Final Punch List – Finishing the Job

If you’ve never had a construction project completed, you may not be familiar with this term. It refers to a list of items that still need to be fixed, added, or removed before the project closes. The term probably comes from the previous practice of punching a hole next to each item on a list in order to show that it was completed – possibly because a pencil wasn’t available to mark it done, but a nail was! 

At M&K Renovations, we don’t use a nail to mark off things on our punch lists. Paper lists are handy, but software makes a better to-do list, which we can share with our subcontractors to make sure any remaining items get done efficiently and on time. 

Creating a punch list

Many contractors in the Philadelphia area wait until the project is substantially complete to begin putting together a final punch list. Although certainly there will be a few things to finish up at the end, we prefer to maintain a rolling punch list by performing regular walk-through inspections, noting small things that need to be fixed as the project goes along. That way, many of these items can be taken care of along the way instead of piling up. For instance, if we notice the contractor has scuffed some trim while bringing in a new refrigerator in a kitchen remodel, we make that note, and the contractor may have a chance to touch it up while completing another paint job. 

However, a punch list is not the responsibility of the general contractor alone. In fact, the homeowner is the primary driver of the punch list. It’s better for the client to wait until the project is closer to completion to begin creating a list, because we may resolve some things along the way (for instance, the scuff mark). But you as the homeowner can still take note of things, and if they aren’t corrected by the time we’re nearly complete, you’ll already have them listed.

Client-contractor walkthrough

At M&K, we walk through the project with our clients before the project is completed and discuss what each of us sees that needs to be corrected, fixed, or removed. Things to look for may include:

  • Confirm windows, doors, cabinets, and drawers hang properly and open and close properly
  • Check that trim is completed and kick plates installed under cabinets
  • Check if final touch-ups of paint or finish, especially around hinges or hardware, are needed
  • Make sure flooring is finished around the walls and doors and no edges are exposed under or next to the trim
  • Check that final sealants, paint touchups, hardware, and lighting fixtures are applied
  • Look for flooring, paint, and trim that got scuffed or damaged during construction
  • Check that the appliances, lighting, and utilities all work properly
  • Check for any leaks in plumbing that was worked on or disturbed in any way
  • Check that all construction tape has been removed, dirt has been swept, tools have been collected, protective covers taken off, and trash completely cleared up, leaving no evidence of our presence except your beautiful, renovated home 


As you can see, the punch list usually includes small items, since any larger items should already have been addressed and change orders put through where necessary. If you have any larger concerns, discuss them honestly with us. We want our clients to be 100% happy. Some items may include additional time or additional cost if they are a change from the original plan, but we will work with you. 

What, by whom, and when

On our punch lists, we list the item that needs to be addressed, which subcontractor needs to address it, and the timeframe in which it needs to be done. Therefore, there’s no ambiguity, everyone knows what has to be done, and you have a reasonable timeframe in which to expect it completed. 

At M&K Renovations, we take pride in our work and in our many satisfied customers. As homeowners ourselves, we treat our clients as we would want to be treated. Give us a call at (610) 353-2895. Family-owned and operated, we service Philadelphia and surrounding areas from our location on the Main Line and are fully insured and licensed for the state of Pennsylvania.


Renovating the Philadelphia Area for Over 16 years