An Introduction to the Construction Punch List Process

construction punch list process


construction punch list process

When a contractor’s project is nearing completion, it’s important to understand the construction punch list process so all work can be properly reviewed and double-checked for any flaws.

What is a punch list?

Usually created during the substantial completion stage of a construction project (when the job is nearly finished), a punch list is an itemized document that highlights tasks that need to be fixed or finished before a job is done and the client signs off.

Some common errors addressed on a punch list include leaky pipes, cracked concrete, faulty flooring and incorrect paint. It’s common for these and other flaws to show up during construction projects, and while a punch list isn’t always mandatory, the idea is that a contractor must finish this rundown before getting paid.

Ultimately, a punch list helps multiple parties get on the same page when it comes to meeting client expectations. It creates accountability, keeps a project on schedule and is a way of recording information.

What should a punch list include?

A good punch list is clear and detailed, which means it should contain both descriptive text and photos. It’s worth noting that software can make the construction punch list process easier. Here are some other standard industry features that are included in a typical digital punch list:

  • Action history
  • Task notifications
  • File sharing
  • Messaging
  • Templates
  • Editing functionality
  • Project management software integration

What happens after a list is compiled?

After a punch list is drafted, the contractor typically schedules a job site walk-through with the client. During this walk-through, the contractor can explain any fixes or changes while the client observes and asks questions.

It’s also common for designers and architects to attend the walk-through to make sure the project matches original design specifications. This is a great opportunity for the contractor to explain any fixes or changes from original specifications.

More about team roles

While responsibilities can vary from project to project, it’s important for team members to understand their current roles in the construction punch list process. Here’s the average breakdown:

  • The owner takes a broad look at the project to inspect work and seek a general understanding of why certain tasks were done incorrectly or have yet to be completed.
  • The general contractor, on the other hand, examines details behind the owner’s findings, making notes for any subcontractors to address.
  • Subcontractors address any requests they’ve been given by the general contractor and make sure each line item is completed.
  • Architects and designers ultimately confirm that what was originally designed reflects what has been built.

The owner needs to sign off on a punch list for the work to be considered complete.

Learn the construction punch list process

The goal for any punch list is to cross off all items until a project is complete. Be sure to understand the construction punch list process so you can fix potential mistakes and complete unfinished work.

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