Sample Punch List for the
Final Walk-Thru and Touch-Ups

As an Owner-Builder, you are going to love this sample punch list from SucceedwithContractors.com.

The best project closeout starts with a great construction punch list.  And a really great construction punch list actually starts much earlier than the final walk-thru. The final should be fast and straightforward if you already have all the information you need on hand. Since most everyone is focused on sprinting to the finish line, sometimes moving this quickly can lead to costly errors.

Complete Sample Punch List

The best construction punch list I found is on SucceedwithContractors.com.  You can download their list here. In fact, as an Owner-Builder, this sample punch list would be a great resource to use from the very onset of the project to help stay on top of problems before they become major.

What is a Construction Punch List?

The punch list shows everything that is either not complete or still needs a little bit of work before the project is officially done.

The Business Dictionary has two definitions listed:

  1. Listing of items requiring immediate attention.
  2. Document listing work that does not conform to contract specifications, usually attached to the certificate of substantial completion.

I would add that a punch list should also include items that were damaged after completion, such as painted surfaces getting scratched. Typically, punch lists only include small fixes, because the majority of large issues have already been fixed or addressed previously.

As an Owner-Builder, the punch list slightly redundant in that you are acting as your own general contractor and should therefore have already seen the items that go on a construction punch list created by a client of the traditional home builder. But it is still a good thing to do near the end, even if the list is only for you and not given to the sub-contractors to correct.

Final Walk-Thru

As the Owner-Builder, you have most likely been "walking through" the project on a daily basis.  And there will probably never be a true final walk-thru, but rather, a time close to the end that you feel good enough to begin writing down the smaller fixes, punch list items, that need attention. It may be necessary to bring a good friend or close associate through the project and have them look at the project with fresh eyes.  Write down everything seen, no matter how small, that needs repair or finalization.

A sample punch list would include such items as: 

  • Appliances are fully functioning
  • Cabinet drawers and doors open and close without problems
  • No hardware is missing and works smoothly
  • Windows and doors open and lock without problems
  • Lights and outlets are fully functioning
  • Paint and texture problems

Final Touch-Ups

This part is simple.  Contact the sub-contractor in charge of the minor problem you found and have them return to repair.  If you have held back any money for retention (typically 5% of the total contract price), they will likely return just to receive their final payment.