Avoid Stress during your next Punch List Meeting: use a Checklist


Checklist_punchlist_ArchiSnapper

A while ago we wrote The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Punch List Experience.

One of the most useful tips of this guide is to use a checklist to ensure you don’t overlook important details. In this blog post, we will zoom in on how you can use a checklist for your next punch list meeting.

What is a punch list checklist?

A punch list checklist is a list of all the items that need to be reviewed during the punch list meeting.

Remember; a punch list meeting is where the client, architect, and general contractor inspect the project and document all the issues that need to be solved before the final payment will be released.

During this meeting, many things need to be reviewed, and multiple people attend, and sharing their thoughts.

Each person focuses on the things that are important to them. They each have a personal agenda: the contractor wants to get paid, and the client wants to make sure everything is correct before they pay.

That’s why it’s not always easy to stay 100% in control, keep cool, and focused.

As a result, it’s perfectly normal if you forget to review or check some things.

Using a checklist makes it’s easier to keep an overview of the whole project. You won’t need to use your mental RAM to track what has been reviewed and what hasn’t. The checklist will do it for you.

For the items in your checklist that are NOT OK, and that need to get fixed, it is best to document them as precisely as possible. Add some explanation text, take photos with annotation, locate the item on a floor plan, and so on.

This way, all parties involved knows exactly what they need to do. Any confusion about who has to do what is avoided.

At the end of the meeting, you can do a final review your checklist to make sure all the items for the project have been reviewed.

As explained in the book The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Awnada, that for professionals from all industries; pilots, doctors, contractors—checklists are essential for executing projects efficiently.

Checklists reduce the risk of mistakes and increase the likelihood that everything will get done correctly.

A checklist is a super tool to increase the quality and consistency of your work.

3 tips for using a checklist during a punch list meeting

1/ Make your checklist simple and specific

Take some time to get your checklist right.

Here are some elements to take into account when drafting your punch list checklist:

  • Make your checklist specific for the project type: the things to review are probably different between residential projects vs industrial construction projects.
  • Take into account specific project elements: are there any specific requirements, for example, related to administration or fire safety?
  • Include the areas that need to be reviewed, for example: Room 1, Room 2, Bathroom, Outside Area, and so on.
  • Keep the items to review for these different areas short and clear.

Making such a checklist template takes some time and experience, but here’s a simple sample:

construction punch list checklist sample

2/ Convert your current paper checklist into a digital inspection form

Many architects, engineers and contractors are still using paper checklists on the construction site.

They fill in the checklist on paper, and when they’re back at the office, they write out the notes in Word or Excel.

They transfer the pictures from their phone or tablet to their PC and then insert them into the Word doc which causes the layout to jump around :)

Today there are apps like ArhiSnapper that you can use to transform your paper checklist into a smart digital form.

You can then review and fill in the checklist with your phone or tablet immediately while you are doing the punch list inspection on site. You can complete the items to review with notes, pictures, annotations, due dates, assignees and location pointers.

When you’re done with the punch list inspection the punch list report – with an overview of the pending items and details – will automatically be generated. Your can use your own layout and branding.

punch list report sample via archisnapper

The advantage of such a punch list app is that it will save you a LOT of time: no more writing out notes, or struggling to insert phots or annotate on floor plans.

Also, you will have all your documents—like contracts, drawings or blueprints—always with you on your phone or tablet.

Here you can preview a sample punch list report, generated with ArchiSnapper.

You can easily share the punch list with all parties involved, so everyone knows exactly what to work on. They can even give feedback (with text or photo) on the items assigned to them:

construction collaboration assign items to subs

3/Adjust and get better

After every punch list meeting, you should take a moment to think of things that you could include in the checklist. Make it habit to continuously improve your checklist based on your experiences.

Do you already use an app for punch lists?

Tired of using pen and paper on the construction site?

Tired of lugging around all your documents on the construction site? 

Tired of struggling with the layout in Word when inserting pictures into your report?

Tired of trying to remember which pictures belong to which punch list item? 

Interested in saving a lot of time with your punch list reports? In distributing professional reports that impress your clients? In some free time every now and then? 

=>Start a free trial and try out ArchiSnapper for 14 days.

Need help? You can always reach out to us at support@archisnapper.com!

Other articles on punch lists, checklists and field reports for architects, engineers and contractors:

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Until next time!

Jerry