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Most recent posting below. See other articles in the column to the right.

Punch List: Helping Insure Homeowner Satisfaction

The idea of a "punch list" may not sound very appealing at first, but it's
really an invaluable tool for making sure our homes meet the standards
and expectations of our clients. A punch list -- industry slang for a short
checklist of items that need to be completed, repaired, or replaced -- is
also an effective communication tool with our trade partners and our
clients. It acts as a quick and easy reference to the status of the project
and its state of readiness.

Most commonly, punch lists are used as the house nears completion.
Increasingly, one is created and addressed internally (by our staff,
without the client present), and a second one developed as a homeowner
and one of our associates walk through a house just before completion.
In either case, the punch list typically contains minor items that can be
addressed quickly and easily.

Conducting an internal inspection and addressing punch list items before
the final client walk-through has proven to boost our clients' overall

Lesser known (but common among the most professional builders) are
the punch lists that are produced at almost every phase of the building
process. This enables us to communicate and collaborate with our
product suppliers and subcontractors regarding the quality and status of
their work in progress. Like those created during a final walk-through with
a client, punch lists during construction ensure that each stage of work is
complete and ready for the next phase. We can then call for an
inspection by the local building department or schedule the next wave of
trade partners and material deliveries to start the next stage of work. This
formal process is key to managing the thousands of details in building a
new home or renovation of an existing home, helping us stay on schedule
and on budget.

Still, no matter how many times we conduct inspections and develop
punch lists, no house is perfect. There are bound to be some things that
clients notice and identify to us during a final walk-through; in addition,
there may be items we shall point out as already on the punch list, and
explain the policies and procedures in place for taking care of everything
on the punch list in a timely manner.

Depending on the punch list, we may try to schedule the necessary labor
to address every item on the same day, rather than over several days,
out of respect for a client's time and busy schedule.

With a reliable and consistent punch list system in place, we are able to
deliver a completed house that regularly meets or exceeds the
expectations of our clients.

When we communicate effectively with our clients, subcontractors, and
materials suppliers throughout the process, punch lists are typically short
and easy to complete, helping us deliver the most positive overall experience and best possible client experience.


Richard Dickson
Dickson Development
666 Plainsboro Road, Suite 1300
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
(609) 799 0220 - phone

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