The home owner should make sure the contract contains an “option to terminate—time of the essence” clause. In Call v. Alcan Pac. Co., 251 Cal. App. 2d 442  (3d Dist. 1967) the court considered such a clause. This type of clause provides that if the contractor does not prosecute the work diligently, the owner may give written notice, and that if the contractor does not then resume work in a diligent manner, the owner may take over the job. The owner, with such a contract clause, has what amounts to an option to terminate the contract if the contractor delays the work.