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  • Writer's pictureKristen Shields

Be a hoarder... of project documentation!

When it comes to project documentation, you can never have too much. Ask yourself: Are you saving enough (whether in paper or electronic form) or for long enough? If in 2 years 7 months from now, you were asked to produce your entire file for a particular project - from scope of work, change orders, pictures (before, in progress, and after pictures), texts (with the customer, subcontractor, and between employees), emails, and financials - could you do it?

If not, perhaps consider becoming more of a hoarder when it comes to project documentation. The odds are slim to none of being harmed by having a complete file, but contractors are commonly harmed by not having enough saved and able to be produced later upon request. A common misconception is that a project is closed out upon receiving final payment, and in some respects it is. However, workmanship or manufacturer's warranty questions could arise along with other claims that manifest down the line.

Consider using software and cloud-based storage to the fullest to make it easy on you - you don't need a warehouse of bankers' boxes containing paper files to achieve the desired result. In fact, certain email programs automatically save items and can be accessed or maintained by someone knowledgeable in IT. With changeover of employees, this can be particularly helpful.

As you wrap up business in 2022, perhaps evaluate whether your project documentation is archived and consider better practices for next year that may include a quarterly upload to keep things current. Consider leaning on an IT person on occasion to help preserve project documentation. Become a hoarder in this sense and lean on others to help if needed - the minimal expense can reap immense value.

Stay tuned for more tips and solutions because All For Contractors is All For You!

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