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Successful project closeout is vital for any industry, project or team. After many years and hundreds of projects in the construction industry, I have learned that successful project completion and closeout doesn’t just “occur” at the project’s end, but rather throughout the entire process – beginning on day one. I also have found that it is important to ensure that the team responsible for construction execution continue to be involved with the closeout process.  Having the same team members, who are familiar with the project history, will help to mitigate any potential knowledge loss at the end of the project.

The following guide is a list of actions to take during the stages of a construction project in order to help attain successful project closeout:

Before Construction Begins:

  • Review project specs and get CM/Vendor buy-in of closeout deliverable expectations during the contract stage
  • Confirm any additional Owner/Client requirements for final project condition/information
    • Understand User work activities and how they dovetail with construction operations at move-in
  • During constructability reviews, keep an eye open for potential maintenance issues
  • Establish a closeout amount in initial billing Schedule of Values for all contractors

During Construction:

  • Monitor QA/QC of construction activities with frequent inspections
  • Monitor, process, submit, and discuss change requests promptly; maintain open dialogue with Client to minimize surprises
  • Maintain and update any “Items to Complete” logs to minimize punch-list items

After Construction:

  • Receive and review all closeout deliverables (operation and maintenance manuals, warranties, etc.)
  • Monitor and record all Client/Owner team equipment and system training sessions
  • Close out contracts (confirm all contractual requirements have been met; resolve any outstanding claims or disputes)
  • Perform a “Lessons Learned” recap with team
  • Archive project logically to easily locate information in the future

11 Months Post Construction:

  • Touch base with Client/Owner to confirm no warranty issues need to be addressed before the warranty’s expiration


Martha Minogue Senior Project ManagerMartha Minogue, Senior Project Manager with Watchdog Real Estate Project Management

Watchdog Real Estate Project Management
Watchdog Real Estate Project Management is a real-estate consulting firm that provides owner’s representation and project management services. More about Watchdog Real Estate Project Management as well as additional blog posts can be found at www.watchdogpm.com
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