What is a Punchlist?

Definition of Punchlist in Construction
This is a list of items that have either not been completed or have not been satisfactorily completed, at the end of the project.

Dependent upon the situation, the architect, as well as the owner, can start the punchlist, prior to the completion of a project, at the very end, or as decided upon by both the architect and the owner. The punchlist can be a small list of items, if the project has commenced in an organized well supervised fashion, or a very long list, if the opposite has transpired.

The punchlist can be used as a completion list, allowing the occupancy of the project, prior to full completion. However, life safety issues must be completed, to allow the issuance of a temporary certificate of occupancy , even if the punchlist is intended to be used as a completion list. Contractors and sub contractors management of the punchlist is in many instances the key to a successful project.

Lack of proper coordination of punchlist completion can lead to delayed payments, bonding company involvement and a difficult completion to an otherwise successful project. In many cases, the general contractor will formally submit the punchlist to the appropriate subcontractors for completion. A time limit will be provided to address each punchlist item, failure to meet this time limit will force the general contractor to complete the punchlist item with a third party, and subsequently backcharge the responsible party. This entire procedure can cause payment delays and negative relationships to develop between contractors. Punchlist management is an important aspect of final completion and a successful project.