Some jobsite superintendents prefer to use colored, adhesive-backed paper dots to identify areas needing repair for a number of the finish trades…during the final pick-up repair phase.  By placing a colored dot next to an area that needs paint touchup, for example, or a small patch of wall surface that needs drywall texture…or any other visible surface that has a scratch, dent, or blemish of one kind or another…the superintendent can establish both the acceptable level of quality and each area needing attention without having to physically point out to the tradespeople specifically item-by-item what needs to be repaired.

The colored dots do the pointing out.

The colored dot method, however, does have some drawbacks in production tract housing and condominiums.

First, if the tradespeople fail to see a colored dot behind a door, inside a closet, inside a cabinet, or in some other concealed area…the colored dot remains there until it embarrassingly is noticed during the homebuyer walkthrough…or weeks after move-in and shows up on the customer service request letter.  The dot method then in essence serves to point out a flaw the homebuyer may not have seen or otherwise cared about.

Second, if each unit in production housing has hundreds of colored dots all over the walls, baseboard, doors, and cabinets…unless the tradespeople collect and properly throw-away as trash these dots as each repair is made…the dots end up on the floor and create an additional cleanup activity.

Third, the jobsite superintendent can get physically and mentally tired from placing a large number of colored dots all over the interior of the units…and begin over time to become less discriminating.  The method of identifying pick-up repairs using colored dots becomes ineffective.

My recommendation is to only use the colored dot method for medium to high-end priced homes…production units or single-detached custom homes…for the painting trade only…and using a drop-cord portable light to wash the walls and woodwork with intensely bright lighting to reveals all minor flaws not visible under normal lighting inspection.  The jobsite superintendent in this instance starts ahead of the painting pickup crew…inspecting the surfaces and marking repair locations with colored dots…moving through the house interior while the painters follow behind making the touch-up repairs and collecting the dots as they go.

This approach results in a very high-quality of finished product in the area of painting for medium to high-end priced houses and condominiums.  At the multi-million dollar luxury home level the painting contractor should touch-up their work without having flaws pointed out.

For all other building trades other than painting, I think the best method is to compile a written punchlist that is copied and distributed to each finish trade…without using colored dots.