punch list

What is a Construction Punch List and How Do Contractors Use One?

What is a Punch List?

A punch list is a list of tasks and items that need to be fixed or completed before a construction project can be considered finished. Creating and completing an accurate punch list is essential in delivering a successful project. This step in the construction project is performed last so that all work can be reviewed and double checked. In order to ensure the best review process, the contractor, subcontractor, owner, and architect should all walk through the project together. Each individual has a specific role in ensuring that the punch list is completed successfully. In addition, having multiple sets of eyes will help catch all remaining issues and flaws.

Punch List
Image Source: Compton Construction

So, who is responsible for what?


The owner needs to be prepared to walk through the project, inspect it, and ask lots of questions. It is important that the owner understands all of the work that has been done so that they can ensure they are getting what they want. It is the owner’s responsibility to be open and communicate any problems during the walk-through. If you don’t communicate your expectations, you’ll likely end up with problems!


As the architect, you must confirm what was built. If there are any changes from original plans or drawings, this is the time to point them out. Make sure that you show the owner that they are getting the design that they requested.


The contractor’s main job is to consult with the owner and outline the remaining tasks to be completed. You need to help the owner and show them any items that they want to see. Be prepared to assist the client with anything and everything. It is your job represent the client!


Subcontractors must ensure that the punch list tasks and items get completed in a timely manner. This follow through is extremely important in delivering a polished end product!

When performing a walk-through of a project, it is important to know the most common items found on a punch list.

A good list to start with includes:

  • Paint & texture flaws

  • Appliances working properly

  • Cabinet drawers and doors open/close smoothly

  • Windows and doors open/close/lock smoothly

  • Missing hardware

  • Hardware that needs adjustment

  • Outlets & lights work properly

  • No leaks

  • HVAC controls that need adjustment

  • Plumbing fixtures working properly

  • Appliances that need adjustment

Depending on your project, there will be various other items that will need to be added to your punch list. Once you create your final punch list and define responsibilities, it must be agreed upon by all parties. Then the walk-through will be performed, and work will be designated accordingly. After that, it’s time to get the work done! Once the punch list items are finished, and the site is cleaned, your project will be officially complete!

How eSUB Can Help

eSUB is a cloud-based project management platform built especially for subcontractors. It seamlessly integrates with leading construction software systems so you can easily switch from your current RFI process to a cloud-based system to upgrade RFI process.

eSUB organizes all of your project information in one place, allows for smooth collaboration, and streamlines communication through its intuitive interface. It also works on your mobile, so you can track projects on the go—no matter where or when—and stay up-to-date.