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What is a Punch List for Construction and How Is It Used?

architect in front of a newly constructed house

When you are having a house constructed, the end of the project is the most exciting part because you’ll be able to see the outcome of your dream home. But for construction firms, there’s something that needs to be accomplished, which is the construction punch list. It is a document that contains the work that still needs to be done on a construction project. It is called a punch list because it came from the antiquated process of punching holes in a list to mark which items needed fixing. Therefore, a punch list is simply a list of tasks and items that need to be completed before you can consider a construction project finished.

It is not enough that you know the definition of what a punch list is to understand everything about it. If you will be having a house or other building constructed soon, then it’s important for you to know how a punch list is used. To help you, we are going to give you further information on what it is and how it is used.

What is a Construction Punch List?

A construction punch list is also known as a snag list in the United Kingdom. As mentioned earlier, it is a document that shows the work that still needs to be done to complete a construction project. Aside from that, according to the Business Dictionary, it is a list of items that requires immediate attention, and as well as a document that cites work that does not conform to contract specifications. It is usually attached to the certificate of substantial completion. And before the contractor receives payment, he needs to correct the punch list work.

Moreover, a punch list can also include specifications on damages to other materials, and as well as items that occurred during construction and should now be fixed. It can also include incorrect installations or parts of the building that,at present, do not function as they should.

Punch lists usually include only small fixes. It’s because major issues have already been fixed or addressed previously via a change order. But it is still important to complete a construction punch list correctly because this will help you make sure that your project has the finishing touches in needs for it to be considered done or complete.

When is a Punch List Implemented?

Punch lists are not mandatory, but they are a widespread and traditional process that is applied toward the end of any construction project. It is made or done only when the project is considered nearly finished. It means that a punch list is confined to minor tweaks after major fixes have already been done.

Once the project is nearing its end, it is the job of the general contractor to set up the punch list walkthrough. During this time, the client will point out any issues that they see on the project. Then, the general contractor will present these on visits and explain the changes that need to be done from the original specifications, and as well as note issues that need fixing.

Designers and architects also need to attend the walkthrough, as well, to make sure that the building matches the original design specs. If there’s something that does not conform to the original specs because of a change request by the client, the architect should also be there to address that.

Who isResponsible in Creating a Punch List?

There are many parties involved when it comes to making and executing a construction punch list, and it has two main phases. First is making it, and the other one is addressing it. All investors have a role in both of these phases, but there are some who are more heavily involved in each of these phases compared to others.

If you are wondering who’s responsible for accomplishing each item on your project punch list, well, it will depend on the project description and relevant stakeholders. To further understand, here’s a breakdown of what each person involved does.

  • Owner: The job or task of the owner is to ask questions about anything that they do not understand about the construction. Then, they need to list the incomplete work, and as well as those which are completed improperly. After creating the list, it will be handed off to the general contractor,who will perform another walkthrough after addressing the additional requests.
  • General Contractor: It is the role of the general contractor to check the details, and as well as consult the owner’s punch list and make their own list for subcontractors to address.
  • Subcontractors: Each subcontractor’s role is to take the list they have been given and address the request. They need to make sure that each line item in the punch list is completed. Aside from that, they also need to be prepared to explain each fix. And if needed, explain why it was not made to specifications.
  • Architect or Designer: After completing the punch list, it is the architect or designer’s role to confirm that what was designed was actually built. 

After completing the punch list and distributing it to all parties involved in the construction, there will be time allotted for everything to be fixed. Then, another walkthrough will be scheduled, which involves the general contractor and the client. The client or owner needs to sign off on the punch list so that the construction project can be considered fully completed or finished.

Keep in mind that a punch list is a critical step in the construction process. It’s because it is the final task in delivering a successful construction project. Therefore, if your house construction is nearing the end, make sure to ask your general contractor to set up the punch list walkthrough. This will help you ensure that everything you want andhas planned for the construction of your house will be done, and there will be no construction lapses that you might miss.

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