Ensuring Construction
Punch List Accuracy

Ensuring Construction Punch List Accuracy

Construction punch lists, as a key means of ensuring compliance with all contract requirements, depend on accuracy. Not just of the lists themselves, but their workflows — logging each item, providing evidence and/or supporting documentation, assigning it to a specific craftsperson or crew, completing the required work and verifying everything is done satisfactorily and fulfills contract requirements.

This process is dependent on the level of detail and documentation you’re able to put into the process. Spreadsheets — being populated after notes are taken in the field — aren’t really able to capture this with a high degree of confidence. As with other facets of capital projects, construction-specific documentation software is truly the most efficient way to up your accuracy game.


Leverage the capabilities of mobile functionality

As deceptively simple as punch lists can be, their value nonetheless has impact because so much is riding on the information they’re meant to record. Relying on hard-copy punch lists introduces the potential for misinterpretation, and missing items, which invites risk of delays as details are sorted out.

The solution? Forgo the pen and notepad and grab your smartphone or the jobsite tablet to access your punch list via a mobile app. An app helps you skirt the challenges inherent in manual note taking with capabilities ranging from standard typed notes to voice recording to checklists. It also cuts back dramatically on errors from duplicated data entry that comes from using traditional punch list documentation — first onsite taking notes during your walks and again when transferring those details to a spreadsheet upon returning to the back office.

Mobile apps go further than simply improving how issues or punch items are logged in written form. With the ability to attach supporting documentation and photos to pinpoint and conduct the repair, craftspeople have a much better understanding of what the issue is, where it is located and timeline in which it needs to be completed. Once complete, the assigned team can demonstrate accuracy and quality of the fix by capturing photos and any other documentation for review and approval.

Going mobile makes conducting informal walkthroughs and formal punch list inspections far more efficient in terms of time and effort, and much more accurate in the information collected.


Take advantage of punch list templates

At any point during a substantial capital project, you want to be confident that not only enough details, but also the right details, are being collected on your punch lists. Templates offer a convenient, standardized approach to consistently log the same kinds of details in the same way, making it a reliable way to ensure nothing is inadvertently overlooked or intentionally bypassed.

What if you have a particularly large or complicated project coming up? Or you have a project with a unique set of contract requirements? Most capital projects fall into either or both of these categories. So, you may find that a standard template doesn’t quite capture the specific details you need. If your documentation software comes with an online form builder, make full use of the flexibility it gives you to modify your existing form, or create a punch list from scratch that is customized to your project.

The more exacting and complete the details are, the more quickly and efficiently each item can be “punched.”


Harness the value of real-time communication

Want to further improve accuracy? You need good communication. That means ensuring everyone in the punch list workflow has access to the project plans and specifications housed in the documentation software so they can be referenced while collaborating on and completing list items (which can aid in keeping issues from landing on those lists in the first place.)

So much of construction is based on precise timing. And that certainly applies to when actionable information is communicated out to all project team members. The most efficient way is using the documentation software’s notification feature to alert affected site crews of changes and punch list details — preferably as they happen, creating a rolling punch list.

Think of the structural or building system errors that may be unknowingly hidden behind walls or other cosmetic or structural barriers — all because of the punch list’s traditionally late arrival to the construction process. This has the unfortunate effect of creating costly rework, with assigned craftspeople double-timing their way through the fix to meet the potentially jeopardized completion date (especially if their retention payments are on the line and threat of liquidated damages looms). This is where the accuracy and quality of the fix is compromised, and risk of injury increases.

Communication in construction is more than pushing out information to those in the field. That notification feature is a way to invite dialogue. In a broader sense, cloud-based documentation software also can double as a hub for craftspeople, contractors and other stakeholders to communicate and stay informed as the issues are resolved. Craftspeople can ask clarifying questions and get feedback in real time. More people contributing to the discussion with their collective experience and wisdom — rather than just a couple of people using point solutions — enhances punch list workflow and completion accuracy.

You can’t overemphasize the level of precision required in today’s capital projects, nor the role digitization has in achieving it. Advanced solutions like InEight Document help you shorten and streamline the traditionally lengthy punch list process. Want to see how it can benefit your business? Request a demo to find out.

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