Why construction punch lists must go digital

We know the punch list is used to document defects towards the end of a construction project and summarize them in the form of a to-do list. Defects, errors, inconsistencies or outstanding work are recorded here in order to correct them before handing over the final project. The aim is to achieve the contractually agreed performance within the period stipulated for this construction project.

PlanRadar punch list app

However, using a punch list at a stage later than needed holds great dangers for both the builder and the contractor. The general contractor is under great pressure to perform his contractually guaranteed services and will do a great deal to save time and costs in order to meet them. The client, on the other hand, would like to be able to put his property into operation without delay and hence may not take the time to thoroughly check the completed services. PlanRadar software integrates the conventional punch list into the functions of a construction diary and digitizes all construction tangled items to create an optimized defect management system.

You can find out here:

  1. What risks you take if you use the punch list too late,
  2. Why you should use a digital tool for your defect analysis,
  3. Why the punch list should not stand alone, and
  4. The value digital documentation of defects brings to your business.

Combine a construction job tracker with the possibilities of an evidentiary documentation

In the construction industry, we continue to look in vain for pure quality competition. All parties involved in the project management process, from planners to contractors, fight for their specific place on the market and must offer their services at the best possible conditions in order to remain competitive. In general, the enormous pressure on performance, costs, and deadlines bite the requirements of good architecture and often have devastating consequences. This becomes apparent when the punch list is used.

A punch list is a document that is prepared at the end of a construction project and contains those items that do not meet the contractual requirements which the contractor must meet before the final payment. Defects such as incomplete work, faulty materials, surfaces and structures or installations are listed in the punch list.

In the United States’ construction industry, contractual agreements are generally concluded so that they allow the owner to withhold the last payment to the general contractor as security. Under the contract, the contractor is obliged to complete a list of the agreed services, the so-called project punch list, to receive the final payment from the owner. The designer (usually a licensed professional architect or engineer) is usually also involved in the contract as a representative of the owner to verify that the work carried out is consistent with the design.

Quality control in construction

is of very high importance. Especially, when it comes to legal items. In most contracts, the general terms and conditions of the construction contract require the contractor to mark his work as “completed” after finishing and to request a preliminary inspection. In accordance with the basic conditions (relating to the American Institute of Architects: AIA A201 Section 9.8.2), the contractor shall contact the architect and provide him with a comprehensive list of items to be finished or corrected. This punch list generated by the contractor is referred to as “the list of defects”. Upon receiving the contractor’s list, the architect checks whether the work is essentially “complete”. The final payment of the contractor shall be made when the punch list has been completed or when another amicable solution for the provision of the services has been reached. Examples of the content items of a punch list can include damaged materials such as defective windows, dirty wall panels, cracked floor coverings or difficulties in the final assembly of components and devices (roof tiles to be repaired, missing permits for commissioning, activation of the safety system).

But how would a punch list affect your project if it did not only function as a final check-up at the end of your construction works, but also served as the basis for a conclusive documentation?

These considerations resulted in PlanRadar. Try our software for 30 days for free!

Even the best punch list app is not good enough for you!

We’ll clear it up: Documenting defects in a punch list and then working them off point by point is a fundamentally appropriate measure to eliminate the last errors in the final phase of a construction project. If, for example, we refer to an uneven floor covering, this can be regarded as a direct defect and remedied, but the cause remains unclear. Floor coverings do not tear for no reason. Remedying the symptom benefits the contractor financially, but not the owner. If this defect results from an uneven surface, you must find out why it is uneven. If there have been strong temperature fluctuations during the drying phase of the flowing screed above an underfloor heating system, which resulted in cracks, you have to do more than just replace the floor covering. From this point, you need also to check the floor structure for its properties! If a pipe system is damaged or an underlying layer is swollen with moisture, you may have a problem that goes beyond the finish. In order to avoid recurring defects or even to avoid serious consequential costs, the entire floor must be replaced.

What’s in it for you?

What did the punch list bring you at this point? It merely pointed out that your parquet is uneven… The cause, however, remains hidden. The bigger your construction task, the more trades, and different contractors will work on the implementation of your plans to complete a project. But if you notice a defect just before the end, who do you want to blame for it? Can you now say with certainty which of your contractors has not done his job well? Do you have enough expertise, and can you answer whether the symptom of the curved parquet results from penetrating moisture, too little space to the walls, an uneven floor, cracks in the screed or any other reason? No, it remains unclear! But who is liable for this defect? You as the client demand a defect-free service, but you do not know to whom the resulting defect can be ascribed. You can go to court and hire a costly expert to clarify the case at a large expense. An excellent punch list combines the tasks of a construction diary with those of a conclusive documentation to avoid exactly such cases. Do not rely on applications that do not make a significant contribution to the building quality and merely represent a digitized blog writing or to-do list. This will not benefit your construction project with a cent. PlanRadar can do more! We explain to you through our blog how it works and also what is its all advantageous items for you. We want to revolutionize the construction defect management process in the building industry with the help of our digitized tools.

Long term documentation – A construction project management report

We present you with a counter-scenario. All construction project participants are involved in a process. Whether, architect, site manager, craftsman or site supervisor, as soon as a defect or inconsistency occurs in the building, it must be documented. PlanRadar offers you a convenient management software solution for this that helps from the moment you lay the foundation stone of your building. The floor plans of your project are stored in our system on an intuitively operable interface and form the basis of all upcoming work. With the help of our software, all the project participants will be in direct contact with each other, which in return will minimize the time spent on poor communication and enhance the effective management on site.

Incorrect construction productivity can be captured by anyone who sees it with a smartphone or tablet. This would be the task of the punch list. The difference: You use them as soon as you start pouring your foundation and it is no longer only the contractor who is responsible for this task. A defect can be photographed and recorded in the construction plan with the help of a “ticket”. Such a ticket now contains information in the form of images, text or voice recording and can be immediately assigned to a responsible subcontractor for repair via direct notification through our field app.

The processing status can be tracked to know whether a task is completed or not, and deadlines can be set for correction at any time. Eliminating a construction defect directly during its first appearance saves you costs, time and trouble. Furthermore, each step taken is documented for you in our cloud so that all the progress done by all contractors in the project is accessible on your mobile device. You will never again be in doubt about what is the real cause of a defect and who is responsible for it. You can now generate an overall view about each process and completed the task on site.

Should you now have to complain about a service, you can download the data belonging to the project in the form of a PDF file or an Excel sheet. A never-ending chain of recriminations comes to an end with the use of PlanRadar. We combine for you the possibilities of a construction diary with those of a punch list and conclusive documentation based on your construction plan. From now on, stay in the loop from the beginning to the end of your construction project.

Exploit all your possibilities!

The digitization of work processes optimizes management and transparency on the construction site. Software like PlanRadar relies on an intuitive user interface on all operating systems. Use our construction daily reporting app for iPad, iPhone, all Android devices or your laptop and declare war on construction defects and the resulting costs.

To revolutionize the idea of a punch list and to use its possibilities throughout the construction phase instead of only at the end is a logical and necessary step towards quality assurance construction in the building industry.

Check out our blog for more related topics and we will be happy to answer all of your questions on this topic in a personal conversation and show you how to implement PlanRadar in your processes as quickly as possible. Contact us!

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