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How to Run an Effective Punch List

Posted on March 24, 2015 in Blog

Subcontractor Superintendent iPadDuring construction projects, contractors must hold high standards in their work. KBS has an effective Punch List process that enables them to maintain quality and repeated client satisfaction. They ensure not only that KBS is finishing the job as planned, but also that subcontractors are doing what they are contracted to do. During the recent KBS Institute presentation of How to Run an Effective Punch List, Project Manager, Michael Stephens, and Superintendent, Wayne House, reviewed myths and realities of construction management, offering guidance for planning, organization, and delegation, focusing on the Punch List and how to accomplish tasks. Michael led the first part of the presentation, concentrating on overall organization processes, and Wayne addressed the actions necessary while in the field.  The KBS Institute is not only a presentation, but also an open forum where people can share experiences and provide solutions for each other.

Effective Punch List

The Punch List is for all participants of a contract: owners, contractors, and subcontractors need to be involved in the Punch List process. Architects and engineers participate at times, usually upon owner request. For KBS construction jobs, there are (4) phases: (1) get the work in place; (2) Completion List; (3) KBS Punch List, which is split into Review One, timeline to complete, and Review Two; and (4) Owner Punch List. The Punch Lists are the last blow-through to identify deficiencies, and there are two types of Punch Lists, one that is internal that KBS generates for our subcontractors—each having their own list, and the other is external for the owners to check through and compare with their own or their designers’ lists.

In the stages of construction, each contractor is given a Completion List, identifying what needs to be done. When complete, KBS conducts an inspection and produces the Punch List that identifies what was missed. Superintendents walk through each area of a project and make notes on their iPads, which then get distributed to the subcontractors. This list is printed and posted onsite for each contractor to sign-off when it’s complete, and then the Superintendent checks to make sure the deficiency has been rectified and signs off on that line as well. In the presentation, KBS provided a sample of a Punch List Schedule. Each task is named with a timeline to complete it…line by line. KBS Superintendents go through the Punch List at least twice, offering exceptional Quality Control (QC).

Unfortunately, even the most tenacious Superintendent has the tendency to assume that everyone on the job is completing the tasks—and checking their own lists. While we hope that people are doing their best work, mistakes can be made. KBS conducts the KBS Institute to remind everyone that while to err is human, KBS aims to catch mistakes and correct them before, during, and after projects. While discussing some of these Punch List Myths, Superintendents and PMs recognized the examples given and were sure to offer more. The KBS team looks at these challenges, supports each other, and addresses them.

KBS has an outstanding reputation for quality control, including safety, budget, and schedule. It is apparent that KBS employees know that commitment and determination of responsibilities produce quality projects and satisfied clients. The KBS Institute provides a perfect venue for managers, superintendents, and administration to create dialogue and talk with each other openly about best practices, strategies, and lessons learned.

“It boils down to the guys in the field and their drive to get the best product in front of the owner.” Wayne House, KBS Project Superintendent