Project Tracking List
As discussed here, successful renovation projects require careful management and tracking. This spreadsheet is a good basic starting place if you're about to embark on a major renovation. Below, I describe what's included in the spreadsheet and a few of the project management solutions built into the tracker.
If you like what you see, you can download the tracker here.
Column A: Project
List out every independent project you plan to complete. No matter how small, you want to catalogue all of your projects in one place for easy reference.
Column B: Estimated Cost
You can use then column to set your budget when you first decide to take on a renovation. Or you can use it to place the initial estimates provided by each contractor/vendor as you meet with them.
Column C: Actual Cost
Here you record the final actual cost. These cells are designed to turn green when you come in under estimated cost and red when you come in above estimated cost. It's an easy visual way to gauge your budget performance.
Column D: Paid Date
Keeping your paid date in this same spreadsheet is a helpful way to stay on top of bills and payments. Rather than searching through receipts or emails, here you can quickly know if and when you've paid each vendor/contractor.
Column E: Estimated Start Date
Since individual projects will impact one another (ex. you can't measure and therefore order kitchen countertops until after cabinets are installed), it's helpful to keep those dates in one place. I also recommend sorting the spreadsheet based on Estimated Start Date so that you don't lose track of any projects.
Column F: Actual Start Date
And then of course you also want to note the date each project actually commences. You may have to push back future projects based on this date, and you can also look back at the difference between estimated and actual start dates when deciding whether or not to use this contractor or vendor again in the future.
Column G: Estimated Completion Date
Again, because of the cascading nature of projects, you'll want to keep track of estimated completion dates.
Column H: Actual Completion Date
And similar to the actual start date column, the actual completion date fields allow you to adjust downstream projects accordingly and also gives you insight into vendor performance.
Column I, J and K: Contractor/Vendor (Phone and Email)
When something comes up and you need to contact your vendor, the last thing you want to be doing is scrolling through text messages, scanning through your inbox, or listening to voicemails to figure out how to get your vendor on the phone. Keep their name, phone number, and email in one place. You'll be glad you did if you ever need it!