What Is a Punch List in Construction?

January 25, 2024

If you’re a general contractor, one of the most significant causes of rework is when subcontractors are unclear about what needs to be done. When you don’t have clear communication, it’s easy for them to miss a detail or misunderstand an agreed upon requirement, which can lead to costly mistakes and delays. Having a solid punch list process with documentation and collaboration is key to avoiding such issues.

The construction process isn’t over until all items on a project’s punch list are resolved and documented. The project owner typically performs a walkthrough of the finished construction job with the general contractor, architects, designers, and key subcontractors to inspect and verify that everything meets contract specifications before final payment is released. The walkthrough is also a good opportunity for the team to address any lingering questions or concerns.

Typically, the general contractor compiles a list of tasks that need to be addressed by subcontractors and field crews. The list includes the task number, description, location on-site, who is responsible for completing the item, time estimate to complete, and the status of the task. Some general contractors maintain a rolling punch list throughout construction so they can track and manage their progress and ensure a timely project closeout.

Streamlining the punch list process can save you many hours and reduce errors due to miscommunication, resulting in faster and more accurate work. To get the most out of your punch list, consider using a digital tool that makes it easier for project teams to create, share, and manage. This way, everyone on the team can easily access the same information, which will increase collaboration and make it less likely that someone is working off of outdated or inaccurate data.


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