Use A Checklist to Improve Your Punch List Meetings
One of the most useful punch list best practice tips for creating a successful punch list experience is to use a checklist to ensure you don’t overlook important details. This article will show 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.
In a punch list meeting, the client, architect, and general contractor inspect the project and document all the issues that must be solved before the final payment is released.
Many things need to be reviewed during this meeting and multiple people attend, each 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 staying 100% in control, calm, and focused is not always easy. As a result, it’s perfectly normal if you forget to review or check some things.
Using a checklist makes it 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.
It is best to document the items in your checklist that are NOT OK and need to get fixed 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 know exactly what they need to do and any confusion about who has to do what is avoided.
At the end of the meeting, you can review your checklist to ensure all the project items have been checked.
Checklists reduce the risk of mistakes and increase the likelihood that everything will get done correctly.
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 probably differ between residential and industrial construction projects.
- Take into account specific project elements: are there any particular 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: This will help you to work through your checklist quickly and efficiently.
2. Convert your current paper checklist into a digital inspection form
Many architects, engineers and contractors still use paper checklists on the construction site.
They fill in the checklist on paper and write the notes in Word or Excel when they’re back at the office. They then transfer the pictures from their phone or tablet to their PC and insert them into the Word doc, which causes the layout to jump around.
Today there are punch list apps like Deltek ArchiSnapper 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 doing the punch list inspection on-site. You can complete the items to check with notes, pictures, annotations, due dates, assignees and location pointers.
When you finish the punch list inspection, the punch list report will automatically be generated with an overview of the pending items and details. You can use your own layout and branding to present a professional image.
The advantage of such a punch list app is that it will save you a lot of time: no more writing notes or struggling to insert photos or annotate on floor plans. You will also always have all your documents—like contracts, drawings or blueprints— on your phone or tablet.
Moreover, 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.
3. Adjust and get better
After every punch list meeting, take a moment to think of things that you could include in the checklist. Make it a habit to continuously improve your checklist based on your experiences.