Construction Punch List: The Ultimate Guide

Construction project completion Punch List

So, you’re nearing the end of your construction project. Given that everything ran smoothly and on schedule, you’re ready to present to your client the finished project, the piece de resistance, if you may. But before you make the final presentation, you have to make sure that you have addressed all the quirks and oddities of your project.

As you near the project completion, you may find yourself asking questions and looking into small details. Are all the project details compliant with the agreed specifications? Are the doors working well? Have any damages been made during the construction process? Just when you think that all is well and done, the list goes on an on.

What is a punch list in construction?

This is where the construction punch list comes into play. A construction site punch list or also known as a snag list is a document prepared near the completion of a construction project that lists all the all the items that do not conform to agreed specifications. It is not known exactly when the term “punch list” was coined to mean what it does today, but the term has been used in the construction industry for decades to mean a list of things that need to be accomplished before final payment can be made. A good punch list addresses all issues that do not conform to the agreed initial plans. If a punch list is successful, it can lead to huge savings from future issues that may arise with unaddressed construction issues.

People involved in completing a punch list for construction projects


Before the final completion of a construction project, most clients would require the contractor to send a notification stating that the project is nearing completion. At this point, the client is invited to a pre-final walk-through. It is at this stage that the contractor furnishes a list of items that are pending completion or need to be revised and fixed. This document is known as the punch list.


It is the role of the subcontractor to make sure that the punch list is accomplished and that all the tasks listed are addressed. The subcontractor has to work within a specific time frame to accomplish the said tasks and must be open to communication with the contractor regarding updates and issues in accomplishing the punch list.


Owners play a crucial role in the success of a punch list. Owners have the responsibility to be fully aware of the progress of the construction project as well as the issues that need to be addressed. Owners or their representatives are required to be present during the pre-final project walkthrough in order for them to see the issues that need to be addressed prior to project completion. Owners who are well-informed also save themselves from unnecessary punch list cost construction incurred by project reworks and revisions that can be addressed through a thorough punch list.


Architects are big players in the accomplishment of a successful punch list. As the designer of the project, an architect should be able to point out which aspects of the project do not coincide with that of the drawings. Likewise, an architect should be able to adjust to ever-changing project needs such as client preferences and address these issues through a well-crafted punch list.

Tips to create a good punch list

Review the specifications

When the project is nearing its completion, refer back to the agreed upon project specifications to point out which items do not comply with the agreement. This should be a good guide to determine where you will start with the punch list. If any items were overlooked during the construction process, now is a good time to bring up these issued before the final project turnover.

Good timing

Whether you’re the owner of the project or a contractor, you have to time your site visits wisely. It is expected that at the end of your visit you will be handing over your punch list for the items that need to be addressed. Good punch lists are those that are concise and detailed. When you time your inspections properly, you do not waste your time as well as valuable time spent on construction.


Make sure that everyone gets the message across the board. Open communication makes for a good punch list since this ensures that everyone is on the same page. Ask questions and address any pressing concerns before handing out the punch list. Make sure all the details on the punch list are understood by everyone on the team. Use pictures when necessary to make sure that people on the team do not waste their time looking around for the issue that needs to be addressed.

Use technology

The term punch list originated from the old practice of punching holes on a list of things that needed to be fixed. This practice started what is punch list in construction. In this day and age, that practice is long considered obsolete, not to mention inefficient. There are now a number of available software on the market that will help you accomplish your punch list and more. It is crucial to invest in good technology to help with streamlining the punch list process.

Best punch list software


Regarded by many as the number one construction software, Procore is used worldwide by all types of construction projects. Procore provides a cloud-based construction software that integrates all parts of the construction process. Procore has tools not only for creating punch lists, but also has resources for almost all aspects of construction.


FINALCAD is a France-based software company providing software to various construction companies across the globe. On this platform, users are able to create punch lists, as well as communicate important aspects of the construction process to the team. FINALCAD primarily offers apps that are compatible with iOS and Android. FINALCAD has features that help with facility management, remodeling, and quality control.

Bluebeam Revu

Bluebeam Revu is used by 1.3 million users worldwide and this software provides a venue for the construction team to collaborate and integrate ideas. Bluebeam Revu allows users to access, mark up and collaborate on the same documents in real time, anytime. On Bluebeam Revu, you can also access all your key documents all in one place. Key punch list features include collaboration and drawings integration.


Skysite is a software company based in Northern California. The software promises to provide for fast and easy document distribution and collaboration between the construction team. Skysite provides for an efficient punch list management system that allows users to connect an item on the punch lists to a drawing, photo or connect it to a video or audio clip. On Skysite, users can view the punches and documents side by side. Skysite can be accessed on mobile so users can access the interface anytime, anywhere.


ArchiSnapper claims to be the easiest to use application for field reports, punch lists and safety audits. ArchiSnapper allows users to save time by making reports on site, even just on a mobile device. ArchiSnapper lets users collaborate on a project after it is uploaded to the cloud. With ArchiSnapper, you can halve your time spent on making punch lists on its user-friendly interface.


Buildmetric helps members of the construction team identify construction defects simply by using their mobile phones. The software allows users to communicate more effectively by allowing users to share photos and assign tasks to the correct people. When using Buildmetric, users are able to streamline the punch list creation process by communicating the tasks needed to be accomplished to the right people for the job.

Now that you have the ultimate guide to creating a killer punch list, you can start working on that punch list with the confidence that you have all corners of the building covered. No matter how big or small your construction project may be, it is important that all the issues are resolved prior to final turnover.

This will ensure that everyone on the team is satisfied with the final outcome, be it the owner, the contractor and subcontractors alike. Once the punch list is accomplished and it is guaranteed that there are no deviations from the specifications agreed upon, you can now rest assured that the construction can now be closed, and most importantly, payment can now be made.

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