Punch List Templates

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Published November 19th, 2020

What is A Project Punch List?

A project punch list is the final list of items to be addressed before project completion. It includes non-conformance items, outstanding items, and minor issues. A project punch list is prepared by the contractor when work is considered substantially complete. The contractor then arranges a punch list walk through with the client for final checking and inspection. Since most construction contracts specify retainage of a percentage of the job cost, a contractor needs a punch list in order to receive the final payment.

In this article we will discuss the following:

  • Why is a punch list called a punch list?
  • What should you look for in a punch list?
  • How do you make a punch list?
  • What is the punch list process?
  • What is a punch list template?
  • Why use a punch list template?
  • Home remodel punch list template 
  • 3 tips in making a home remodel punch list template
  • iAuditor punch list templates

Why Is A Punch List Called A Punch List?

The term “punch list” was coined based on the old practice of people punching a hole next to an item on a list. An item with a punched hole meant that the task was completed or that the issue was resolved. Punching a hole was the equivalent of marking that item as done, and was a common process because workers didn’t always have a pen in hand and punching holes was quicker than writing “done” for every completed item on a list.

What Should You Look For In A Punch List?

For clients, a punch list should have items that didn’t meet expectations or requirements. Ideally, clients should have clarified and discussed their expectations or requirements with the contractor, sub-contractors, and architect during the discovery session. The punch list should cover the client’s priorities as well as any important safety or quality concerns the contractor might have regarding the project.

How Do You Make A Punch List?

For contractors, a punch list should include items that inspect the following:

  • incorrect installations, e.g., has the AC been installed incorrectly?
  • incidental damages, e.g., did something happen during construction?
  • poor execution/craftsmanship, e.g., are the cabinets not made well?
  • unfinished features, e.g., is the waterproof paint coating not yet finished?
  • missing components, e.g., are the door handles there?
  • mechanical, plumbing, and electrical issues, e.g., are the sockets usable?

What is the Punch List Process?

The punch list process involves tasks that are typically done by the architect and contractor. Below are the steps in the punch list process presented in their proper order:

For the contractor:

  1. Review contract documents
  2. Inspect construction work
  3. Decide if work is substantially complete
  4. Prepare a punch list
  5. Submit punch list to architect

For the architect:

  1. Conduct a pre-final inspection
  2. Prepare a certificate of substantial completion that includes the following information:

    a. Date of substantial completion

    b. Responsibilities of client and contractor

    c. Timeframe for contractor to finish punch list items

  3. Submit certificate to client and contractor

For the contractor:

  1. Submit written acceptance to architect
  2. Finish punch list items
  3. Notify architect and apply for final payment

What is a Punch List Template?

A punch list template is a general list of common pre-closeout issues typically used by construction companies. By starting with a punch list template, construction companies give their workers an idea of what to look out for. Punch list templates can also be tailored to fit different project categories. For example, a construction company might use one punch list template for renovation projects and another for building projects.

Why Use a Punch List Template?

A punch list template saves time and minimizes miscommunication. By having a common base, contractors, sub-contractors, architects, and builders are more equipped to work with each other as they complete the punch list. It promotes better team collaboration that, in turn, leads to improved team efficiency.

A punch list template helps the entire team reach project closeout sooner than expected and gives them enough time to prepare for their next project.

Home Remodel Punch List Template

Clients can also use punch list templates. For example, if a homeowner is having their home remodeled and wants to make their own punch list, a home remodel punch list template would be useful.

3 Tips In Making A Home Remodel Punch List Template

  1. Organize punch list by room or by subcontractor 
  2. Use the contract as a basis for punch list items
  3. Inspect the work yourself and test home features

Why Use iAuditor’s Punch List Templates?

iAuditor’s Punch List Templates are downloadable and printable as PDF for free. Using the mobile and web apps, however, vastly improves the experience by allowing you to customize pre-made punch list templates according to your needs or create one from scratch. iAuditor also features the following:

  • Multiple choice responses. Choose an answer (or multiple answers) from a response set or create your own response sets.
  • Failed items and scored responses. Flag an answer as failed and choose a scoring system for response sets.
  • Slider responses. Input a minimum and maximum value or specify specific value increments for items that require them.
  • Checkbox responses. Use checkboxes for quick and simple task completion.
  • Signature fields. Establish accountability and foster compliance by digitally signing off on inspections.

You can attach images and PDF documents to your questions so that everyone has the info they need to complete the punch list. You can also make responses mandatory to ensure that critical jobs are completed. iAuditor in-app, email, and SMS notifications keep you up to speed on the project’s status and other crucial details.

iAuditor’s Punch List Templates are easy to use and can be as comprehensive or as cursory as required. iAuditor will help with your inspections every step of the way; all it takes is just one simple step. Check out our featured punch list templates and get started with iAuditor today.


Zarina Gonzalez

SafetyCulture staff writer

Zarina is a Content Specialist for SafetyCulture. She is a Creative Writing graduate who enjoys discovering new ways for businesses to improve their safety, quality, and operations. She is working towards helping companies become more efficient and better equipped to thrive through change.