The construction specifications are made clear right at the beginning of the project. There have been countless meetings to ensure no unwanted mistake is made or anything is missed out as we all like to see things perfect. Yet, things can go wrong. Issues will come up. The construction system comes up with the creation of a punch list from time to time to curb it. Usually, there is a long list of the punch list items construction project.
Things to do to finish a construction punch list require an intensive and extensive study. It is an arduous task, especially when you know there are a lot of people involved in the punch list preparation and everyone will have their set of issues.
What are the reasons for the issues in punch list items of the construction project?
The punch list issues are due an insufficient cover or an inspector going on sick leave or holiday. It could be an oversight or hurried work. It is well known that a house is not built by robots but humans, so let’s just accept “To Err Is Human”. These humans are common people who bring their hangovers, worries, and problems to the work. Work stress can also take over sometimes. This can lead to a lot of issues. Hence, it leads to a need for a punch list which can have a lot of issues. And only humans can correct it.
Here are the issues related to punch list items construction project:
Someone Forgot Something
Anyone can forget a thing or two in a big construction process. Hence, once a house is finished, there can be something that was forgotten in the process. These forgotten items are often termed as “outstanding items”. Once recognized, these can be rectified easily.
A Few Things Take Time
A few problems do not show up instantly. This is primarily due to the new materials being used for construction. These materials require time to settle down, deflect, dry up and then shrink. The problems may appear in the form of cracks in the finish, for example, cracks in the plaster or junctions of the dry lining boards.
This is the reason that the builder suggests against the use of wallpapers in the first 12 months. However, the builder is under no strict obligation to make them look any good till an agreed period, this does not imply that these should not be noted. Taking record of this makes the process simpler in the coming 12 months and also lets any worsening condition observed in time. In fact, take photographs of the probable issues. And yes, these photographs should be saved with a specific name which tells you what it is and when it was done.
This holds value when the cracking looks widespread or there are more than a few cracks that look large enough. This point towards the fact that there are places where the materials may have been allowed to saturate due to rain in the storage stage or it happened prior to the building was given the water-tight treatment.
A majority of the population translates a typical punch list construction projects into “poor workmanship”. The poor quality is so as the work is done hurriedly or the tradesman not getting much help or wrong tools and tackle or he is just not well qualified for the job. The poor workmanship can also be due to building not constructed as per the design set on the drawings. For example, a tradesman missed out necessary items or just making it up as he goes about doing it. The goal is either to save money or time or both.
A building built into a design which is different from the one specified or into a design which is not sufficient for the situation will not appear as good as it should have otherwise. This is more relevant for the buildings with some specific design issues, for example, a building built on an old landfill site or on a steep hillside. These designs could have been altered for some reason. The architect would have a better explanation for this. But for this, it needs to be recorded.
One of the most common issues in punch list items in the construction project is the use of incorrect materials. This issue can come up if the designer specifies the materials wrongly or the tradesman uses what he wanted too instead of what he should have. For instance, stainless steel heads are used for external rendering rather than galvanized corner leading to rusting over a phase of time which leads to spall and fall off.
The last one can be cited as the worst type of problem. It is called the latent defects. A finished construction punch list will have a multitude of issues that become clear after a specific period of time once the construction of the house is complete and may be due to the first five types. For instance, incorrect mixing of cement and sand for the brickwork and for this the house now needs repointing before the time it would have otherwise.
Putting together a punch list for construction is not easy. There will be issues, but they can be corrected if spotted and noted in time. Let’s not forget that until the punch list items in the construction project are fulfilled, a project cannot be declared complete. So hurry up, settle the issues now.