How to plan your whole home renovation before you move in

Preparing for a Whole Home Renovation Before Moving In

The Washington, DC area housing market is hot in 2022. Many people are considering purchasing tear-downs or homes requiring major renovations. Others are interested in moving to Maryland, Washington, DC, or Northern Virginia from out-of-state. In some cases, you might buy a new house and know right off the bat that you want to renovate before you move.

Two Californians, Dave and Neha, worked with us before their cross-country relocation to transform a newly purchased 1990s home in Chevy Chase, MD into a more contemporary style. Our team helped the couple make decisions well before their moving trucks left the West Coast.

The scope of work for the whole home renovation included a complete kitchen remodel, master bedroom and bathroom redesign, new paint and flooring, and updated light fixtures and built-ins.

“Greg was super great and did the walk-through himself. He is approachable, easy to work with, and provided a menu of options and price points to work within our budget,” said David.


To help others like Dave and Neha who want a whole-home renovation before physically moving in, we’ve compiled some tips to help plan for this process.

1. Talk to a Trusted Design-Build Firm

Choosing a trusted design-build contractor is the most important decision you’ll make when. A whole home renovation project should not be taken lightly. Make sure the individuals you work with understand your vision and can translate that into the finished product.

2. Communicate Regularly and Have a Detailed Calendar and Schedule

You should have a regular communication cadence planned with your project manager so that they can check in with you on the progress of the renovation. A detailed contract along with a well-itemized calendar can help you understand what to expect and minimize surprises down the line. Many people worry about the whole home renovation cost, so a well-thought-out contract can give you peace of mind and help you know your budget is secure. Since you won’t be there in person to monitor the project, the calendar should give you a sense of what should be occurring.

3. Do Virtual WalkThroughs

Ask for Zoom or Facetime calls at the property. If you are unable to travel to see the property undergoing construction, ask a reliable friend, family member, or coworker to conduct a walk-through of the space several times throughout the renovation. It is especially important to see certain projects while work is in progress so you can make changes as needed before it will be too late or costly

4. Think Deeply About What You Want

Since you haven’t moved in yet, you’ll have to imagine how your family will use each space to optimize it appropriately. Think about your priorities and what you wished other homes had or didn’t have and make sure to discuss all of these ideas with your designer at the beginning of the project. You’ll want to consider things such as creating more natural light by adding more windows in the design.. Other aspects to consider are how to optimize your kitchen layout, how open you’d like your floorplan to be, and how many HVAC zones will make your living spaces the most comfortable during different seasons.

5. Don’t Move in Prematurely

If you’ve started the process of a remote renovation, don’t move in prematurely. Make sure to talk to your contractor if your plans have changed and you expect to move into the home before the renovation is complete. Contact Hammer Design Build Remodel for a consultation if you think you’re in the market for a whole-home renovation project. We look forward to working with you!




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