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list & final clean
The punch list is a list created at the end of the
project. It contains a list of items or tasks that
need to be repaired or completed. The list is created
by the owner and confirmed by the contractor.
For spec homes,
the construction superintendent creates a punch list
at the end of the project. For a contracted home,
the owner or architect (who represents the owner)
creates the list. The contractor takes the list and
makes his own inspection. He signs the list which
makes a binding agreement to fix those punch list
In order to make an accurate punch list the one must
be familiar with the plans and specifications. Flaws
in the work must be repaired along with forgotten
items. Here are typical items that are on a punch
Get a New
Home Checklist to help you spot
all punch list items!
and large builders will prohibit anyone walking through
the home during final inspection, except for the homeowner.
Usually this is part of the construction contract
that the owner signs. The reason that the builders
don't want others coming along is two-fold: They don't
want an outside expert pointing out reasonable or
Flaws that fall within the tolerances of building
construction. Buildings are never perfect, all have
some flaws Builders are worried that an "expert"
friend will find flaws that are insignificant or that
fall into the category of reasonable flaws. When this
happens the owners perception of the quality of the
home is unfairly tainted.
Flaws that should be fixed. The fewer items that have
to be repainted, repaired or adjusted the more money
the builder makes.
The punch list is created near the end of the project
or at the time of "substantial completion".
Substantial completion is a construction term that
means the house is complete to the point that it is
ready for occupancy and for its intended use. The
warranty on the house and all systems begins at substantial
completion. Any remaining discrepancies in the completion
should be stipulated in writing (Final punch list
or walk through list).
a home prior to completion, two persons are better
than one. If allowed, take along someone to help look
for items that need attention. Take a set of the plans
and specifications along for reference. Don't allow
the contractor or their representative to rush you
through the inspection. Take your time and make notes
of anything that appear incorrect. Have a set of the
approved plans and specification at the meeting to
verify any descrepancies.
General contractors hire a cleaning firm to do the
interior and exterior clean before the owner moves
in. Typically cleaners charge per square foot for
the house and often extra for home with a lot of windows.
Owner-builders often do all of the cleaning inside
and out. Keeping the site clean during the construction
is as important as the final clean. The Subs need
to know that they must clean up after their mess.
Some contractors "backcharge" subs who leave
a mess. A back charge is a fee charged to a sub to
complete something that the sub should have completed.
It's a good idea to give the sub a polite reminder
before making a backcharge.