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The Punch List

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

You’re about to dive into a construction project. Be it a new custom home or remodel, it is of utmost importance that the owner, general contractor and architect are all on the same page. In order to accomplish this, a list of items or official document is typically put together that defines in detail every single task that needs to be completed. This document, says Geniebelt, is what’s known as a punch list.

A well-written punch list can be a powerful guide throughout the whole project, as it typically consists of every single task that should be completed. In other words, the punch list functions both as a building plan and a warranty of quality for the whole project. A good punch list can also pave the way for a smooth collaboration between the numerous project stakeholders (owner, contractor, subcontractor, architect). Nowadays, your magic phone makes it easy, as there are a bunch of punch list apps (including GenieBelt), which can help you with that.

If a punch list was not created at the beginning of the project, it should show up at another key moment. Most contracts specify that a contractor should inform the project owner when they believe that their work is almost done. The contractor should also request that either the owner or the architect carry out a “pre-final” project inspection. At this point, that second version of a punch list is created by the contractor, and will include tasks that should either be fixed or are still pending.

Before the official completion of the project and the release of the final payment, it is vital that all the different sides review together the entire building process to make sure that everything has been finished according to the agreed plan. wants to help make that whole deal a bit easier, and has assembled over 15 different project plan templates to help you visualize your strategy, goals and progress. It doesn’t take much to realize that a detailed punch list can save you from project disputes and costly reworks.

For that reason, it is always highly recommended that a punch list be put together before the beginning of the project. Then, you have enough time to address any ‘deal-breaker’ issues and resolve points of conflict before they even emerge. If you are working (or you are about to work) with a quality contractor, setting up a punch list should be no problem at all. On the contrary, the punch list could be seen as a way to leverage quality during the whole construction process.

The majority of construction contracts specify that a contractor should inform the project owner when they believe that their work is almost done. The contractor should also request that either the owner or the architect carry out a “pre-final” project inspection. Based on the inspection, typically a list of last minute fixes and touchups is created by the contractor. This punch list then goes to the architect, who verifies whether the project has actually gotten to the near-completion stage. The architect checks the list to make sure everything on it has been completed, at which point the contractor might reach a resolution agreement with the project owner for the remaining tasks. Once this step is completed, the project is officially done and final payment can be made. MOST COMMON PUNCH LIST ITEMS Putting together and inspecting a punch list can be a long process. In an effort to make your life a bit easier, below you’ll find some of the most typical items included on a punch list:

  • Appliances are fully functioning

  • Cabinet drawers and doors open and close without any problems

  • No hardware is missing

  • Windows and doors open and lock without any problems

  • Hardware works smoothly

  • Lights and outlets are fully functioning

  • No leaks noticed

  • Heating, ventilation and AC systems work as they should

  • Plumbing issues

  • Paint and texture problems

Most punch lists will also include a list of questions for the contractor. provides a handy list of questions to consider for your list. Regardless of your role in a construction project, we cannot stress enough the importance of a quality, well-thought out punch list. While preparing or working on yours, you should always keep an eye on the future. In other words, you want to put together a clean and specific process so you can make good use of it again in upcoming projects. That can be an investment of tremendous importance for your current project and those down the road. Then there’s the added value of building your reputation in the building world.

By setting up a straightforward detailed project monitoring and inspection procedure, you can get one step closer to success. It’s all in the punch list!

Contact J. Sweet Construction for a quote on all your luxury home building and remodel needs. We put over 20 years of experience to work for YOU.

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