Top Tips for a Successful Project Closeout

Eastman Cooke Team

“For us or any construction firm, the closeout starts at the kick-off meeting,” says Eastman Cooke Project Superintendent Ray Ruggiano. Beginning the project on the right note requires understanding the clients’ needs and expectation. Therefore, it’s essential for project managers to begin their documentation immediately so “they’re not overloaded trying to gather information towards the end,” Ray points out.

The role of a superintendent is also critical. “The superintendent must maintain quality control to see that that things on site are being done right the first time in order to complete the project with a zero punch list,” Ray explains.

The punch list is one of the most important aspects of closing out a project, according to Eastman Cooke Senior Project Manager Robert Hancock. “Few things will aggravate a client more than a door that doesn’t latch, a wall not finished properly or a missing sprinkler head cap,” Robert says. “You may have built the entire building and completed extensive work behind the walls and ceilings, but the only thing a client sees is a broken ceiling tile.”

Punch lists actually start months before the project completion, so staying on top of subcontractors is key.  Robert suggests weekly mandatory site meetings as an effective forum to remind crews of what needs to be done. In addition, he says, “Specific call-outs on a punch list tool (ie: Procore) keeps everyone in check.”

Once the project reaches completion, it’s important to set specific deadlines for punch list completions with real monetary consequences for not meeting them. “If you keep accepting ‘we’re working on it,’ then ‘IT’ will never get done,” Robert says. “The Owner may love you during construction but he/she will want you out of the way to run the business once occupancy is obtained,” Robert adds.

For Ray and Robert, the best results of a successful closeout: an increased profit margin, a pleased client and repeat business!

For more information on the key ingredients of a successful closeout, visit

Recent Posts

Eastman Cooke CEO Peter Morandi Elected Board of Governors Chair Of Associated General Contractors’ NY Metro Chapter

2024 Women in Construction: April Intrabartola, Eastman Cooke & Associates

Eastman Cooke Completes Luxury Dealerships in Glen Cove and Brooklyn