Any time you’re renovating your home or commercial space it’s a balancing act between wanting to begin quickly but also not wanting to rush the process. Once it’s started, it often involves shutting down access to rooms or sections of the space.

Here are some quick tips to make your process smoother once you get started so you can avoid hangups and stalls and get things back together as quickly as possible.

1. Have a plan for the area when it’s finished, prior to a general contractor showing up

How do you envision your furniture being arranged after the work is done? What sorts of things will be on your countertops, and which parts will be work areas?

This is helpful to have in place before even bringing a GC into the space, since it will inform the whole process and allow you to put things into place quickly when the work is complete. It may even help the GC to better organize the project.

2. If you’re a Realtor or are outsourcing to a GC…

Make a plan to include the general contractor when you meet with the clients. If possible, meet at the property where the work will be done so that everyone involved can see, feel, and point at things during the discussion.

This way, the general contractor can address questions directly so expectations are clear.

Just as importantly, the GC can advise them on what the process will look like — including work bidding — what options affect pricing, and timelines.

3. Have furniture and area rugs out of the way in advance

Many contractors are reluctant to move desks, furniture, or wall decorations. Simply put, they are often afraid that something will be damaged and they will be responsible.

Because of this, it’s easier if you remove couches, chairs, tables, and even paintings or pictures from the area ahead of time. That way the crew can walk into the space seamlessly and won’t be held up by having to jockey things around then.

When schedules and timelines are tight, often goals are set on specific expectations. Having to devote time to rearranging a room can jeopardize those timelines.