Steps to a Successful Construction Project Closeout

Steps to a Successful Construction Project Closeout by Project Manager Bill Serafin at March Construction

Steps to a Successful Construction Project Closeout by Project Manager Bill Serafin at March Construction

The “closeout” is the last phase of the construction management process. While it might seem like just a small step from an outside perspective, project closeout and startup are the two phases which require the most amount of team effort. The manner in which you approach the end of a project can have a lasting impact on your business. A lot of work is put into each project; drawing in the client, successfully executing the project, and assembling a lasting relationship. Even after all of this hard work, a company’s overall success is remembered by its final results. Therefore, a clean project closeout is critical.

For financial success, an effective closeout allows a company to receive final payment. Most owners will hold and not release retainage (typically 10%) until all closeout documents and punch lists are completed. Completing the administrative paperwork quickly maintains positive client and subcontractor relationships. In some situations, contractors will demobilize from the site when they think they are done, forgetting that there are closeouts, training, and punch lists to complete. Timely communication between all parties will avoid delays at this critical part of the job.

Some of the main items in a closeout process include:

  • As-built drawings

  • Attic stock

  • Warranties

  • Commissioning

  • Training

  • Final lien waivers

  • Punch list completion

  • Final cleaning

  • Change orders completed

  • Submittals

  • Certificate of substantial completion

  • Occupancy

Creating a closeout matrix helps organize the closeout process. Some clients require binders of the closeout documents, electronic copies, or on a thumb drive. It is important to ensure that every closeout item issued has a transmittal which identifies it, and has a dated signature to verify it.

With training, we videotape the demonstration so the owner/end-user has something to refer to. We also must understand what is necessary for the certificate of occupancy, and our contractual obligation for the certificate of substantial completion.

Finally, the project is complete–so let’s celebrate! Thank everyone by throwing a wrap-up party; it is a way of showing appreciation and acknowledging the hard work that was done. It is also a great opportunity to show that you are interested in doing future projects!

Article by Projcet Manager Bill Serafin