods: how to make one and what to do with it

What is good communication and why in design it mostly means perfectly organizing myriads of decisions

Land of Dochia Magazine Issue #5 Showcase

Leave a Reply