What is the Difference Between Renovation and Remodeling?

Renovation and remodeling are two of the most common words in construction, real estate, interior design and contracting. However, there is a significant difference between them. Renovation means to “revive” or restore something to its previous state through improvements: refinishing, resurfacing and restoration. To remodel, on the other hand, is to restructure the form of something, to essentially “remake” it.

Technically speaking, a renovation and a remodel are defined differently. While a remodel changes the shape of something (such as adding a new shower to an existing bathroom), a renovation focuses more on restoring something old so that it is well repaired (fixing a creaking floor, for example). As you can see, in the broadest sense, “renewing” means doing something new again in order to revive. When this definition is applied to the world of home construction, “reviving” could mean anything from repainting and coating cabinets to installing new lamps and adding other finishes and accessories.

The key difference between renovation and remodeling is the depth of the changes. A renovation involves updating an existing structure with aesthetic changes, while a remodeling involves changing the structure through demolition and construction. Many people don't know the difference between renovation and remodeling, much less renovation, remodeling and restoration. However, it's crucial to understand their differences before undertaking such an important project.

When creating a budget for your project, you must consider whether you need to undergo a restoration project to make your building look the same as before. Unfortunately, you may not be able to restore some areas of the building. If this is the case, you'll need to add renovation or remodeling work to your project. Because renovation usually costs less than remodeling and because it involves repairing and updating the basic features of a home, homeowners often get a better return on investment (ROI) on renovation projects than on remodeling projects when they sell their home.