Before signing off on any project, contractors must ensure they check all the boxes on their quality and consistency checklist. A punch list helps you with exactly that!
With a solid punch list, you can guarantee safe and high-quality work for your clients. It helps you identify and fix minor defects like improper drainage, uneven flooring, tripped circuits, etc.
In this article, we will discuss what punch lists are, why you should do away with their paper-based versions, and switch to a punch list app like GoAudits. Further, you will learn how punch list apps work, their benefits, and why GoAudits is the best punch list app for your company.
GoAudits is a popular construction management tool that digitizes punch lists. The app offers customizable checklists, an advanced reporting and analytics dashboard, real-time collaboration with your team, and much more. Book a demo or start a 14-day free trial to explore GoAudits.
What is a Punch List in Construction?
A punch list is a document that contains all defects that the team needs to resolve before the construction project is marked complete. Also known as a snag list, a construction punch list helps ensure that your team meets all requirements mentioned in the contract.
It is usually made before the final inspection and shared with other stakeholders like architects, owners, etc., for them to add more items to it. Punch lists usually include minor fixes, repairs, and alterations. Common items on a punch list include
- Testing appliances, plumbing fixtures, HVAC systems, doors & windows, etc.
- Adding hardware, lights, sealants, etc.
- Removing items like protective covers, tools, trash, etc.
- Fixing leaks, cracks, defective pieces of equipment, improper installation, etc.
What is the Difference Between a Checklist and a Punch List?
A checklist is a collection of items that need to be verified or completed during a construction project. On the other hand, a punch list is a list of defects identified during the snagging process.
Why are Punch Lists Important?
A punch list is an important document that serves the following purposes:
- It increases accountability: Besides defects, a punch list contains the names of individuals who need to work on each item. So that everyone knows exactly what they need to do along with the due date.
- It acts as a quality control tool: With the help of a punch list, you meet all the contract requirements on time, and there is no delay in the final payment.
- It helps in project completion: A punch list acts as a roadmap for the project completion. It helps understand the last-minute fixes required before the handover.
- It acts as a communication tool: In most cases, the punch list is shared with other stakeholders for them to add their input. This ensures that the contractor, subcontractor, and owner are on the same page.
What are the Problems With Paper-based Punch Lists?
One of the biggest challenges with a paper-based punch list is that you need to populate them into a spreadsheet, to be able to later share with all stakeholders. This can cost you several man-hours. Other than that, paper-based punch lists can be easily misplaced or damaged.
The contractor and their team have to create reports manually. These reports are made based on the defect type, and you ensure they reach all the stakeholders on time.
There is no way users can attach photos of the defects, tag their exact location, and add a comment with a paper-based punch list. So, the assignee (who is supposed to fix the defect) is prone to confusion. Not only that, the follow-up mechanism is tedious. To say the least, it is all manual.
With paper-based punch lists, the closest thing you will have to an analytics dashboard is a tab in the spreadsheet. You will have to apply tens of filters based on locations, inspectors, defect type, etc., to get an update.
» Spreadsheet Auditing: Learn why auditing on spreadsheets is holding your business back.
What’s a Punch List App?
A punch list app is a specialized tool for identifying, compiling, and monitoring the fixes of defects or snags on a construction site. Also referred to as snagging apps, punch list software aims to replace the Excel or pen-paper-based punch lists used in construction.
The best punch list applications like GoAudits offer more than just a compilation of defects/items. With GoAudits, you can create several inspection checklists, conduct frequent and thorough inspections, assign corrective actions on the go, generate instant reports, analyze corrective measures in real-time, monitor the performance of your team members, and much more.
How Does a Punch List Software Work?
A construction punch list software is like a digital to-do list for fixing snags or quality issues identified during construction inspections. Here’s how it works, step-by-step:
- Identify issues: During inspections or walkthroughs, auditors discover discrepancies or unfinished work. These become punch list items.
- Create and assign: Using the punch list software, the contractor or the project manager creates entries for each item, including detailed descriptions, photos, annotations, and priorities. They can then assign each item to the responsible person or team.
- Track and update: Users can update the status of each item, as in progress, completed, or awaiting further action. This real-time tracking keeps everyone informed.
- Communication and collaboration: Users can add comments, attach documents, and discuss issues directly on each item. This ensures everyone is on the same page.
- Completion and closeout: Once all items are marked as completed and verified, you can close out the project. The software generates reports and documentation for future reference.
How to Create a Punch List?
Punch list applications like GoAudits offer you a library of inspection checklists. You can either use these checklists as it is or customize them based on your project. For instance, you can color-code the answers, define the priority order for the fixes, add a default actionable for a particular answer, etc.
Once the inspection checklist is ready, you can share it with the team of auditors. During the inspection walkthrough, they will identify the defects and assign resolutions through the app.
How to Follow Up on Punch List Items?
Some punch list apps might require you to schedule a walkthrough or inspections to monitor the progress. However, with GoAudits, the follow-up process is automated, and you can get all updates in real time.
You will receive a notification whenever the status of a task is updated. An email gets triggered automatically if there’s no update on a task after the due date. The system also allows you to reassign the task to someone else in case of absence or other reasons.
» Customer Success Story: Learn how a major US homebuilder leverages GoAudits for inspections and quality control.
Benefits of a Punch List Application
Here are the major benefits of using construction punch list apps:
- It boosts efficiency: With a punch list app, you can ditch paper and capture photos of the issues, add notes, and voice memos.
- It facilitates enhanced communication: A good punch list app enables seamless collaboration. Team members can discuss solutions, share updates, and collaborate directly on items.
- It facilitates better accountability: You can assign tasks with deadlines and receive auto-notifications. With a punch list app, everyone stays on track, minimizing delays and finger-pointing.
- It makes documentation easy: Your team can generate comprehensive reports with photos and notes, perfect for client handover.
How to Select the Best Punch List Software?
Your choice of construction punch list software would depend on team size, project complexity, budget, etc. However, here are some factors you must consider while selecting a punch list app for your company:
- Ease of use: The app should be easy to adapt for your team members. It should offer a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation for better efficiency.
- Scalability: The punch list app should grow and evolve with your team. It should cater to all your construction projects, irrespective of size and complexity.
- Customer reviews: Before selecting a punch list app, read their reviews on credible review sites like Capterra. It will help you understand the software’s reputation in the market and its performance in the real world. You will also discover if there are any hidden charges associated with the app.
On the technical front, you should look for the following features when purchasing a construction punch list application:
Digital customizable checklists
The best construction punch list software should offer construction inspection checklists with the most common punch list items. However, the app should also allow you to customize them.
It should enable you to add your own questions, color-code the answers, define priority order, add a default action plan for a specific case, mark an item as mandatory, or apply if-else conditions for a question.
» Construction Punch List Template: Use it to inspect ceilings, walls, windows, etc., to identify defects ahead of project closeout.
Instant report generation and sharing
A construction punch list app should give users options to choose a reporting format and allow them to generate reports in a single click.
With good construction punch list software like GoAudits, you can share the punch list report with your team members instantly. GoAudits reports also contain historical inspection data for you to trace the progress of the snags.
Task assignment and tracking
Since punch list items are last-minute fixes and can delay the payment, they must get fixed ASAP. Therefore, a good punch list application should allow users to assign corrective actions to internal as well as external individuals as soon as the defect is identified.
With GoAudits, assignees can receive and access the ticket of the task even without logging into the system. Not only that, they can also update the task status without logging in.
Photos and annotations
A punch list app should capture high-quality photos of the defect and allow you to annotate them. This will paint a clear picture of the defect for the team members and the assignees.
In a large construction project, all team members must be able to pinpoint the exact location of the defect. Therefore, the punch list management software must offer location tagging.
Integration with other tools
You must select a punch list app that you can integrate with your existing data analysis, communication, and scheduling tools unless you opt for a full-fledged construction management tool like GoAudits.
Advanced analytics dashboard
With an analytics dashboard, you can track the progress of every reported defect on the construction site. The punch list app should allow you to filter the results based on the location, defect type, inspector, fixes, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who creates the punch list?
The contractor creates a punch list for their subcontractors. It is a combination of the contractor’s examination and the defects mentioned in the inspection report submitted by the owner.
2. How long does a punch list take?
The amount of time required to complete a punch list depends on the size and complexity of a project. For smaller projects like residential home construction, it might take a week to address the minor defects and touch-ups. Whereas, a large commercial building with intricate systems and multiple floors might require a few weeks to a month for a thorough completion of the punch list tasks.
3. What is another name for a punch list?
A punch list is also known as a snag list, an inspection list, a deficiency list, a remedial list, and a maintenance list.
4. How do you manage a punch list?
The most effective way of managing a punch list is using a construction punch list app like GoAudits. These apps enable you to compile defects, assign them to your team members, and define the priority level. With GoAudits, you can track the progress of the fixes in real time. You can also conduct inspections at regular intervals and ensure that you deliver the best construction quality.
GoAudits: The Best Punch List App
GoAudits is an end-to-end inspection app for the construction industry. It is a mobile and web-based platform to streamline the inspection and quality control process. With GoAudits, you can create thorough inspection checklists, assign snag resolutions on the go, generate instant reports, get notifications, monitor your team’s progress in real-time, and much more.
With an average rating of 4.7 stars, GoAudits is one of the best punch list and inspection apps in the market. Large construction companies like Woodside Homes are leveraging GoAudits to streamline their auditing and inspection process.
» GoAudits Reviews: Check out what users have to say about GoAudits.