What is the difference between a renovation and remodel?


“Renovation” and “remodelling” are two terms often used interchangeably in real estate and interior design. It’s completely fine for everyday use, but when dealing with professionals, it’s important to know the difference between them.

In a nutshell, renovation refers to restoring your home to the state it was in before the whole remodelling takes it a step further. It involves creating something new entirely.

Why should you know the difference?

Most professional interior designers and real estate professionals already know what the differences between the two terms are. If you want to be able to properly articulate your requirements to them, however, you’ll need to know what each of them entails yourself. Each of them has different specific budgets, timelines and costs.

If you’re planning on selling your home soon, you’ll also need to know the distinction. Again, there are certain differences between remodelled and renovated homes, both in terms of aesthetics and property values.

If you’re in neither of these categories, then at least you can be proud of yourself for knowing the difference. You can now chide your friends when they make the mistake you recently learnt to stop making.

What does renovation entail?

To renovate involves “restoring to a new state of repair.” Remodelling involves replacing or repairing structures and appliances that already exist. This includes old, unmaintained parts of any structure with newer ones so that it functions as if new.

If you were to renovate your bathroom, you’d replace broken pipes, missing faucets and install a new toilet seat, for example.

What about remodeling

To ‘model’ something roughly means to ‘create’ it. Remodelling, then, has to be the act of ‘recreating’ or to ‘substantially change the structure or form’. In other words, remodelling your home means changing how it looks or functions almost completely.

A remodel doesn’t aim to fix anything that’s broken. Think of remodelling as ‘renovation because you want to’ not because you have to. To borrow from the previous example, home renovation experts will tell you that painting your new walls green because the color white stains too easily is renovation. Painting them yellow because the previous shade of blue is chipping away and plastering the walls behind it because it had began to crack is remodelling.

It may look pedantic now, but once you contact an interior design professional, they will likely quote wildly different prices for each of the two.

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