Punch List Do’s and Don’ts
What is a Punch List, and What Should it Include?
A punch list is a document prepared near the end of a construction project that lists issues in the home that don’t conform to the contract. Contractors must then complete the work before final payment.
If you’ve contracted the building of a new home, here’s what you need to know about creating a punch list to ensure the work is done properly.
Do: Identify Repairs
Typically, any item that needs repairing will be marked with blue painter’s tape. Take a roll of tape with you as you complete your final walkthrough and place a strip of blue tape on any items that need attention.
These repairs can range from things like cracked tile and painting imperfections to more serious issues, like inadequate drainage away from the home’s foundation.
Don’t: Get too Nitpicky
What exactly constitutes a “nitpicky” repair request is up to interpretation. After all, you paid a lot of money for your new home. However, something like a recessed nail head might not be worth including on your punch list.
Do: Establish a Timeline
Your contractor needs to know how quickly you expect any issues to be resolved. Major problems should be fixed before closing, and minor issues might get a more lenient timeline.
Work together to set a timeline that suits everyone’s schedules. You may even want to get this agreement in writing to ensure smooth sailing.
Don’t: Assume Things Will Be Fixed Quickly
Never assume that something will be taken care of and never assume that it will be taken care of quickly. You may be tempted to give the benefit of the doubt, but clear communication and expectation setting will ensure your ongoing happiness with your new home.
Do: Involve Your Agent in the Final Walkthrough
Your real estate agent will likely notice things that you had no idea even existed. They’ve worked with many customers on many different projects and have seen plenty of homes.
Take your agent with you when doing your final walkthrough. You won’t regret the decision.
Don’t: Forget About Your Warranty
Depending on where you’re building, your builder is probably required to provide at least a one-year warranty for workmanship. Set a reminder for yourself at the 11-month mark and make another punch list if any defects have become apparent since moving in.
Final Considerations Regarding a New Home Punch List
If you’re confused or concerned at any point during the punch list and closing process, reach out to your builder. They can’t address concerns they aren’t aware of. And remember: Communicate clearly, stay calm, and be polite, even if you’re frustrated.
If you follow these suggestions here you’ll be one step closer to moving into your brand new home.
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