For 20 years, David Merrick, owner of Merrick Design and Build, in Kensington, Md., has provided all major-project clients with an owner’s manual at job completion.

Merrick’s lead carpenter collects any paperwork associated with the job in a plastic Ziploc bag, which is then given to the product selections coordinator to organize in a binder.

“We keep a complete record of everything we installed — what it is, where it is, what color it is, where clients can get spare parts, warranty information ... a color record of every room painted, copies of contracts, use and care instructions,” Merrick says.

Most recently he has added a section with energy tax credit information. “I’ve had clients show off the project to their friends,” Merrick says, “and the book is one of the highlights they show off.”

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.