Renovate Vs Remodel: Understanding The Difference

The popularity of home redesign shows has risen in recent years. Thanks to the lovely Chip and Joanna Gaines and the uproarious Property Brothers, homeowners are paying more attention to their livings spaces: what can be changed or improved through renovations or remodels? However, it’s important to know the difference between those two words before you go choosing new paint colors and ripping out appliances.


Renovate And Renew


At its core, renovation involves updating or fixing something that is already present. Though new components will be added in some cases, the focus of renovation is on solving a problem. For example, 98% of U.S. basements will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime; if a recent heavy rain or burst pipe disaster occurs and your basement is now hidden under two feet of water, you’ll need to renovate it to account for flooding repair. At the same time, outdated objects and appliances (such as old toilets, washers and dryers, and sinks) can be replaced with renovation projects.


As an added note, renovating often goes hand-in-hand with restoration, which is focused on returning the building to its original state. If your bathroom is being restored to the way it looked in the 1960s, you might want to replace that outdated tub with a more modern shower.


Remodel And Change


Remodeling, on the other hand, is preoccupied with change regardless of need. If you’re simply interested in improving the look and feel of your basement by adding carpeting, heating and cooling systems, and even an entertainment center, you’ll be pursuing a basement remodel. Generally speaking, remodeling takes a lot more time and effort. The following are examples of remodeling projects to give you a better picture.


  • Expanding the square footage of a building
  • Gutting, removing, or adding walls
  • Raising ceilings
  • Adding plumbing
  • Adding heating/cooling ducts


Fortunately, the general contractors you’ll need to rely on for either situation almost definitely specialize in both. Understanding the difference is more to help you, as a homeowner, with the expectations: remodeling projects often cost more as it requires significantly more materials, and can take a longer time to complete. When you’re aware of the reality of the situation, you’ll be better prepared for the process.

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