Level of detail while doing punch lists?


What level of detail would you go into while doing punch list?

Obviously conformance to the plans is a requirement but how "extra" would you go? Slight paint blemishes, squeaky door, chipped ACTs? 

Would you make the GC spend the extra time in correcting those "minor", fact of life, things? 

My opinion? Most of the time, the average home owner or user would not even notice so why sour your relationship with the GC in producing a "perfect product"?

Curious to see what the community's response to this is....

Sep 11, 21 8:16 pm

I wrestle with this. Especially when I am on punches with the boss and they point out shit I'd let slide. 

Sep 11, 21 10:04 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

chipped ACT, or other finishes, get replaced. Any other defect gets addressed if I can notice it from about an arms length away. I don’t care about the GC’s feelings, the client is paying me after all. 

Sep 12, 21 7:49 am  · 
6  · 

Yup. I also call out paint flashing. I don't care if you have to repaint the entire wall.

Sep 13, 21 10:11 am  · 
2  · 

This is about how I am - if you're looking for more than 30 seconds at paint and can't find anything - it is fine.

Sep 13, 21 10:19 am  · 
4  · 
Wood Guy

Partly due to my first career being a carpenter/builder, I see every defect. I have done "perfect" work (i.e., perfect-looking) and know how much extra time and effort it takes vs. standard construction tolerances. In most cases I try to keep punch list items to fairly egregious errors. But I prefer to work with builders who don't need much oversight. 

Sep 12, 21 8:51 am  · 
2  · 

The line I use quite often during a punch walk is 'why does this [ ]  look like I did it?'  By that, I mean my expectations are that the quality of finished product should look like a qualified expert installed it.  If the caulking looks like the time my dad sealed up the bathtub or the painting could have very well been completed by my 1st grader, then it gets called out and redone.  

I will say, my tolerance has increased over the years.  When I first started, I was pedantic about every stupid detail.  I remember a sage PM pulling me aside one time to say, ' construction is not an exact science.  your drawings aren't perfect, and neither is the finished product.  learn to live with (and even appreciate) the subtle tolerances of the trades.'

Sep 13, 21 10:42 am  · 
2  · 

Definitely paint blemishes and squeaky doors / door hardware that needs to be rebalanced- these, along with caulk and final clean stuff, are probably our most common punch list items. I've never had a GC push back on this either; touching up paint is pretty easy as far as all things go (even if you have to repaint a wall), and it seems more often than not on the projects I work on they are calling for a punch walk before they have done final touch up anyway.  Individual paint blemishes don't typically end up on the punch list unless they are egregious or really large; I just make one list item for all.  I walk with painter's tape and tag them as I go, even the minor scuffs that probably happened because of loading in stuff.  The level of detail for a punch list is definitely dependent on the project type and size.  I am less critical of utility / back of house areas and more critical of public facing areas for appearance imperfections.  We are pretty involved in CA and do intermediate 'punch' type field reports during construction (i.e. review brick work after brick work is done, tiling after tiling is done, etc), so we've never had anything super wild at punch that was non-conforming.  We were contracted by an out of state firm to help with CA & punch on their high end residential high rise; most of the drywall was specced to level 5 finish.  Each paint blemish or drywall imperfection in that case goes on the punch list.

Sep 18, 21 9:27 am  · 

For our jobs the client heavily controls the level of punch and my team adjusts.  Separately though, I've had plenty of contractors try to define blemish/paintdrip/etc problems and even dig out other people's specs (not mine) showing rules of thumb like "visible from 10' away"... I always like to say I guess my eyes are better than theirs.  TL:DR, I'm known as 'punch-heavy' but I'm pretty consistent and I often preempt my concerns before punch.  I'll pre-punch a room for instance for quality.

Oh, and separately, if I have to walk on your job with a hardhat/floor on, I'm not punching.  If you think you're not done "but ignore these things" I'm not punching.

Sep 18, 21 9:38 am  · 
atelier nobody

If I see it, it goes on the list.

On the other hand, there's a limit on how much time I'm spending on a punch walk, so there's a corresponding limit on how much I'm going to see.

Sep 20, 21 11:50 pm  · 

Fun quiz:

Whose responsibility is the punch list?

Sep 21, 21 11:16 am  · 

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