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Renovation vs. Remodeling: What You Need To Know

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Renovation vs. Remodeling: What You Need To Know


What if we told you that you've been speaking English incorrectly? Or rather, that there are a couple of words you've been using incorrectly.

The words renovation and remodel are often interchanged. Unless you're a real estate expert, you probably didn't realize that these two words have different meanings.

If you're still confused, keep reading. We'll break down what you need to know about these two terms and help you understand the differences.

What Is a Renovation?

A renovation involves reviving something that you already have. Renovating is a way of making these things you already own new again.

Home renovation may include adding a new coat of paint to a wall or getting new lighting fixtures. It could also mean that you're replacing old windows or buffing your countertop.

Renovations do not include any drastic changes. Rather, you are simply updating or tweaking something. If you're completely replacing something or making another dramatic change, it is no longer considered renovation.

Why Do a Renovation?

Homeowners and design experts choose to perform renovations for a variety of reasons. Typically, people do renovations to make their home appear to be more updated and more personalized.

Some homeowners perform renovations on their homes in an effort to increase the value of the property before selling. A new coat of paint can increase the value of your home before re-sale. If you are planning on selling, you should look into the best paint colors for reselling your home.

In fact, you may be asked to perform a few renovations before selling your home. Many buyers prefer homes that have been updated or had other tweaks like fresh coats of paints or new fixtures.

Renovations are a big factor that people take into account when looking to buy a resold home. The majority of these projects are relatively small undertakings.

What Are Some Renovations I Can Do?

There are many kinds of renovations that homeowners can undertake themselves. Most renovations are smaller undertakings that even beginners can figure out.

Add a new coat of paint. This is one of the most common and simplest ways of increasing the property value of your home as well as adding a personal touch. Even if the color isn't new, you'll feel better about a fresh coat of paint for the room and potential buyers will too.

Update appliances. This is one of the easiest ways to get a better rate of return on your home's value. If you're selling your home, it is also a huge plus that homebuyers will take into consideration.

Replace windows. This task is one of the bigger undertakings, but there are plenty of professionals that can help you. Getting brand new windows means no more scratches or clouding while looking outside and the increase in energy efficiency if a huge plus.

Install new lighting fixtures. Whether they're classy or modern, new lighting fixtures can do a lot to update your home and increase its value.

Update flooring. Replacing your tile, buffing your hardwood, or getting new carpet can completely alter the feel in your home. It is also a big ticket item for new homebuyers.

What Is a Remodel?

As opposed to renovations, remodels are complete remakes. There is no simple revitalization with remodeling.

Remodeling requires completely altering the structure of something.

In terms of housing, remodeling involves completely transforming a space. If you change the layout, style, or structure of a room, this is considered a remodel. It requires more than a few tweaks to completely change the house floor plan.

Why Do a Remodel?

Since remodels are more drastic changes, they are performed less often than renovations. Many homeowners and home designers decide to perform a remodel when a home needs a complete reset in a space.

Remodels can drastically improve property value and personalize the space. You may get more space in your home from a remodel as well.

Remodels take more effort and require help from home professionals because they involve demolition and building in most cases.

What Are Some Remodels I Can Do?

The majority of remodeling projects require extra help, but they are exciting. A great remodeling project can completely transform the look and feel of your home.

Combine two rooms. Open-concept floor plans are becoming more and more popular. Many homeowners decide to connect their living rooms and kitchens to create this open floor plan and make their homes feel bigger.

Raise ceilings. Another way to make your home feel bigger is by raising the ceilings. This technique is most often used in common spaces like living rooms.

Remove walls. If you need more room in a space and have unused or underused space nearby, you may consider removing a wall too combine the spaces. This makes the room you use more spacious and makes better use of the available space within your home.

Add a kitchen island. Many older or smaller homes may not already have a kitchen island. These are great additions to your home if you want to make more space for food preparation.

What Are the Costs?

We've discussed the major traits of a renovation and a remodel. Now you know that a renovation consists of a small change within a home while a remodel consists of a large change within a home.

There are a few other considerations that you should take into account when comparing renovations and remodels.

What Are the Costs of Renovation?

Renovations typically cost less than remodels simply because there is less work involved in conducting them.

Some people may have to hire minor help for bigger renovations, but most of these projects can be done by beginners with some help from Google and YouTube. The cost of potentially hiring professionals should be taken into consideration.

You should also consider that you may need help from specialists. If you're working near pipes or wires, you should make sure that you have a specialist by your side to ensure that you aren't hitting anything that could cause a power outage or a water leak.

Don't forget about materials for the project. You should take the prices of paint and other material into account when you're planning your project. We also recommend that you leave yourself some extra as a buffer for the pricing in case you have to buy any additional materials.

The last cost consideration that you may want to take into consideration with renovating is the age of your home. If your cabinets are breaking, a renovation project could completely ruin them. You should consider that a renovation could turn into a remodel in some cases.

Renovations may be small, but you should note that homebuyers appreciate even the smallest changes in a home. A different paint color could make all the difference when they're deciding whether to buy your home or not.

You should also keep in mind that the money you're spending on renovating will come back to you in property value.

What Are the Costs of Remodeling?

Remodeling does cost more, but you may think that the greater cost is worth the changes that you'll see after the project is completed.

You'll also have to keep in mind that remodeling often requires that you hire additional help. Knocking down walls may be your secret hobby, but it could be dangerous to do it all on your own.

The largest projects also require that you having plumbers, electricians, and other experts. You wouldn't want to cut important cords or strike a pipe while you're changing a layout.

On top of all of this, you should keep permit laws in mind. Many larger project require that you have a permit before even starting the remodeling process. These can create extraneous costs as well. Professional remodelers will know what permits are needed and can apply for them with the appropriate local offices to make sure your project is properly permitted. 

Just like the renovation process, you should consider all materials, other supplies, and hardware that you may need throughout the process.

Just as we explained with the renovation project, you should leave some extra room in your budget for any unexpected needs that may come up. However, you may need to leave even more room in your budget with a remodeling project because they are more expensive. 

Keep in mind that some of these costs may come right back to you if you're looking to sell after you complete the remodel. You may have to foot a large bill to remodel your entire home, but your home's value will make up for the money lost. This is why remodeling before selling your home is so highly recommended.

Get Started on Your Project

You're probably more than excited to get started on your next home project. Whether you're going for a small renovation or a large remodeling project, you're bound to love your home more after you see the final results. Your homebuyers will appreciate the change as well.

Unless you want the project to flop, you should make sure to seek help from online professionals and in-person specialists. You and your wallet will thank you later.

For more home advice, check out the rest of our blog. If you are looking to sell your home after performing a renovation or remodeling project, search for agents here.