Eliminate the punchlist

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No one likes to fix mistakes after a job is finished, but most remodelers take it for granted that a punchlist is part of a project. Don't.

December 01, 2001

No one likes to fix mistakes after a job is finished, but most remodelers take it for granted that a punchlist is part of a project. Don't. Completing the project on the scheduled date by solving problems along the way not only impresses clients and garners great word-of-mouth, it means you collect final payment in person rather than waiting for the last check to hit the mail at the client's leisure.

Jerome Quinn, president of SawHorse Inc. in Atlanta, has even trademarked his firm's 2-year-old "ZeroPunch" initiative, giving him an additional marketing tool. The effort requires that project managers set client expectations for no punchlist at the pre-construction meeting and work with clients to fix problems as they occur. The project manager and the vice president of operations compile a master list of problems during a walk-through three weeks before the project's scheduled end. Project managers become part of "The Franklin Club" by receiving a $100 bill, distributed at staff meetings, for each project without a punchlist. Through September, 22 of 34 completed jobs this year had met ZeroPunch standards, while the remainder averaged a list of just four items.

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