Why we started Pocketdoor

Why we started Pocketdoor

A few years ago, we moved across the country and bought a house. It had been in the same family since 1950 and needed to be gutted–a complete renovation. We hired a designer and a contractor and got started planning our delightful home. We planned for six-to-nine months of construction.

Our house at six months.

Our house at six months.

More than two years later, we were (almost) finished!

At times, the process was productive, enjoyable and fun. We were lucky to work with some really professional architectural designers and contractors. But there were many times when the project was disorganized, delayed, over-budget, and frustrating—in large part due to the available tools for managing renovations and other home improvement projects. We knew there had to be a better way.

So we started thinking about the renovation process and how we could make it better for homeowners and all of the architects, designers, decorators, contractors and sub-contractors who work on renovations and new home builds. One of the problems we zeroed in on was the challenge in coordinating the team, especially with respect to selecting and purchasing appliances, fixtures, materials and other products. 

We found that most people use email and spreadsheets to keep track of everything that needs to be selected and purchased. Our designer used an online spreadsheet, so at least we had a single, updated version between us and the architect.  But others on the project didn’t “buy-in” to this living document and let’s face it, a print-out of a ‘living’ document doesn’t work.  And even if the team had used the spreadsheet, who wants to use spreadsheets to keep track of purchases?

Think about it this way: when your sister got married, did she email all the guests a spreadsheet of gifts she wanted? Of course not. She used a wedding registry, an app that everyone has access to and stays updated. And when she had a baby and people wanted to get her gifts, did she email a spreadsheet? Nope.

"Gee, I'd really like to track all my purchases with a spreadsheet. –said nobody, ever

Fundamentally, the problem is almost the same. We were planning an event (the completion of our delightful finished home) that would be many months away. We were going to have multiple people (homeowners, architects, designers, contractors, subcontractors) make purchases. We want to keep a single, up-to-date list of the products we select and know who will make each purchase. And it would be nice if the list looked better than a spreadsheet.

So why do we use spreadsheets and email? Well, from now on we don't. We use Pocketdoor!

Add items from any store or vendor. [March 2019 update: Use our Chrome or Firefox buttons to add items even more easily!] Present options for items and decide later. Assign buyers and need-by dates. Make purchases with ease. Keep track of what has been purchased and when. And share your project with anyone as a member of the project or as a guest.

At Pocketdoor, we believe that home improvement projects can be as delightful as the finished home. Our mission is to make residential construction projects more enjoyable for homeowners, designers and builders—and to reduce unnecessary frustrations, delays and cost overruns. Our first application coordinates the purchases that need to be made for a renovation or new home build. Sign up for free!

(Updated March 2019)

Why We All Need Design Thinking

Why We All Need Design Thinking

Pocketdoor tracks product options and purchases for home improvement