Contractors utilize punch lists to ensure that all tasks are completed on a construction project. Punch Lists are actual documents or lists that define the work, not in the building contract specifications. Punch lists should be created at the beginning of a construction project but also used at the end to check off completed items. The owners, clients, contractors and architects, and subcontractors use punch lists to discuss and determine the “must-have” and “must do’s” for a construction project. Therefore, punch lists differ for every project, however, they always include these three components: location, name of the task, and a deadline. A well-written punch list can operate as a quality checklist for a construction project. Read more for the most common punch list items.
— Importance of Punch Lists
— Punch List Roles
— Top 15 Most Common Punch List Items
— Punch List Software
Why is a Punch List Important?
The construction industry uses punch lists to prevent projects from spiraling out of control. It is essential to create them early in the project so all team members can track and record when a task is completed. Additionally, the collaboration between team members is invaluable because they must work together to create a punch list after walking through a construction site. Collaboration ensures that they are all on the same page in terms of assignments, deadlines, and expectations. Then, contractors use punch lists to identify features that are (in)complete or deficient along with finding compliance issues with the building regulations.
Contractors cannot receive payments until EVERYTHING on the punch list is complete and checked off by the client. As a result, construction projects are “finished” when all loose ends are tied up.
Who uses Construction Punch Lists?
Owner/Client – The owner of a project will lead the walkthrough and inspect the work throughout the project; from start to finish. They are the ones who are responsible for populating the punch list, with the consultation of the contractor. Also, the owner or client should determine and list any work that is incomplete or not satisfactorily completed on the contract. The owner must give the construction team their punch list, so the team members know their priorities and resolve issues.
Architect/Designer – In the punch list process, the architect or designer’s role is unique to other stakeholders. They must verify that the contractors correctly build their designs and approve any changes. During the construction delivery process, version control and making sure field workers are working off the latest plans are crucial. For example, integrating your design software with a field-first project management solution connects the design team with operations personnel in real-time to prevent costly mistakes and rework.
General Contractor – GCs act as an adjudicator between architect, subcontractor, and owner. Their role is to work with the subcontractors to determine what is practical or realistic for delivery from the owner’s punch list. A general contractor speaks on behalf of the owner and may create punch lists for subcontractors to accomplish.
Subcontractors – Subcontractors or specialty contractors receive their delegated punch lists from the general contractor. Subcontractors ensure that their punch list items comply with contract specifications. Otherwise, they may have a difficult time addressing issues on time. Effective communication can minimize potential reworks and modifications from misunderstandings.
Top 15 Most Common Punch List Items
It can be a lengthy and challenging process to put together a punch list. Depending on what roles you have on a construction project, determines what tasks you have on the punch list. To make it easier, and less distinctive, we provided the Top 15 Most Common Punch List Items.
- Appliances are working correctly & fully functional
- Cabinet doors and drawers are opening & closing smoothly and without any problems
- Doors open and close properly & sealed tightly
- Floors are damage free from construction
- Hardware (hinges, locks, latches) work fluently
- Hardware is accounted for and not missing
- HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning system) work as they should & zoned correctly
- Lights and Receptacles are fully functioning
- No Leaks
- No damage to the building
- Paint & texture is the correct shade and quality
- Paint, dust, & debris is cleaned and cleared from the site.
- Plumbing (faucet, sink, drains, toilets) are free of issue
- Proper installation of locks
- Windows open and close smoothly
Punch lists go hand in hand with other necessary documentation in the construction industry. For example, submittals and building specifications correspond with punch lists because construction teams want to prevent rework. By improving quality control procedures, enforcing clear contract documents, documentation, and communication, companies should be able to reduce their punch list items. Many construction teams use construction management software to ensure collaboration on documentation for real-time updates as well as cloud-based storage for complete documents.
Punch-Out a Punch List
In conclusion, punch lists are a fundamental function of building plans and are crucial for the completion of a construction project. Therefore, the more thorough a construction punch list is, the odds are that the project will be more successful and completed promptly. Ultimately, they facilitate collaboration between architects, clients, contractors, and subcontractors, who are the stakeholders in the project.