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Renovations vs Remodeling – What is the Difference?

What is the Difference Between Renovations & Remodeling

Renovations and remodeling are both things that many homeowners want to do when they move into their homes.  However, there is a difference between the two terms. Renovations and remodeling are similar but different in many ways. These two terms are often used out of context with each other or incorrectly.

It is important to understand the difference between renovations and remodeling before making any decisions about transforming your home for the better. If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably noticed advertisements for home remodeling and renovations. While similar in scope, they are not the same and if you are not experienced with home repair or renovation, you should get consult with a reliable renovation contractor.

So, what is the difference between renovations and remodeling? A renovation is generally thought of as a change to part of a building that affects its interior or exterior appearance or structure, while a remodel is any repair or reconstruction of an existing structure, according to the “Environmental Protection Agency” (EPA). The main difference between a renovation and a remodel is that renovations add new material or replace existing material, while remodels generally don’t change the footprint of a room.

In other words, remodeling will have little effect on your home’s value while renovations often increase it. Remodeling a house is not an easy task and it requires a lot of effort and time on the part of the homeowner. Before starting any major renovation or remodeling project on your own, you first need to be well aware of the nature of your project and how to go about it.

Renovations vs Remodeling – What is the Difference?The Difference Between Renovations and Remodeling

Let’s take a closer look at the primary differences between renovations and remodeling projects.


A renovation is any sort of permanent change in a home’s structure.  This can include anything from installing new windows to expanding a room. It is important to note that renovations are not covered by most home improvement warranties unless it is an improvement that will extend the life of your home, or they are performed by the original builder.

Renovation is a term that means the renovation of an old home or building to make it more modern or to give it a new look. Home renovation can also mean repairing something that is broken, worn out, etc. Home renovations are performed for a variety of reasons including modernization, convenience, socialization needs, health concerns, or aesthetics.

This list includes some ideas that can help you decide what you want to change in your home. Home renovation is a multi-faceted project that involves changes in the construction layout, design, safety features, and other physical aspects of a particular property.

It is a wide term that covers different projects such as installation of new fixtures, flooring, and cabinets, placing new doors and windows, painting walls, moving rooms, or even building an extension to the existing structure.

Examples of Home Renovation Projects

Here are some examples of home renovation projects that might be helpful for you to do yourself or hire out.

  • Repairing the roof
  • Installing new windows
  • Drywall repairs
  • Fixing up your kitchen
  • Getting rid of clutter
  • Installing a new bathroom
  • Removing and replacing wallpaper
  • Paint the entire house
  • Organizing garage and attic spaces

Renovation Project Time Commitment

Are there any projects that you would like to do yourself or hire out? How much money will these projects cost you? What kind of time commitment is involved?

  1. Flooring replacement: It can give your home a fresh look if the current flooring materials are looking shabby or outdated. Carpets, vinyl, and hardwood floors are some of the popular choices that homeowners often opt for.
  2. Kitchen renovation: The kitchen is one place in the house where people spend most of their time. Therefore, it is important to make it look modern and functional. You can replace old cabinets with new ones or you can install top-of-the-line kitchen appliances in your kitchen.
  3. Bathroom renovation: This project involves the installation of new fixtures, bathtubs, toilets, and other equipment to make your bathroom look clean and presentable. Costs vary depending on the materials used for remodeling.
  4. Basement renovation: This is often neglected by homeowners but you can improve the value of your house by completing this project. The basement requires complete refurbishing if it’s not in good shape and you can divide it into separate sections to rent out.
  5. Bedroom renovation: The bedroom is one room in the house that requires special attention since it’s where we spend most time resting and relaxing after a long day at work or school. Therefore, decorating your bedroom with modern fittings can change the overall look of your house.
  6. Garage renovation: People often fail to recognize the importance of a garage in the overall appearance of their homes. You can install cabinets, new flooring, or even paint your walls to give your garage an appealing look.

Renovations vs Remodeling – What is the Difference?Remodeling

Remodeling is generally done in conjunction with renovation.  For example, adding a bedroom is a renovation. However, if you want to enclose the porch or change the flooring of an existing room, those are considered remodeling tasks. Remodeling is the act of changing the way something looks.

Remodeling your home can include updating certain features like your kitchen and bathroom or changing walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors. Home remodeling is the process of renovating or refurbishing a home. Homeowners often make changes to their homes to update them, modernize them or improve their comfort.

Also referred to as renovation, home improvement, involves rearranging fixtures, removing walls and ceilings, and moving doors. The scope of work can range from minor changes to a major overhaul. Remodeling your house can increase the value of your home while you live there and when you sell it.

A remodeled kitchen or bathroom tends to attract buyers while a bedroom, living room, or basement finished to suit your particular taste may add to the resale value. If you’re planning a small renovation not requiring a building permit, think about doing it yourself. If you’re planning a bigger renovation, it’s a good idea to hire a professional who can handle the permits and inspections required by your city, county, or state.

Examples of Home Remodel Projects

Here are some examples of how you might want to remodel different parts of your home:

  • The exterior of your home is just as important as the interior when selling a property. This means that you want to make sure that the exterior of your house is clean, inviting, and in good condition when selling it.
  • Adding or resurfacing a driveway is an inexpensive way to spruce up your home’s exterior. Driveways are also useful if you wish to sell your home for parking purposes.
  • Replace old air conditioning and heating systems to ensure that your home is comfortable year-round. If your system is older than 10 years it may be time for a replacement.
  • Adding a new coat of paint can brighten up the appearance of your home on the outside, especially if it’s faded or chipped. Remember that you should go with neutral colors that will appeal to the widest range of buyers.
  • Your roof must be in good shape when you’re selling a house. If repairs are needed, take care of them before putting your home on the market. Even if it’s not leaking, many people will still replace their roofs when they sell their homes to ensure that they’ll get top dollar.
  • Replace old landscaping with new landscaping to enhance your property’s value. Professional landscapers can help beautify your yard with trees, flowers, and other greenery or you can do it yourself if you have green thumbs!

Why Not Use These Terms Interchangeably?

The term ‘remodeling’ refers to anything that is not considered major construction work.  This includes things such as replacing a countertop or a sink.  These types of projects are usually the result of damage caused by a home repair gone wrong or simply wear and tear.

Renovation, on the other hand, is almost always related to changes that will directly affect how well your home functions.  For example, if you are replacing your windows, this will give you more energy-efficient windows which will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  If you are adding a bedroom or an additional bathroom to your home, this will increase the value of your home once it is time to sell.

What To Be Aware Of

As housing statistics have shown, many are looking to turn their old homes into new ones by renovating their kitchens and bathrooms to match the “hot” styles of modern times.

The reason for this is a new type of mortgage financing, the self-amortizing mortgage. What has been described as a “breakthrough in home financing,” this loan puts homeowners into their houses without the obligation to make interest payments while they are still living in them.

The lower monthly payments can help them meet the costs of renovating their house. Until the self-amortizing mortgage was developed, people who wanted to improve their houses generally had to take out second mortgages. The higher monthly payments for this type of loan put many renovations on hold.

The primary problem with home remodeling is that homeowners never know how much it will cost until they start tearing their house apart.

Many homeowners have found themselves deeply in debt, with big mortgages on their old homes and construction loans on the new ones. Or they’ve gone into foreclosure because the high monthly payments on two mortgages left them with little money to pay other bills.

Renovations vs Remodeling – What is the Difference?A Final Word on Renovations and Remodeling

Whether you need renovations or remodeling done, it is important to pick a contractor who has experience in your particular project.

Are You Thinking of Remodeling or Renovating Your Home?

People often begin to wonder if they should remodel their homes about halfway through the first decade of homeownership. Some people are thinking about it after five years, while others will happily hold off for at least 10 years. But regardless of your timeline, here are some things you would be wise to think about before you commit to undertaking this type of project.

I want to share a couple of questions you should ask yourself before you begin either process.

1) How much wear and tear have your home’s systems undergone?

When the time comes to remodel, it is usually for any of several reasons: A hole in the wall, a draft coming through here, a creak in the stairs, a kitchen that does not accommodate your family’s lifestyle, or whatever. In all of these cases, they can be signs that one or more of the home’s systems is nearing the end of its lifespan and is ready for replacement.

This includes everything from roofs to wiring to plumbing to windows and doors, but it specifically concerns mechanical systems such as heating and cooling and plumbing.

2) How much do you know about the basics of construction and home improvement?

To complicate things further, it is not enough to simply tear out something that is already in place and then install a new one in its place. There are many details to consider: For example, you must be sure the existing structure can support all of the new weight. You must make sure there is sufficient insulation, which means you may have to rewire for new circuits and lighting fixtures.

3) How much money are you prepared to spend?

If you are not on a strict budget, then these aren’t problems at all. But if home improvement or remodeling is not a luxury you can afford, this is something you should know from the get-go. Even if you are on a budget, it does no good to remodel if the result will be a room that is draftier or less comfortable than before. The return on investment must be positive.

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.