Example of a punch list template with photo of planners

The final phases of a construction project is a very exciting time. When the punch list goes out to the subcontractors, it means the project is nearing completion, and everyone can expect to get paid in the near future. On this page, you’ll find free punch list templates customized for different types of construction projects.

Learn more about punch lists (and why they’re so important)

Punch list template for general construction

On smaller projects, an elaborate punch list isn’t necessary. If you’re a property owner or a GC, you can use this simple template to record which areas need attention and who needs to fix the issue. 

This punch list template works well for a variety of smaller projects like room remodels, decks, and other less-involved projects.

Download this free template in Google Docs or PDF format. A Microsoft Word version can be downloaded from the Google Docs file.

Simple punch list template preview

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Punch list template for residential projects 

On most home building projects, there’s rarely an architect to walk through and ensure the project meets the plans. Instead, you can use this residential punch list as a checklist or guide while performing your own walkthrough. 

This template, available in Google Sheets or PDF, is highly customizable based on the project size and scope. A Microsoft Excel version can be downloaded from Google Sheets.

Download the template

Punch list template for commercial projects

Commercial projects tend to have many more moving parts than a residential project. A punch list on a commercial project requires a bit more detail to maintain accountability.

This template, available in Google Sheets or PDF, is highly customizable based on your project needs. A Microsoft Excel version can be downloaded from Google Sheets.

Download the template

Why the punch list matters

The punch list stage is essential on a construction job. It lets the GC and owner know that the subs finished their projects and expect their payments. These final payments typically include the amounts withheld in retainage throughout the project. The final payment can represent a contractor’s entire profit margin, if not more.

That’s why it’s so important that the punch list stage goes as smoothly as possible. The fewer hangs up while finishing this list of “snags,” the sooner everyone can make their money and move onto the next project. 

Luckily, putting together a comprehensive punch list doesn’t have to be rocket science.

Using a punch list

The idea behind a punch list is very simple: 

  1. The owner or owner’s representative (often an architect or designer) walks through a project as it nears completion. 
  2. This person takes notes of all the issues, damage, mistakes, and other items that don’t meet the plans. 
  3. The representative enters the issues into the punch list template by number, with a brief description and the location of the snag.
  4. This punch list then goes to the GC or project manager, and that person divvies the work up between the appropriate subcontractors.
  5. The subs then handle the tasks assigned to them, notifying the GC or project manager when they’re complete.

After submitting a punch list

Once punch work is done, you’ll likely submit the completed list with your final payment application. Keep a copy for your records, and it’s a good idea to take photos to document your completed work.

Just because punch list items are complete doesn’t mean that payment is guaranteed. It’s important for subcontractors (and the general) to track the lien and notice deadlines in their project’s state.

Every state has mechanics lien laws that protect a construction company’s right to payment. In some states, subs may be required to send a notice before they’re allowed to file a lien.

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