- Ring-bound: 160 pages
- Publisher: WS Publishing Group; Lslf edition (August 13, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1887169849
- ISBN-13: 978-1887169844
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.9 x 12.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,790,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Ultimate Home Journal & Organizer Ring-bound – August 13, 2007
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After numerous hours, days, and into weeks of researching I finally selected the "Ultimate Home Journal & Organizer". When this arrived, I was extremely happy and pleasantly surprised at the quality and detailed pages included. I really can't believe how nicely this organizer was put together and very well packaged to boot. Yes it is larger than a lot of others which was one of my concerns at first. However, what this size offers is the ability to add anything that you can print on a standard letter size page in addition to the Categorized/Pocketed/Room Details of the standard pages supplied. So the binder size turns out to be a plus. It is better to have more in an organizer than you might need/use than not enough of what's important as I have found many others lacking, and I have seen just about all of them. This item is well worth the price. Suitable for anyone that want to keep track of the specifics for every room in the home. Including; new construction, color of paint, where you purchased, name of product/color/pattern, item#'s, swatches, room dimensions, projects, ideas, contact names, appliances, warranty info, and more.
That room you painted 8 years ago...was it Benjamin Moore or Behr paint? How many gallons did I use? Who was the guy who did such a great job trimming the oak tree? I need to replace a section of carpet--where did I get it and what was the color stock number? Is the chair covered in Scalamandre or Cowen & Tout? This excellent tool organizes those vital details that are quickly forgotten. There is a place to record room dimensions for quick reference, and detailed project sheets for every maintenance company you will use (plumbers, electricians, wallpaper hangers, exterminators, etc.)
This is a large and roomy binder with plenty of space for refills. The front section has detailed and specific forms for each room /project, as well as yearly home improvement calendars. There is a slick and glossy folder section for each area of your house, featuring a half pocket for swatches, brochures, etc. In the back of the binder is a marvelous punch-out template of furniture shapes, with graph paper to assist in design and placement. In its comprehensive approach it is a great sequel/companion to Susan Lang's Designing Your Dream Home.
This is designed as a permanent record of your home, not a small reference book to stick in your bag when you go carpet shopping, and as such it is a large binder that needs shelf space. I find it a perfect reference in every way, and a bargain at the price.
What I found is that this book is designed for someone that is building a home from scratch or that is doing a complete remodel. Although it is great in these circumstances, it is NOT good for someone looking to do all of the work themselves. Over half of the book is dedicated to recording the names and phone numbers of your electrician, your interior decorator, your window dresser, your housekeeper, your architect, your painter, etc. In our case, I had to fill most of these in as "us", "us", and "us". Also, there is only room to fill in information for one of each kind of specialist. One general contractor, one carpenter, one interior decorator, etc. I would rather that the forms had been blank so that I could write in the specialist - for instance, maybe I had three plumbers helping, but no housekeeper. Instead, I will have to cross out a lot of the titles and write in my own.
Another thing that I found very frustrating is that in the room-by-room section, every other page has one room on one side of the page, but a second room listed on the other side. For instance, this side of the page may say bathroom 2, but the other side of the page is the beginning of bathroom 3. This makes it impossible to put tabs in to separate the bedrooms from the baths, or to add your own pages of notes to the end of a section. You also cannot rearrange the orders of the room because one page has information on it for two separate rooms. This to me defeats the purpose of having a 3-ring binder. I can't remove the section for the gazebo I don't have without removing a page about the yard fencing. This seriously limits the customizability of this book.
I also found that the sections are too standardized. Every single section has a heading for floor, paint, wallpaper, baseboards, cabinets, countertops, and other. Each of these has topics underneath like model, manufacturer, warranty, and installer. This is not very user-friendly. For instance, there is a space to record the "Model" of the paint you used and the "Warranty" information on it. Who has ever heard of a model for paint? In the kitchen section, you would think that there would be a space to record the appliances - the refrigerator, cooktop, dishwasher, etc. Nope. You can fill in that information on the lines provided under "other", with all appliance information having to be recorded on a single line. Really? There are 7 full lines to record every little detail about the wallpaper I used in the kitchen, but I have to put the information on my fridge and where I bought it under a single line in the "other" section? Not very well thought out. Especially since there is no "notes" area in each section, and no place to record things like wall sizes (i.e. 2x4 or 2x6 walls), insulation values used, thermostats that control the rooms, type of drywall used, safety features of the room, etc. A notes section would have been very helpful to record a room's little quirks, especially if you want to sell your house and pass the completed binder to the new homeowners.
I did find the graph paper provided to be very helpful in drawing out the rooms, but I could have bought graph paper to do that myself for a lot less. There are folders to keep brochures of the materials bought for the house, which is helpful. The only other features I liked was the one sheet provided to keep business cards, and the one zipper folder to keep receipts and paint swatches in. Again, however, I could have bought a business card keeper and an expanding folder at my local dollar store for a lot less.
For the person buying or building a million dollar home, who isn't going to get their own hands dirty, who isn't interested in insulation or the models of their appliances, but is interested in the model number of the blinds and the curtains hung (or the model number of the paint), then this is the perfect book. For the do-it-yourselfer, over 3/4 of the book is of no use. Shame, too. It had so much potential.