Construction Punch List Process: What To Expect

A construction punch list, also called a builder punch list, is a simple document that shows the progress of a construction process. It is created when a project nears completion (when most sections are complete) as a review of work already done and parts that need a remedy. In most cases, it shows items that do not meet the contract requirements. Besides meeting AIA punch list standards, a builder punch list need to be thorough in all items it lists. Simply put, a construction punch list process is a review of what needs to be done to bring a construction project to completion. 

Professionals

Construction Punch List Process: How Professionals Use Them

A construction punch list is not mandatory. It is a document that carries all issues that need remediation or issues the contractor feels are not according to the initial plan or according to the contract. This document is essential as part of a project’s closeout process.

Usually, contracts and some aspects of house designs change to meet the owner/client needs. When that happens, a part of the construction plan is affected. By having a punch list, the contractor ensures that all project stakeholders are involved. The subcontractors make the changes, the architect notes changes on the design, the owner ensures their needs are met, and the general contractor ensures that every part of the project is going according to plan. The right punch list will ensure that a project is completed without any part being left out. Learn more about best practices in the punch list process on Procore. 

Roles: Who Does What in the Construction Punch List Process?

Subcontractors

Subcontractors effect changes needed to complete a project. They need to accompany the contractor on a review tour of the project to identify areas that need corrections or remediation or changes. They ensure that a project runs according to schedule. Again, the subcontractors should be in constant communication with the contractor and other stakeholders. It is easy for the subcontractor to identify issues and changes that arise in the project because they are the ones executing the project plan. By communicating with other stakeholders, they will point out what needs to be in the builder punch list. 

General Contractor

The general contractor’s role is to go around the construction site ensuring that everything is going according to plan. It is the role of the general contractor to come up with a punch list and present it to the client, the architect, and the subcontractors. They are also responsible for making the changes happen and ensuring that any part that needs remediation is remedied. Again, a contractor can organize meetings with the client and the architects to point out issues in the punch list. When the client or the architect needs to walk through the job site, the contractor accompanies them ad addresses any queries they may have.

Owner

The client is responsible for pointing out most of the changes that appear on the punch list. In the punch list process, the contractor notes items that are not according to the original contract – these might be additional features that a client requested or incomplete sections of the project. An owner needs to take a walk through the job site to ascertain that the project meets their expectations. They also need to ask as many questions as they need to get a complete picture of how the project is running.

When a contractor calls for a meeting to discuss issues on the punch list process, the owner needs to visit the site in advance to identify any problems that might come up during the meeting. The owner can also look at construction punch list examples online to see what to expect during the meeting.

Architect

The architect is the custodian of the plan. Regularly, the architect needs to visit the job site to ascertain everything is working according to plan. During the visits, the architect will be accompanied by the contractor to review all parts of the project. The architect needs to ask as many questions as they have to the contractor, especially concerning any changes to the original plan. After the visit, the architect notes any changes and might advise the contractors accordingly on any impending changes.

Construction Punch List Examples

Construction Punch List Examples

Construction punch lists vary from one project to the next – each project is unique, and so are the changes and challenges experienced in each. As such, the details on one construction punch list will vary significantly from the details on another. However, if you search for construction punch list examples online, you will come across so many punch list templates. All punch lists have three basic details:

  • Location
  • Name of task
  • Task deadline

Some of the items common in a construction punch list include:

  • AC systems are working properly
  • Cabinet doors fixed well to open and close without hitches
  • Appliances fully functional
  • Baseboards correctly installed
  • Floor grouts are properly sealed
  • The ceiling is free from cracks
  • Countertop corners are free from gaps
  • Doors and windows open and close smoothly

The example above only shows what goes right in the project. However, that is not always the case. You might have items on the construction punch list that show areas that need remedy:

  • The bathroom door in house seven does not open
  • Ceiling fan in the living room not connected

These are just a few examples of items you can include in your construction punch list to meet AIA punch list standards. You can have hundreds of other items from every aspect of the project. 

Builder Punch List: Conclusion

While most contractors struggle to create a punch list that meets AIA punch list standards, others struggle for Zero punch lists. While it may not be practical to get a zero punch list, working towards creating a perfect project from groundbreaking to the last nail will help you ensure that a punch list does not take a large percentage of your project. In essence, you will need to work as if you have a punch list from the start of the project in order to avoid creating one. 

Irrespective of your role in the construction punch list process, you need to note that a punch list is a crucial document. When done correctly, you can use one punch list as a template for punch lists in another project. Again, the punch list allows all stakeholders to ensure every aspect of the project is as planned. 

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