The Punch List

A 'punch list' is a final 'to do' list.

Toward the end of the project, a punch list will be developed jointly by the owner and the contractor, and/or a design professional. This list provides the contractor with an organized method of finishing all the remaining details. It is part of the final payment process.

The best punch lists are developed after the cleaning of the construction site has been completed. Yes, cleaning is part of the contractor's (written) responsibility, without a thorough professional cleaning, small blemishes can't be seen and/or corrected.

The punch list should be short: one page, 12 - 20 items. If it gets much longer than that than the development and management of the list becomes an onerous task and damaging to the contractor/client relationship.

The final payment may include a holdouts of as much as 10% of the contract, withheld by the owner until all items on the punch list have been completed. The actual amount of the holdouts is usually related to the value of the items on the punch list.