Reviewing Your Residential Construction Project


Before you sign off on your residential construction project, there are a few things you’ll want to check first, says the landscape construction expert Mark Mariani. By taking the time to review your contract, inspect the work, and verify that all subcontractors and suppliers have been paid, you can help ensure that your project is completed to your satisfaction.

Here’s a detailed look at what you should check before giving your final approval.

1. Review Your Contract with the Contractor

Before you do anything else, it’s important to review your contract with the contractor. This document should outline everything that is agreed upon, from the start and end dates of the project to the payment schedule. By thoroughly reviewing the contract, you can help avoid any misunderstandings later on.

2. Check the Permits That Have Been Pulled for the Project

Next, you’ll want to make sure that all of the necessary permits have been pulled for the project. This includes building permits as well as any permits required for any specialized work, like electrical or plumbing work. You can typically find this information on your city or county’s website.

3. Verify That All Subcontractors and Suppliers Have Been Paid

Before giving final approval on the project, you’ll also want to verify that all subcontractors and suppliers have been paid. This helps protect you in case there are any liens placed against the property. To do this, you can request a lien release from each subcontractor and supplier.

4. Make Sure the Job Site Is Clean and Organized

When you visit the job site, take a look around to make sure it is clean and organized. A messy job site can be a sign of poor workmanship, so this is an important thing to check. If you see any evidence of drug use or alcohol abuse, be sure to speak up—these things can lead to accidents on the job site. 

5. Inspect the Work as It Progresses

Ask for Regular Updates From the Contractor As the work is being completed, be sure to inspect it regularly. You can do this by asking for updates from the contractor or by visiting the job site yourself on a regular basis. By catching any problems early on, you can often get them fixed before they become major issues. 

6. Final Walkthrough Before Signing Off on the Project

Once everything is finished, be sure to do a final walkthrough of the property with the contractor before signing off on the project. This is your chance to make sure that everything has been completed to your satisfaction and that there are no outstanding issues that need to be addressed. 

7. Detailed Punch List Created and Addressed Before Final Payment Is Made

To wrap things up, have a detailed punch list created that outlines any final touch-ups or repairs that need to be made before final payment is made to the contractor. Once these items have been completed to your satisfaction, then you can sign off on the project and consider it complete!


The last step in most construction projects is getting an occupancy permit from your local municipality. This permit indicates that the building meets all relevant codes and standards and is safe for occupants. Once you have this permit in hand, your construction project is officially complete!  

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