A snag list is an inventory of tasks that must be completed by the contractor before a construction project can be finally handed over to the owner.

Creating and completing an accurate and concise snag list is essential in delivering a successful project which gives the owner full satisfaction, but it is not always easy when dated methods are utilised.

Snag lists can spiral as a result of poor communication, poor on-site accountability and a lack of proper management of documentation.

A cloud-based software solution ensures better processes and more efficient work throughout the build - and that will reduce the length of snag lists substantially. 

How Are Snag Lists Currently Being Assembled In The Industry?

A snag list (sometimes called a punch list) is utilised by contractors, normally towards the end of a construction project, to ensure all aspects of the job have been completed to the highest quality.

A snag is some, often minor, part of the job that has been deemed defective, broken, or unfinished. Most snags are cosmetic, but they can be more serious and include defective workmanship that can cause problems into the future.

A snag list itemises all these things that must be fixed and the tasks that must be addressed by relevant subcontractors before the client will sign off on the completion of the project. Snag lists can create setbacks, right when the project was on the point of completion.

Walking The Site Looking For Loose Ends

On many construction sites, the snag list is prepared only at the end of the project. An inspection takes place, the contractor and owner will walk the site and together make a hand-written or dictated list of deficiencies or loose ends that must be tied up.

Once back at the office, the list is entered into a typed document, and emailed to the various project team members to address the concerns and repair the defects.

The important information that should be included in snag list documentation is an item number for each snag, the individual who is responsible for causing the snag item, where the snagged item is located, the type of issue, details of the problem, the date of the problem and who is responsible for fixing the item. The status of the snag items should also be included.

What Are The Problems That Arise As A Result?

Preparing and sharing the snag list in such a fashion leaves too much scope for human error, crossed-wires and confusion.

The speed of resolution relies on subcontractors to check and react promptly to their emails or voice mails, and delays can happen. If this process is taking place at the very end of a project, it can lead to significant delays at a crucial time and severely damage client satisfaction.

This method of snagging, if instructions around the responsibility for a snag are not clear, can also lead to multiple team members working off different interpretations of directions.

Complications arise with overlapping work, which can lead to worsening of existing problems or even creating entirely new ones. For instance, it is vital that what one subcontractor does to fix their assigned problem does not create other problems for a different subcontractor. 

How Can Construction Software Lead To Minimising Snag Lists?

When everyone on the project is using a software solution such as the Zutec platform, it means the frequent inspections and the accumulation of documentation on any defects is baked into the building process. This means any deficiencies or concerns are more likely to be dealt with throughout the process, rather than only at the end, which reduces cost and protects the project schedule. Addressing defects earlier in the process also reduces the possibility of subsequent work being negatively impacted.

Snagging through software also gains great efficiency through the easy sharing of information and more direct communication. Snags from the final list are resolved quicker and it's less likely there will be any confusion about who is responsible.

Zutec's Daniel DaSilva says: "Collaboration platforms like Zutec allow you to disseminate or send information to all responsible parties so that they know: here's my defects list."

How Does Greater Access Lead To Greater Transparency?

When snags are documented (often by photos which are shared and stored in the cloud) and addressed, the owner is able to see the transparent documentation of all the details, ensuring a high level of integrity in the contractor’s methods of operation. “The benefit for the client is that they can see all of the photos, they can see how many kinds of defects or inspections have occurred or not occurred on the project,” says Daniel DaSilva.

And Zutec has integrated this snagging software into its overall package so everything works together as part of the same eco-system through the job. Gemma Hawes explains: “Unlike Zutec, that has an application that can go through from early design, document sharing, to snagging, to compliance, all of that, our competitors are picking one element and only doing those.” 

If Zutec’s platform is used on a project, the final inspection before handover will result in a much shorter snag list - and a much happier owner.


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