What is a Construction Punch List

Source: What is a Construction Punch List

A construction punch list, is a list of things that do not conform to contract specifications near project completion. Also known as a snag list, it defines everything that needs addressing before final sign off and occupancy of the building.

As every contractor knows, construction projects can be difficult to manage. They can involve multiple stakeholders, risk assessments, O&M manuals plus lots of other project documentation. If any detail is missing it can delay the project completion with the knock on effect of costing the contractor  both time and money, not to mention the threat of legal action. This is why staying organized at every stage is critical to the success of any project.

 

When it comes to a punch list, it can be minor repairs to things like finishes and finishing off tiles; installing anything that is still outstanding such as an air conditioning system and cleaning the building ready for use. A punch list includes any final changes to the scope of the project made at the last minute and even warranties or other paperwork that needs chasing up.

The punch or snag list in an integral part of the construction contract. It is a control mechanism to meet the quality standards of the project plans and client’s expectations. There may be penalties if there is something the client is not happy about or the work does not meet satisfactory standards.

Creating an accurate punch list keeps everyone happy. It gives everyone a clear understanding of what work there is to do and timelines for completion. It is also an opportunity for the client to bring up any other concerns. The requirements for a punch list are set out during construction project planning.

It is the responsibility of everyone involved with the project to ensure the punch gets completed on time.

Client’s responsibility

A client has to take responsibility for making sure punch list gets completed. Clients need to make themselves available at this stage of the project. Be prepared to walk through the building making note of any issues or anything you want to question with the contractor. Do ask the contractor and tradespeople questions. It is too late once they sign off and handover the building.

This is a client’s last chance to ensure everyone understands their expectations at the end of the project.

Contractor’s responsibility

It is the general contractor’s responsibility to take the client through the building and discuss the items on the punch list. They will also listen to the client’s concerns and help work through them. The contractor can also use this meeting to show off their work and standard of the finishes on the building. A good contractor will have already picked up all the things that need doing and put them on the punch list. This is the time to let the client know what will happen to address the issues.

Subcontractor’s responsibility

It is up to the subcontractor to follow up and get the work on the punch list completed to a high standard. The point of the punch list is that it gives the expectation that all the work will be completed to a high standard and quickly.

Where things come up at the end of the project changing the scope of the project, the subcontractor needs to provide a quote and new timeline. It is important that subcontractors communicate and follow up and through on what they promise at all times.

Architect’s responsibility

Architects can attend a punch list walk through to check what was in their plans is what was actually built. It is their responsibility to highlight anything that is not within the project plans and specifications. However, some changes may be requested by the client and not added to the plans. The architect should accept this. Architects should take this opportunity to talk with the client. Find out how the final building meets their needs and expectations.

Final handover

The punch list is a critical step in the construction process. Task and Project Tracking means there are few surprises when you get to the end of the project. These are the last tasks to complete the building for final handover to the new owners.

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