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Completing Punchlist Work Effectively, by Corinne Maddox, CCM, CFM

As in most endeavors, that final 5% toward perfection is as hard to achieve that the first 95%. For construction, it often represents the difficult, the controversial and the costly items. It is important to address general construction deficiencies as early as possible before the problem becomes repeated throughout the job. For instance, it is much easier and cheaper to correct a shade of paint after only a few walls are painted, rather than hundreds. Likewise, since construction is done in a sequence, early identification and correction prevents subsequent work from being affected. For interior construction, there are several points where specific inspections are critical to avoid these problems: partition layout, electrical rough-in, drywall just prior to painting, and first finish applications, to name a few. Problems missed early should be addressed in the final punchlist, a formal written space-by-space outline of deficiencies, done at the end of the job. The punchlist is prepared by the architect and/or project manager, and sent to the contractor for corrective action. It should be done promptly, before the consultants', contractors' and subcontractors' attention is diverted to new projects. It usually takes more than one follow-up inspection before corrections are made, and often requires some give and take among the team to find an acceptable solution. Final construction payment should be delayed until corrections have been made to your satisfaction.

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