Punch lists are lists of unfinished or substandard work compiled by the superintendent while “walking” the jobsite.
These lists can be notes written on scratch pads using a rigid clip-board, or formal company checklists used during the successive phases of the construction.
By examining punch lists for all of a company’s projects, any practices or materials causing problems on several projects can be identified, with the aim of ultimately reducing each problem to a non-repeating, historical issue relegated to the past.
RFIs (requests for information)
Requests for information (RFIs) are written questions submitted to the architect or engineers by the builder or a subcontractor (through the builder) and involve conflicts or omissions on the plans, in the specifications, or some issue in the construction.
RFIs can also simply be a text or email of a problem in the construction using a smart-phone, sent to the architect or one of the engineers along with a follow-up telephone call, then memorialized also in a written RFI to document the problem and the solution.
RFIs from a number of past projects can be a goldmine of information that can be organized and analyzed to be used in a checklist format to proactively debug the design plans for similar current and upcoming projects.
Because RFIs generally are described and illustrated in sufficient detail and answered with equal specificity in addressing the problem or issue, RFIs are ready-made in that they can simply be applied to current and future upcoming projects to determine if similar conditions might produce similar questions or problems.
Eliminating RFI’s proactively upfront before the actual construction begins can greatly improve all aspects of the project, from obtaining more accurate bids to avoiding time-consuming stoppages in the work.
During the construction, quickly answered RFI’s eliminates the costly manpower inefficiency of having to temporarily move tradespeople around on the jobsite to other areas while a question or conflict is resolved.
Having potential future RFI’s answered upfront while the project is still on paper is the best outcome for the builder, the designers, and for field personnel in terms of efficient time-management.