Building Maintenance: 6 Tips for Creating a Checklist That Works For You

Construction checklists are an essential part of any construction project. They help everyone involved in the build process—from the owners to the contractors and subcontractors—stay on track and avoid forgetting important details. Checklists also make sure that all small details are covered so that your finished building is ready for use by its final occupants. Checklists can be as simple or as detailed as you need them to be, depending on the scope of your project and the number of people involved. However, they’re only effective if they’re easy to use and accessible to everyone who needs them throughout the entire project process. Here are 6 tips for creating a building maintenance checklist that works for you:

Make Your Checklist Easy to Use

Building maintenance checklists must be easy to read, understand, and use at a glance by everyone involved—from owners to maintenance staff. Use a typeface that is easy to read, such as Times New Roman with a font size of 12 or 14. A font size that is too small may cause eye fatigue for the reader, making it difficult for them to find what they need quickly. Use bullet points to break lists into smaller, easier-to-read sections. Make sure that everything on your checklist is phrased in a way that is understood by all parties involved in the construction process. Avoid jargon and technical terms and use language that is easy for all to understand. Checklists must also be available and accessible to everyone who needs them. If you’re working with your home’s blueprints, be sure to keep them in a safe, dry place. Consider scanning the blueprints and storing the digital copies on a cloud storage system such as Dropbox or OneDrive so you can easily access them from anywhere, at any time.

Create Separate Checklists for Different Phases of the Project

Construction checklists likely include a lot of the same tasks, regardless of the project’s size or type. However, building maintenance checklists may vary slightly, depending on the building’s age and the types of systems and amenities it contains. For example, a commercial building’s maintenance checklist will likely include tasks that are not included in a residential checklist, such as changing the filters in the air conditioning system, checking the gas lines, and performing periodic safety inspections. Similarly, a health care facility may require different maintenance tasks than a school or office building. If your project includes multiple buildings, be sure to create separate checklists for each one.

Decide Which Tasks Will Be Performed By Your In-House Team

Some tasks, such as cabinetry installation, can be handled by in-house staff. Others, such as painting, are best handled by contractors or subcontractors. First, decide which of the following types of tasks your team can handle: Tasks that require specialized tools: If your team doesn’t have the skills or equipment needed to perform a certain task, it’s best to hire a contractor or subcontractor. Tasks that require continuous attention and supervision: For example, installing windows or other large or complicated items. Tasks that require specific knowledge: For example, electrical wiring. Tasks that require specialized training: For example, sewage and water system installation. Tasks that require certification or licensing: For example, plumbing.

Determine Which Tasks Can Be Handled By Contractors and Subcontractors

Some contractors and subcontractors are ready and willing to work on an “as-required” basis, while others prefer to be hired for an entire project. Be sure to clarify with each contractor you hire the type of agreement that applies to your construction project. Depending on the type of work, you may have access to a contractor or subcontractor who is licensed and certified to do electrical work, plumbing, roofing, and many other types of building maintenance jobs. Be sure to check a contractor’s credentials and references before hiring them to perform work on your project. Identify which tasks can be handled by contractors or subcontractors in your checklist and indicate the level of involvement for each task. For example, electrical work may require special equipment that must be brought to the construction site.

Add a Step for Quality Control

After construction is complete and the project has been handed over to the maintenance team, it’s important to check for quality control issues. These can include missing or damaged items, misalignment, or other issues that could cause problems in the future. You may want to add a section to your checklist that includes a list of common problems associated with a specific item, such as broken or damaged tiles, misaligned windows, or water leaks in the plumbing system. This quality control checklist can be used to make a final inspection of the building before handing it over to the final occupants.

Don’t Forget to Include a Completion Checklist

Of course, you’ll need a checklist to make sure your checklist is complete. Again, the level of detail will depend on the scope of your project and the number of people involved. A checklist of construction completion items may include tasks such as installing door and window signage, installing light fixtures, performing plumbing and electrical tests, and cleaning up construction materials. Keep in mind that your building maintenance checklist should be reviewed and updated as needed. If you find that certain items never get checked off or certain tasks are never completed, it’s time to make some adjustments. This helps keep your project on track and ensures that your new building is ready for use as soon as possible.