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Diary of a Mad Renovator: TKO—Knocking Out The Punch List

Written by Jaqui Lividini

Surprise, surprise: Once you have your certificate of occupancy, you aren’t actually finished! No one ever tells you this important bit of information—including the contractor! So, there is this thing called a punch list, which is a list of all remaining work that needs to be completed at the end of a construction project, and ours is, of course, substantial and growing.

In order to know all the things that are wrong or need to be completed, you have to actually inhabit the house, which we are now just getting around to! We’ve been spending our days noticing the myriad issues that we could have never known before moving in. For instance, the top frame of the window in front of our kitchen sink was never painted?! (Which makes me wonder how many other spots were left bare with only a coat of primer.) Another example is the door in our guest room, which not only doesn’t close properly—it doesn’t close at all—it’s also too big for the opening (obvious to the contractor you would think).

Master bedroom door that doesn’t close 

The NEW state-of-the-art hot water heater was programmed to Tepid, at best. Yes, in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “it’s ain’t over till it’s over,” and this renovation is not even close. 

Nautical mirror needs to be hung in the powder room 

I could go on and on about the punch list, it grows and it takes forever to power through.

Nautical cleats for the office  

Why, you ask? Because once the contractor is “finished” it’s almost impossible to get him to come back.  Our solution: hire another contractor just for the punch list. That would be #5 and counting.

Unfinished built-in dishwasher


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