How to Get Rid of Punch Lists

“Buy cheap, buy twice…” is how the saying goes. The same logic can be applied to your building company. Investing in cheap labor, materials or tools can cause you headaches and cost you both in time and money. Call backs are expensive and they wreck havoc with your scheduling. Here are some ways choosing quality can help make your life easier.

Getting rid of punch lists is possible. Focusing on quality, regular inspections and instilling measurable standards can help you eliminate the need for punch lists. Speaking at the International Builder’s Show in Las Vagas, Todd Ullom of Builder Partnerships had this to say: “It is so much easier [during any job] if we are proactive in this process than if we are constantly reactive.”

By that he means that being proactive about quality at every step of the building process will mean you won’t need to fix problems at the end. This does mean spending more time and it does reduce work speed, but taking the time to do each step properly will save you time in the long run.

Doing just enough to get each step done leads to long punch lists at the end that take time and money and may create much larger problems. So how do get your crew to improve quality? One way to do so is to take the time to create actionable goals for every step of the building process. Quality needs to be measurable so your managers can quantify results through checklists, examples, or standards.

“[The] goal is to identify problems and correct defects in real time and not at the end of the process,” Ullom said. “Delivering quality is a team sport. It’s starts with the executive management and a quality-focused company culture.”

Start by ensuring that every member of your crew is properly trained. Next, communicate the specifications for every step of the job so that each crew member understands exactly what is expected of them and how they can achieve their goals for the day. The last step is quality control where regular inspections will ensure that quality standards are being met and can identify deviations from the specifications before they cause major headaches. You can streamline this process through standardized checklists for all jobs.

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