Project closeout is sometimes one of the last things on a contractor’s mind at the beginning of a project, but project closeout can have a huge impact on a contractor’s overall profitability and success. Effectively managing the closeout process is critical, and it all begins with the negotiation and execution of the project contract. This contract can, and should, provide a complete roadmap for project closeout, as addressing these issues on the front end can set up the parties for successful project completion. It is then equally important to re-review the terms of the contract as project closeout approaches to ensure that everyone, including the owner, adheres to all contractual requirements.
This article examines several pertinent issues related to project closeout that should be addressed during the contracting stage, including defining substantial and final completion, inspection and acceptance, punch lists, and warranties.
Defining Substantial and Final Completion
Having clear definitions for both substantial and final completion in your construction contract is an important and necessary early step in achieving successful project closeout.