The Punch List

The return is underway. The first wave has moved back into their twelfth floor apartments, despite the fact that there are still some unfinished items. These unfinished items become part of the Punch List and are then addressed, in this case, post-move-in. Some of you may be asking “What is a Punch List?” Well, for me, it’s a list of people I’d like to punch because they are responsible in one way or another for the long delays. Traditionally though, in construction, it is a list of items which still need to be addressed once the job has been deemed completed. The phrase originates from the historical process of punching a hole into the margin of a document next to an item on the list in order to indicate the work for that particular construction task had been completed.

A Punch List is drawn up by the Architect based on how the finished product compares to the plan. That assumes that the product is finished. Normally punch lists contain small items like “replace cracked faceplate on light switch” or “touch up paint around window.” Our punch list contained items like “install frame for closet doors,” “Install bathroom door,” and “replace wall where window used to be, then replace window.” Technically these are not punch list items. They are tasks which contribute to the substantial completion of the work. But our tenants had been out so long and wanted to get back into their homes, and so some people elected to move in knowing that some minor work still needed to be done. Completing the work around people after they were back in place was an idea that, truth be told, didn’t even look good on paper. But people were happy to be home and the punch lists are being carefully completed. We learned our lesson however, and for the people moving onto the 11th floor, we decided to delay the move-in until we were certain the renovations were at least 97% complete.

Therefore, we expect a much smaller punch list for the 11th floor; one that can be completed for all 19 apartments over two or three days. The punch list may not end with us. Once you are back in your apartment, and you notice something that we may have missed, you will be free to point things out to us and we will get them fixed. Of course requests should be reasonable like “the soap dish is crooked,” or “a cabinet door won’t stay closed.” I’m afraid we can’t entertain complaints like “the Jacuzzi is missing from my bathroom,” “the fireplace has no andirons,” or “my talking thermostat is condescending.” There are no Jacuzzis or fireplaces and all our thermostats have been factory-checked for politeness. But we will keep punch lists open for several months in order to insure that your new apartment will be 100% complete.

Naturally, the last item on every punch list is usually “repair the punch holes in the punch list.”

As always, we apologize for any inconvenience and we would like to thank all our residents, clients and guests for your understanding and cooperation in helping to make this project a success.

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