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A contractor should provide you with a valid timetable—and then stick to it. Consider building in a financial incentive for finishing the work on or ahead of schedule as well as a penalty clause for substantial delays. That being said, delays are an often unavoidable part of the remodeling process, so before demolition begins talk to your contractor about how you'll handle unanticipated roadblocks. At the end of the project, expect to generate a “punch list” of items that need to be resolved before the final payment is made.
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