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. Renovating means “reviving” or restoring something to its previous state through improvements such as refinishing, resurfacing, and restoration. To remodel, on the other hand, is to restructure the form of something, essentially “remaking” it.
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. Regardless of the task at hand, the original design is never dramatically altered. A remodel changes the shape of something (such as adding a new shower to an existing bathroom), while a renovation focuses more on restoring something old so that it is well repaired (fixing a creaking floor, for example).
The key difference 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. Renovations are jobs that reanimate a room or house but don't change the design. They can also be used to add value to a home before it is put up for sale.
Because of this, renovations are often small-scale projects. You can repaint walls or cabinets or replace accessories or hardware. You can update old or outdated items. Jason Larson, founder and president of Lars Remodeling & Design in San Diego, California explains that renovation and remodeling are two different processes.
Renovations involve reviving something while remodeling involves changing its structure. Both processes are important when it comes to home construction.