How to insure work is done on time
I am soliciting bids for framing a cabin. I am getting estimates from 5 weeks (good) to 3 months. What leverage do I have that I can ensure work is done on time? This is in the San Bernardino mountains and I know people can book too many jobs. What are my options. Thanks ahead.
Put a deadline in your contract with penalties for not meeting it. It's done all the time. I usually make it $100/day, but there should be provisions for delays that are out of the contractors control, such as changes, weather, supplier delays, etc.
Do it yourself. I know my projects ALWAYS come in ahead of schedule.
A likely story.
For clients I get things done on time. My own projects are unlikely to get done at all.
A deadline with penalties has been suggested. Keep in mind that the contractor wlll try to protect him/herself by marking up the contract accordingly. In other words, you pay more to a contract based on punctuality.
My (small) company has a reputation for doing jobs "one at a time". We have found that two people, working intensely and in full control of the schedule, get as much done as larger companies, handling several jobs simultaneously, in "come and go" fashion. My advice: look for a smaller company and ask them to put you in touch with BOTH satisfied and unsatisfied customers. That has been my practice. Nothing beats transparency. I have never adveretised. I've always had more work than I want. Good luck.
A good contractor should not mark up a contract to cover deadline penalties if he expects to be able meet that deadline. If he doesn't he should set a deadline that he can meet. He should not let a client insist on a deadline that he cannot meet. Deadlines without penalties mean nothing. Contract prices and terms should always allow for reasonable contingencies of any kind.
I've almost always worked the same way you do.