Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Checklist before taking possession that, YOU MUST DO!!!!

Below is a checklist that we used before taking possession of our home.  I can't take credit for this as the list was compiled from several online sources with the majority of the list coming from Bevangel's post on gardenweb http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/build/msg0809323416911.html

Alot of the sheets are copies and the list can be grouped together:

1.  Bedrooms
2.  Bathrooms
3.  Kitchen
4.  Foyer
5.  Dining Room
6.  Great Room
7.  Exterior
8.  Misc.

If you wanted you could hire out a pre-inspection but if you go this route I would suggest you have him inspect the house during the different phases of construction and not just at the end.  Since we followed the build thru every phase we decided not to pay an inspector.  If you are going to use the following checklist I would suggest that you allow an adequate amount of time.  If you go thru each item and each room thoroughly I would suggest you have at least one person helping you and set aside about half a day.  This should not be done with the GC walking behind you and you will not be able to complete the list thoroughly.  Most contracts allow for you to have a scheduled walk thru.  We made sure to reschedule the walk thru the builder scheduled to a Monday or Tuesday of the following week so that we would have a good weekend to go thru the house uninterupted.  It took me and my dad roughly 4 to 5 hours on a Saturday and I went back on Sunday to finish the exterior checklist. 

Items that you will need for your walkthru are listed below:

1.  Your checklist
2.  Roll of painters tape (mark items that need attention)
3.  House plans and measuring tape (measure all rooms)
4.  List of your included features (verify all are there)
5.  List of your upgrades that you selected (verify all are there)
6.  Camera and video camera (documentation to ensure all items were corrected)
7.  A few dishes (test dishwasher, don't assume it works because it turns on)
8.  Some items for garbage disposal (test disposal, don't assume it works because it turns on)
9.  Hose and sprinkler (test windows for leaks)
10. Ladder (to test vents, returns, and look at roof)

Once we had the house taped off and the checklist done, I went thru and did a short video and took pictures as well detailing all of the things that needed attention.  I was warnted that blue tape sometimes has a way of disappearing without the work being done and this happened to us as well.  There were so many things that needed attention that there is no way I would have remembered them all so having the video and pictures once we went back thru the house helped tremendously to ensure all of the items received attention.

Don't be afraid to bring attention to items that need it.  I feel if you ask for more than you think you will get, you and the GC can settle in the middle in everyone will be happy.  I sure they thought I was a pain but what can I say, this is a big investment for our family so I had to make sure it was correct.  Below you will see an example of the punch list I had once it was complete and I summarized all of the items and submitted to the GC.

Punch List Lot 11
1.      A/C not cooling – upstairs wouldn’t get cooler than 76 degrees
2.      No Hot water in house
3.      Electric panel does not have a main breaker switch
4.      Front and Rear doors need to be replaced (not repaired). 
a.        They have numerous dings and marks.  The rear door hole for lock was cut out to large.  These doors were on the house the entire time while the house was being built.  There should have been temporary doors during construction and permanent doors brought in after the house done.
5.      Shower enclosure needs to be replaced (not repaired), fiberglass surround is cracking and scratched (blue tape)
6.       Blower door test for energy start certification
7.      Can property be re-staked so there is no confusion on property lines (when lot was being graded they were moved
8.       There is no landscaping around grinder pump. We did ask Mr. Martin about faux rock and haven’t gotten a response back yet. 
9.      Sod for all purposes is dead due to heat, can we have more sod put down in Fall when others houses under construction are complete and get sod

1.      Crack in drywall next to front door
2.      All trim on stairs need to be repainted (paint is on stain & stain is on paint)
3.      Drywall above light in foyer needs repair
4.      Light in foyer needs pole to be lowered
5.      Windows in foyer(front gables) needs to have colonial grids to match rest of windows on front elevation  
6.      Inside of end caps on the stairs need to be stained
7.      Staircase lights are leaking light on sides
8.      Front door needs to be replaced.  It has numerous dings and marks (door was on entire time house was being built.   There should have been a door for construction and then permanent doors brought in after house done.
9.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

Hallway Closet
1.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

Dining Room
1.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

1.      Cabinet are marked/scarred (blue tape)
2.      Large gap between dishwasher and cabinet (blue tape)
3.      Pendants that were pre-wired over bar are covered by drywall
4.      Granite edges on bar not polished (blue tape)
5.      Trim under bar needs to be caulked and supports need another coat of paint
6.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

Great Room
1.      Pre-wire for motion detector in the corner covered by drywall
2.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)
3.      Back door needs to be replaced.  It has numerous dings and marks and hole for lock was cut out to large (door was on entire time house was being built.  There should have been a door for construction and then permanent doors brought in after house done.
4.      Gas fireplace needs to be tested
5.      Where is location on inside of house for gas shut off valve

1.      Plug in hallway does not work
2.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

Master Bedroom
1.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

Master Bedroom Closet
1.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

Master Bathroom
1.      Wall next to mirror is not straight and mirror needs to be replaced (blue tape)
2.      Shower cracked
3.      Shower head cap not fixed
4.      Fan and light should be on separate switches (they are currently on same switch)
5.      Top of wall is dirty
6.      Ceiling vent fan not flush with drywall
7.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

2nd Bedroom
1.      Bi-fold doors not even & need oil rubbed bronze hardware
2.      Wall by window needs to redone from midway down
3.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

2nd Bathroom
1.      Mirror has silvering at the top (blue tape)
2.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

3rd Bedroom
1.      Floor is squeaks (blue tape)
2.      Hardware for bi-fold doors
3.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

3rd Bathroom
1.      Shower/tub fixture are loose
2.      Cabinet has scarring (blue tape)
3.      Wall not straight against mirror
4.      Window is missing screen
5.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

4th Bedroom
1.      BR is supposed to have attic access door over garage per Kevin Dattillo at pre-construction meeting
2.      In corner floor is very squeaky (blue tape)
3.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

Bonus Room
1.      Attic access door to attic over 2nd floor needs a light
2.      Switch at top of stairs should be a 4way (missing switch for light for pre-wire for fan)
3.      Touch-up paint drywall/trim/baseboards (blue tape)

Main Garage
1.      Missing pre-wire (brown wire by mudroom entrance) for 3rd car garage (only 1 is there for main garage)
2.      Windows in garage have some type of rubber sealant on them

3rd car Garage
1.      Garage not pre-wire for garage door opener
2.      Crack in left corner of concrete floor

Exterior of House
1.      Frieze board is missing on porch, garage and gables
2.      Siding on porch is horizontal and should be vertical
3.      Siding has overspray when gas meter was painted black
4.      Window trim (exterior) on porch needs touch up
5.      Two steel bars sticking out of concrete on back patio
6.      Sod needs to be put down to the property line (on lot 10 side) which goes over past the trees so we don’t have any issues with lot 10 on where the property line ends
7.   Side of driveway needs to be regraded where water is not draining away from driveway and house properly.

Usually you have a walk thru a couple of days before you close.  As you can see there is no way they would be able to finish all of this in a day or two so I requested to have my walk thru a week out.  When I walked the house with the GC I pointed out all of my concerns and he wrote them down on the builder's official punchlist and we both signed off on them to make sure they would be complete and not just a verbal agreement.  Even with the week in advance all of items were not done by closing.  Our agent did make sure to make a copy of the punchlist to add to our closing papers and had Norfolk type up an addendum to sign that the items would be completed within 30 days of closing. 

Well we closed on August 14th, 2012 and as you guessed it, it has been more than 30 days and all of the list is not complete yet.  I have started contacting Norfolk via email so that I will have a paper trail to make sure all of my items get corrected.  I will follow up with the post to document when things are done.

UPDATE 10/01/2012

GC came out today to back over punchlist of items that haven't been completed after many phone calls and emails to the office.  He made a couple of phone calls to contractors to schedule times for the work to be done so hopefully it will be done soon.  I will update with the status as well!


  1. I found this post through the GW--thank you!! We're closing in a few weeks so I'm prepping our own punch list and we're definitely going to do our own walk-through before the official one with the builder. This advice, list, and notes on your own walk-through are so helpful.

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