What Is The Difference Between Remodeling and Renovating?

The words “remodel” and “renovate” are often used interchangeably. However, for design and build professionals, these terms mean two very different things.

Remodeling ≠ Renovating

For design and build professionals, the words “remodel” and “renovate” have two very different meanings, although they are used interchangeably.

Let’s start with the definition of the words first. According to the dictionary definitions:

  • Remodel means “to change the structure or form of something.”
  • Renovate means “restore to a good state of repair.”
Home Remodeling

Re·mod·el : To change the structure, shape, or appearance of something.

Changing The Use of Space

A remodel will include changing the use of a space. A remodel is altering the structure and style of a space and completely transforming it. When you are changing the layout of a room reconfiguring the floor plan, you’re remodeling.

Improves Functionality 

In a kitchen remodel, for instance, you may decide to combine the kitchen with the living room and create an open concept kitchen layout. Or perhaps you’d like to install a kitchen island to create more functional space for cooking.

Breaths New Life Into A Room

If you’ve started gutting, adding, or removing walls, raising ceilings, or expanding the square footage of your home you’ve crossed over into remodeling territory. Whatever it is, remodeling breathes new life into a room, giving the space a whole new look and feel.

Home Renovation

Ren·o·vate : which means restore (something old, especially a building) to a good state of repair, or to make new again.

The Act of Renewing

In home construction, this includes re-painting, re-facing cabinets, installing new light fixtures, or adding other finishes and fixtures.

Update & Upgrade

The original purpose isn’t to drastically alter, but rather, to update to a new standard. Renovating a room in your home, if it’s the kitchen, will make the space attractive, and add value to the home.

Cosmetic Improvements

Remember that a renovation simply means you’re updating an existing structure with cosmetic changes, not significant alterations to the existing structure. For example, replacing your old windows with new ones is a renovation project.

Tips & Suggestions

Confused? Let’s review:

  • Remodel: Changing the use of a space or spaces.
  • Renovate: Make an area or space new without changing its use.

Key Takeaway

If you’re planning on remodeling or renovating your house, it is important to consult an experienced design-build contractor or architect before you begin your project AND make sure you research first to ensure that your project gets done right the first time around!

Check out our recent home remodeling & renovation projects for inspiration

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