Five things most commonly missed in submittal logs

Creating a submittal log at the beginning of a project is one of the most arduous tasks on a construction project, to the point where some new project engineers and project managers are skipping over the process altogether. But best practice requires the creation of a submittal log, and an understanding of what is required to be approved by the design team and project owner is critical to a project. These logs provide a roadmap for the approval, procurement, and delivery of materials to the site. The absence of submittal logs can often become the cause of delays in delivery of necessary materials to the job site. For this reason, creating a thorough and inclusive log is critical to managing a project efficiently.

What types of items to look for in a specification

While reviewing a specification, required items like shop drawings, product data, design calculations, and samples rarely get missed. Subcontractors will frequently submit them on their own looking for approval by the design team. However, required items related to the start or closeout of a project are occasionally overlooked. All items listed in the specifications should be considered essential and, unless clarified otherwise, are required by the contract. It is critical to ensure you are capturing all of the required items identified in the specifications. 

Below are some of the most commonly missed items to be included in a submittal log.

Top five submittals items missed

  1. The Submittal Log - Almost every specification we come across requires the log itself as the first submission to the design team. This submittal can be a general contractor’s best friend. It presents an opportunity to differentiate what the design team needs to see from what was left over in the specification from the last project. By submitting this list early and getting the designer’s approval, you will have a workable set of guidelines.
  2. Mockups - Mockups are often missed but can provide a valuable approval checkpoint at the beginning of a project. Make sure that you make a thorough list to be built and approved as part of the submittal process.
  3. Testing Reports - While including design members on the distribution of testing reports or keeping a log of them is important, most specifications require these reports be submitted to the designers for formal approval. These testing reports are often left off of the submittal log and not handled correctly in the submittal process.
  4. Certifications - Certifications are frequently overlooked, even when some portions of work require that the workers be certified to install or fabricate. The most common missing certifications are welding, mill, and installer certifications. While these may not seem meaningful at first, they are vital to have on hand if a problem arises with the product.
  5. Closeout Submittals - We don’t often think of closeout as part of the submittal process, but it should be part of your submittal log. Items such as as-builts, attic stock, warranties, and O&M manuals are required to be submitted to the design team at the end of the project. Identifying which items are needed and when is critical to avoid scrambling at the conclusion of the project.


A submittal log gives the designer an opportunity to review for missed items and omit extraneous requests. Submitting a comprehensive log doesn’t have to be difficult. Top GCs are utilizing Pype’s AutoSpecs platform to generate accurate and complete logs in under 10 minutes. Find out how advances in machine learning and automation are revolutionizing this process for construction companies around the US at

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