Construction Punch List: What Is it and How Do You Manage One?

8 min
Nov 16, 2022

The construction industry struggles with slow payments and poor project performance.

But construction businesses don’t have to continue on this way forever.

A construction punch list can:

  • Help the industry stay organized
  • Avoid major issues near the end of a project; and
  • Speed up the payment process

This guide explains:

  • What a construction punch list is
  • How the industry can benefit from using reliable software; and
  • How to manage the construction punch list process

Flexbase: Request Payment as Soon as Your Punch List Is Complete With Our Automated Cash Flow Management Platform

It takes longer to get paid in the construction business than it does in almost any other industry. On average, it takes around 80 days for contractors to receive payment.

Flexbase, an online platform that provides tools and resources to construction businesses, works to automate payments and improve cash flow for different construction businesses.

Flexbase also provides other services, like:

  • Integrating with multiple project management software programs
  • Requesting payments
  • Automating payments and paperwork
  • Sending invoices and reminders
  • Assisting with the construction punch list process

What Is a Punch List in Construction?

In the construction industry, a punch list refers to a list of tasks that need to be done before the entire construction project is considered to be completed.

The construction punch list process helps to keep the construction company, subcontractors, architect, owners, etc., all on task and aware of the status of the project. It can also help to speed up the payment process by sending a new invoice when a task is completed.

What Are Punch List Items in Construction?

In construction, punch list items are tasks that are identified during a project walkthrough that need to be addressed before the project is considered to be completed.

A construction punch list template might provide some common tasks, but also check the following:

  • The status of the appliances is correct.
  • No leaks are found.
  • The paint and wall/floor/ceiling textures are correct and complete.
  • All hardware works correctly and is accounted for.
  • There is no damage to the floors or building from construction.
  • The site is cleaned of debris, materials, and dust.
  • All of the locks and windows are installed correctly and work.
  • There are no issues with the plumbing.
  • The HVAC system is functioning and is zoned correctly.

Why Is a Construction Punch List Important?

A construction business owner, the subcontractors, and the architects should all consider the construction punch list to be important.

This list points out any issues in a project that must be completed before a project can be considered done and can keep the project from going off track.

The list allows all stakeholders to follow along on the progress of a project and can ensure that everything in the process is done correctly.

A construction punch list ultimately leaves construction businesses and subcontractors accountable for their work and helps to ensure that the clients are happy with the completed project.

At What Point in a Construction Project Are Punch Lists Generated?

A construction punch list used to be (and sometimes still is) generated towards the end of a project’s schedule during a walkthrough with the owner and the client.

The intent is to point out:

  • Minor tweaks
  • Things that need to be slightly fixed; and
  • Small touch-ups.

Because construction punch lists are traditionally generated towards the end of a project, all major issues have typically already been addressed.

This has slowly started to change in the construction industry.

You might hear of a construction punch list being generated towards the beginning of a project so that the owners, clients, and different contractors can all view the progress of the project as it goes along.

Managing the Construction Punch List Process

A construction punch list is not difficult to manage.

The process has two parts:

  1. Creating the punch list; and
  2. Resolving the punch list

Because most stakeholders in a construction process are involved in both creating and resolving the list, using reliable software that is easily accessible by everyone is helpful.

How Is a Construction Punch List Made?

To create a construction punch list, the following must happen:

  1. The owner and the client do a walkthrough of the project and discuss and/or inspect all of the work.
  2. If the punch list is being created at the beginning of the project, they will discuss everything that must be done throughout the entire project.
  3. If the punch list is being created towards the end of the project, they will inspect all of the work and make note of any issues that must be resolved before the project can be considered complete.
  4. The project owner passes along the punch list to all of the team members, including the architect and any subcontractors, so all parties are aware of their jobs and the issues that need attention.
  5. The responsible parties work on their tasks and “punch” them as complete when they are done so they can receive payment.

Roles in Resolving Punch List Action Items

Creating, utilizing, and resolving a construction punch list involves many people in different roles.

To complete the construction punch list process from start to finish, the following people likely need to be involved:

  • Owners
  • General Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Architects and/or Design Team

The owner does an initial walkthrough with the client to address any issues that need to be fixed. The owner creates a list of everything that still needs attention, including things that are incomplete or have been done incorrectly.

The owner passes along the punch list to the general contractor and waits for all the tasks to be completed. He might do another walkthrough at the end.

The general contractor continues the construction punch list process by reviewing the list and then tasking each item to the subcontractors for them to address and fix as necessary.

The individual subcontractors

  • HVAC
  • Plumbers
  • Painters
  • Electricians

…work to complete the tasks from the punch list that relate to them.

Finally, the architects or design team reviews the project to confirm that it matches the design that the client requested.

Improve Your Construction Punch List Process With These Tips

Sometimes, the construction punch list process does not go as smoothly as hoped.

  • Maybe there are too many problems to address at the last minute.
  • Maybe there is confusion in how the process works.
  • Maybe the project budget is gone, and the punch list cannot be completed correctly.

By implementing new strategies and software, the construction punch list process can be even more successful moving forward.

Traditionally, a construction punch list is created towards the end of a project to run through any last-minute issues before the project can be considered complete.

To avoid a laundry list of problems at the end of a project, start the construction punch list process from the beginning.

By creating a checklist of tasks, every stakeholder (owner, general contractor, subcontractors, design teams) can see what needs to be done and know when a task has been completed.

This might help to keep issues towards the end of a project to a minimum.

Team members should use the punch list to check on the progress of tasks regularly.

Not only does this help keep the project moving along, but it can ensure that tasks are being done correctly, and again, minimize issues at the end of the project.

As technology continues to become the way of the world, businesses can use the Flexbase platform to help processes run smoothly.

Flexbase offers one of the best construction punch list software programs available because it allows you to be mobile, accessible, and interactive with all stakeholders.

The technology allows all of a project’s stakeholders to easily track and complete the tasks of a project while also streamlining the processes that construction businesses and their clients and contractors must complete.

Projects often run into money issues as the construction punch list is completed because unforeseen problems or setbacks arise during the walkthrough.

By setting a budget to help complete tasks, you can:

  • Prevent conflict over money.
  • Easily address setbacks as they happen because money is less likely an issue.
  • Complete a job correctly without having to cut corners.

Mitigate Issues With Your Construction Punch List Process by Avoiding These Challenges

With a construction punch list process in place, businesses can avoid many major (and minor) issues with a project.

A reliable construction punch list app or software can help you avoid:

  1. Communication problems
  2. Large issues near the end of a project
  3. Falling behind on tasks

Using a construction punch list template is great.

The document records all of the tasks for a project and the issues that must be addressed.

It probably needs to be duplicated and shared with all team members, and word-of-mouth communication is likely very important to keep every project member aware of the status.

Using a construction punch list software is better.

With every team member’s ability to access the punch list via mobile devices:

  • Miscommunication can be highly minimized.
  • Each member can see what tasks need to be done and when they are completed.
  • Every stakeholder stays up-to-date with the project’s timeline.

The best construction punch list software is one that allows you to keep your punch list mobile, interactive, and accessible by all stakeholders.

Flexbase offers software that integrates a variety of project management programs that make it quick and easy to request payment as soon as an item is registered as “complete” and the invoice is approved.

Flexbase offers more than the best construction punch list software.

With Flexbase, you can:

  • Upload and save important documents for easy access
  • Quickly and easily request or send payment
  • Improve cash-flow
  • Track multiple projects
  • Interact with all stakeholders
  • And more

The construction industry can benefit from Flexbase and continue to improve and grow. Click here to get started today.


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8 min
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