Some experts recommend bonuses for work finished early or on time, and penalties if the contractor blows the deadline. Few contractors, unless they are working for the government, will agree to such clauses. They know what can happen, and they need to get across to you what is real and what is fantasy when it comes to completion dates.
To reduce disruption and keep the job moving, you may want to set tentative completion dates for certain phases of the job. For example, the foundation will be dug by one date, the foundation will be poured two days later, and framing will begin the following Saturday. That way, you can look at the contractual completion dates and reality and see how long you’ll be heating up pizza in the microwave.
Another way to keep the job moving smoothly is not to start changing your mind about how you want the addition built or what you want for countertops just as the contractor prepares to install the granite.
Remember: The contractor’s promise is only as good as the reliability of their subcontractors and suppliers. An overbooked plumber might not be able to meet whatever deadline the contractor has established, and, frankly, the contractor won’t be able to a thing about it but plead on the phone to the plumber and apologize to you.
As long as the contractor has your phone number and you have the contractor’s.