We recently purchased a house that needs substantial renovations. Lots of Yamim Tovim and Chol Hamoed are coming soon. If we contract out to a non Jewish company to handle the renovations (they are paid per job not per day), are they permitted to renovate on Yom Tov or Chol Hamoed under their own discretion to save themselves time? We are also under big time pressure as well and would like to settle in our house as soon as possible.
You are very correct, Yom Tov and Chol Hamoed are an issue and the contractor should not do work for you on the house even during Chol Hamoed, and even though he is contracted to do the whole job. Although you are under a lot of pressure, and it is difficult to make up with the contractor not to do work on Yom Tov etc, but H-shem has a lot of sechar especially if it is difficult, and any loss of money will be paid back to you with plenty of interest, for keeping the halacha and being mekadesh the Shabbos.
Best Wishes and you should have a lot of siyata dishmaya in the new house.
O:CH 244-1, 543-2, Also see Kaf Hachyim 244-37, 38 where he talks about the importance of this halacha.