Snag List In Construction

Every project must come to an end at some point. When they do, it’s not enough to simply watch it fade away in the rear-view mirror; you have to cross all the Is – which means creating a snag list in construction project. If you haven’t already included this in your project closeout checklist, now is the time.

But, as with most construction steps, it’s easier said than done. When it comes to technological implementation, the construction industry has repeatedly shown that it lags behind the rest of the world. That could mean your current snag list isn’t working, or that you don’t use one at all, neither of which is ideal – especially when you have clients who rely on you to deliver high-quality work.

What’s the first step in cleaning up your snag list game? Understanding the basics We’ll go over what a construction snag list is, what’s on it, which phase of the process it’s used in, and who’s in responsible for supervising it. With a better understanding of why snag lists are important, you’ll be able to refine your process and streamline your project closeout.

What is a snag list in construction?

A snag list, also known as a punch list in the United States, is a document that shows the work that still needs to be done on a construction project. Another interesting fact and mini history lesson is that the term punch list comes from the antiquated practise of punching holes in a list to indicate which items needed to be fixed.

A snag list in construction is defined as a “list of items that require immediate attention” and a “document listing work that does not conform to contract specifications, usually attached to the certificate of substantial completion.” Before receiving payment, the contractor must correct the snag list work.’

A snag list may also include specifications on damages to other materials or items that occurred during construction and must now be fixed. It may also include incorrect installations or aspects of the building that do not currently function as expected.

Because the majority of large issues have already been fixed or addressed through a change order, snag lists typically only include minor fixes. Regardless of how minor the changes are, it is critical to correctly execute a construction snag list to ensure your project has the finishing touches it requires to be considered complete.

Why do we need to create a snag list in construction?

The contractor performs his own snagging and inspection work. This is true at every stage of the construction process.

Finishing work is one of the most difficult final steps to complete. Despite the fact that the builder would have completed their snagging work prior to handover. It is unlikely that all of the items (snags) have been picked up. Contractors can also become accustomed to a property and, as a result, may fail to notice some of the snags that exist.

Always keep in mind that a building is made by hand. It will never be perfect, and it involves numerous processes and wet trades.

The snag list is typically required to be prepared and issued to the developer prior to completion and, in some cases, seven days after completion. It can also be done on the day of handover. In most cases, the developer or sales agent manages this process and assigns a time slot for the snagging activity.

The owner will allow you to walk through the project at the time of handover. This allows you to highlight any issues you’ve noticed and generate your snagging list.

Why are snag lists important?

Snag lists are essential for construction projects. They act as a go-between for the snag list issuing party, which is usually the certifying authority such as the architect or contract administrator, and the subcontractors who want to get their work done and finished – and eventually paid.

Snag lists act as a dispute resolution and regulation mechanism. Contractors and architects understand the nature of the work being completed – in which defects and imperfections are unavoidable – and subcontractors understand and set aside some time for completing and rectifying the issues that they have come to expect on snag lists.

Snag lists are also useful because the natural grace period they establish ensures that work phases are completed correctly. When contractors or subcontractors leave a project, it is difficult to’re-hire’ them. However, because snagging occurs a few weeks or months before completion, the parties have time to schedule in and account for the changes that must be made.

The only other thing to keep in mind when issuing snag lists further and further away from project completion is that inspections should not take place unless protective material has been removed and permanent lighting is operational. Even after the snag list has been completed, final checks will be required prior to the actual client handover.

Who’s responsible for snag list in construction?

Although many parties are involved in the oversight and execution of a construction snag, there are two main phases: creating it and addressing it. All stakeholders play a role in both phases, though some are more involved in one than the other. So, who is in charge of checking off each item on your project’s snag list? While this will obviously vary depending on the project description and relevant stakeholders, here is a basic breakdown of who does what:

Owner: The owner’s job is to inspect work, ask questions about anything they don’t understand, and make a list of work that is incomplete or incorrectly completed. They then turn over the snag list to the contractor, who will conduct another walk-through once the additional requests have been addressed.

Contractor: The contractor’s role is to examine the details, consult with the owner’s snag list, and create their own lists for subcontractors to address.

Subcontractors: Each subcontractor’s role is to take the list that has been given to them, address the requests, and ensure that each line item is completed. They must also be prepared to explain each repair and, if necessary, why it was not completed according to specifications.

Architect/Designer: Architects and designers are responsible for ensuring that what was designed was actually built.


Once the snag list has been completed and distributed to all parties involved, time is set aside for fixing and another walk through is scheduled with both the contractor and the owner present. In an ideal world (or project), there are no new items on the list, and each item that was originally placed there has been addressed. However, in order for the work to be considered fully completed, the owner must sign off on the snag list.

Your way to a zero-snag list

The construction industry is evolving, and so should construction snag list strategies. Finally, the modern ideal is to do away with the old-fashioned concept of the process. Outdated and inefficient snag list management does not result in customer satisfaction and can result in a scramble to complete a long list of unfinished tasks at the end of a project.

By adapting the concept of a snag list as something to keep track of throughout the project, it is possible to ensure that the project runs smoothly and that everything on the list is completed by the end. To truly embrace this new method, management must be streamlined through the use of new practises and technology, such as a construction snag list app.

Don’t dismiss a construction snag list as an unnecessary extra step in your next project. Whether you’ve been using outdated methods or haven’t been prioritising your snag lists at all, it’s time to put down the tape recorder and notepad and fine-tune your current process. You’ll be able to move to project closeout in record time with a more streamlined and up-to-date process made possible by technology.


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