Steps Common to All Projects


Steps Common to All Projects


In an effort to avoid unnecessary, lengthy, repetition throughout my many Project Instructions, I have chosen to provide this Information Sheet, which covers the:  Steps Common to All Projects.

Only the Step headings for these Steps Common to All Projects will be listed in each project’s Step-by-Step Instructions, along with a Link to this page, and any additional specific instructions applicable to that project.

I strongly suggest that you Print This Page and keep it handy, so that you may refer to it any time that you are following one of my Step-by-Step Project Instructions. It is also a good idea to Print my Step-by-Step Instructions for any project that you are doing. That way, you can have it close at hand when working on your project.


The following are the Steps Common to All Projects:

Step 1 – Create a Materials & Supplies Needed Sheet

Step 2 – Calculate Project Cost

Step 3 – Order Your Materials & Tools Needed

Step 4 – Inspect Your Delivery


If this is your 1st Project, you will want to make a Master Template sheet for the Materials & Tools Needed sheet so that you can make additional copies on your Printer in order to have them for future projects. Once the Master Template sheet is completed, put a Post-It Note on it and mark it ‘Master’ so that you will only use this sheet for making additional copies when you run low. File the Master and the copies in an easily accessible place for future use.

To create your Master Template sheet, turn the clipboard sideways, and using your pencil, at the very top, and on the left side of the page, write:  Project Name:  ___________________________ extending the line for a little less than 1/2 of the page. Then write:  Materials & Tools Needed after the line. (If desired, you can also put a date in the upper right corner.)

Then, about 2” below your Project Name heading, place a horizontal line across the entire page, for your column headings.

Then, divide the paper into (7) vertical columns (going from about 1/2” above your horizontal line to the bottom of the page), as follows:

  • Column 1 – only wide enough to contain double digit numbers (indicating the amount needed of each item)
  • Column 2 – wide enough to contain the description of the Materials & Tools Needed
  • Columns 3 thru 7 – equally spaced

Your column headings, from left to right are:

Amt.    Materials Needed    Other   TOTALS


(You can substitute any of the suggestions for the Suppliers, with those of your choosing, such as:   or Other. You can also cross the Supplier names out on future project sheets, and replace their name with those of your choosing.)

You can click on any of the Supplier’s Links, that I have provided, to be directed to their Website. I have chosen those specific (3) Supplier’s as suggestions, because I believe that they will offer you the best prices most often.


Now, your Master Template sheet has been completed. Go ahead an make some additional copies of it, mark it ‘Master’ with a Post-It Note, and file all the additional copies except for one, which you will use for your current project.




In each projects instructions, you will be provided with a general Materials & Supplies Needed list. Amounts needed of each item in the list may vary depending on your exact project, and NOT every item may be needed, depending on your choices. Only copy the items from the list that you will need for your specific project and place them on your Materials & Tools Needed sheet.

Purchase Materials & Supplies Needed at:


Also included in each projects instructions is a Tools & Supplies Needed list. Check the list against the Tools & Supplies that you already have, and only place the items from the list that you need to purchase, on to your Materials & Tools Needed sheet.

In addition to each projects list, the following are Tools & Supplies that are needed for All Projects:

Tools & Supplies Needed: 

  • Scratch Paper
  • Clipboard
  • Sharpened Pencil
  • 25’ Tape Measure

Purchase Tools & Supplies Needed at:




Step-by-Step Instructions


Step 1 – Create a Materials & Tools Needed Sheet

First, you will need to make some choices. Sometimes there are several options as to:  type, style, size, etc. for any given Project. Sometimes there are also Installation options, such as:  the type of fastener to use, which will also affect certain tools needed. Explore your options and make your choices, before completing the Materials  & Tools Needed sheet.


Now, for your current project, fill in your Project Name at the top of your Materials & Tools Needed sheet.

Consult the Materials Needed list at the beginning of that project’s instructions, and copy all of the Materials Needed to complete this project on to your Materials & Tools Needed sheet, eliminating any that you will NOT need. This will usually require you to take several measurements pertaining to your project, in order to insure that you will be ordering the correct amount of each material.

List the exact amount, types, styles, and sizes for your choices in the appropriate columns. Double check your sheet to make sure that everything needed has been listed.

Draw a horizontal line underneath each item in the list, going all the way across the page. When the Materials Needed list has been completed, draw (2) horizontal lines under the last item, with about a 1/2” space between them. Then, change the heading in the second column from:  Materials Needed to:  Tools Needed. Check the Tools & Supplies Needed list in that project‘s instructions, and add to your List, any Tools Needed that you do not already have, to complete the project. (You will not need to copy anything in parenthesis from the list.) Again, double check your list to make sure that everything needed is included.


Step 2 – Calculate Project Cost

Now that you know the Materials & Supplies Needed, as well as the Tools & Supplies Needed in order to complete your project, it is time to shop for the best price.

If you will be purchasing Materials or Tools from a Supplier other than the suggested Suppliers that are listed, write the name of that Supplier in the Other column, across from the Materials or Tools that you intend to purchase there. (You may decide to purchase some items from one Supplier, and other items from another.)

Always check out:   for the best prices on Materials & Supplies & quality Tools & Supplies.

Then, get online, and search the Suppliers that I have offered you, along with any other Supplier of your choosing. Check and mark down each Supplier’s prices, for a quantity of (1) for each of the items in your list. (You will do the TOTALS later). Also, check their Shipping Charges and Return Policy, and list any information that applies. You can list this information above the Supplier’s name in the heading. You can find this information by accessing my   Home   Page, and then clicking on a Link in the drop-down menu under:   Recommended Suppliers

Compare the prices that you have discovered, choose the Supplier(s) of your choice, and ‘X’ out the other Suppliers’ information. Now, calculate your TOTALS.

MULTIPLY   the Amount Needed (of each item)   BY   the Cost of each item   =   TOTAL COST for each type of item.

Then, Add your individual TOTALS. This Amount will be the GRAND TOTAL for this project.


Tip:  If you are going to be completing other related projects at the same time, then set the first Materials & Tools Needed sheet to the side, and complete additional ones for the other related projects, before placing your order.

That way, you can order all of the Materials & Tools Needed for all of the projects at the same time. This will save you time and possibly Shipping Costs.


Once all of your calculations have been completed for all of your related projects, gather up all your Materials & Tools Needed sheets and place your order(s).


Step 3 – Order Your Materials & Tools Needed

Once you have all of your TOTALS, chosen your Supplier(s), and are satisfied that you have considered all of your needs for your project(s), go ahead and order the Materials & Tools Needed. When placing your order(s), if you are ordering Unfinished Pine Boards, specify that you only want straight, unwarped, boards.

Purchase Materials & Tools Needed at:


Step 4 – Inspect Your Delivery

Inspect all of your Materials at the time of delivery. Make sure that nothing is damaged or unusable, and that you have received everything that you ordered before signing an acceptance receipt. Send back any items that are damaged and request replacements.

After completing these Steps, simply click on your ‘back arrow’ (top left corner of the page) to return to your project instructions or click on this Link to my   Home   page, and revisit the appropriate project instructions.

This concludes the Common Steps which are in All of my Step-by-Step Project Instructions.


Thank you,

CJ Dodaro