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By: M. Tucker Elliott

19 May 2014 Part 1 of 3

There are all kinds of surprises in life, some of which people like and some of which people don’t like.  Pleasant surprises have the effect of giving us a dose of adrenaline followed by a positive experience (a nice piece of birthday cake comes to mind).  In the world of construction, even pleasant surprises represent events that were unplanned and unaccounted for in budgets or schedules and are, therefore something we want to avoid.

Unpleasant surprises, of course, can have some pretty negative outcomes.  On construction projects, these outcomes can impact a range of project elements including the safety of workers, project budget, and schedule.  A punchlist is one of the tools available to control the risk of surprises on construction projects.  As a project or portion thereof is nearing completion, a punchlist isolates parts of the work thought to be complete and identifies items requiring action in order to bring them into compliance with the contract.

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