Project closeout is one of the most critical stages because it ensures final payment.  A punch list is made when the project is very near completion in order to address any fixes, tweaks, or finishing touches that need to be made. An efficient punch list process will help to wrap things up and it gives the client/owner a chance to identify and request any final fixes so that they will be content with the final outcome of the project. We’ve identified some of the most common punch list items to watch out for and some tips to implement when it comes to managing a project punch list.

The Owner’s Punch List Role

Many clients wonder what their responsibility is when it comes to punch lists.  They should ask as many questions as possible and point out anything that doesn’t meet their expectations, and clearly communicate what is expected.

Construction contracts commonly allow the owner/client to withhold final payment to the general contractor as “retainage”.

Common Punch list Items To Look For

Incomplete/Incorrect installations

  • peeling carpet
  • floor squeaking
  • appliances that don’t function properly
  • cabinets/drawers that don’t open/close properly
  • windows/doors that don’t open or lock properly
  • lights or outlets don’t function
  • leaks
  • incorrect hot and cold water settings
  • dust and debris
  • dysfunctional thermostat

Incidental damage on existing finishes or structures

  • stains
  • drywall damage
  • paint touch up needed/ paint splatters
  • scratches/dings/cracks/chips/breaks

Punch List Tips 


  1. Having multiple sets of eyes helps in catching flaws
  2. Use a running punch list from the start of the project
  3. Have regular inspections/walk-throughs (Perform a quality check before starting each new phase)
  4. Budget for the punch list in the initial project allocation

Each project is unique and has distinct challenges, but a comprehensive and accurate punch list gives everyone a clear understanding of what needs to be done in order to finish the project.  Ultimately, Emerald Inc. has very skilled eyes for detail, but we know that a need for a touch up or two at the end of a project is likely. We won’t rest until every minute item is squared away and meets your satisfaction.

Email us today or call us at 480-832-9808 to start working with a construction partner that provides an extremely efficient and high level of workmanship, all within your budget and time frame.