Punch List

A list of items that have not been completed at the time of the final walk through of a newly constructed home.

Punch list is generally a list of tasks or "to-do" items. In U. S. construction industry, a "punchlist" is the name of a contract document used in the architecture and building trades in the United States to organize the completion of a construction project. In the United States construction industry, contract agreements are usually written to allow the owner to withhold (retain) the final payment to the general contractor as "retainage". The contractor is bound by the contract to complete a "punch" list of uncompleted contract items stipulated in the contract agreement by the owner who often is represented by his designer. The designer (typically a licensed Professional Architect or Engineer), is usually also incorporated into the contract as the owner's design representative and agent, to verify that contract work has complied with the design. The typical construction contract agreement calls for the contractor, when he believes it to be so, to declare the construction project to have reached "substantial completion" and request a "pre-final" inspection. The architect then observes the project in a "walk around" inspection and makes a "punch" list of uncompleted or unsatisfactory work items owed to the project by the contract agreement (which also incorporates the design documents). Final contractor payment is made when the punchlist of items are addressed to meet the project design required by the owner('s) contract. Examples of punchlist items include damaged building components, or problems with the final installation of building materials. The phrase takes its name from the historical process of punching a hole in the margin of the document, next to one of the items on the list. This indicated that the work was completed for that particular construction task. Two copies of the list were punched at the same time to provide an identical record for the architect and contractor.