Home Design and Build

What’s the Difference Between a Home Renovation and a Home Remodel?

When it comes to interior design, two main words are often used interchangeably – “home renovation” and “home remodel.” While these both fall under the umbrella of home design, they’re very different regarding what they include and what you get out of them. Both renovation and remodel are home improvement projects that add value to your home and make it more livable, but some critical differences between them should be taken into consideration before embarking on either project.

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Both involve changes to the interior and exterior of your home, but they have different levels of intensity, as well as significant cost differences, especially if your home needs new additions and construction done on it before you can move in.

home renovation is a process of making structural and aesthetic changes to your home to improve its overall quality and value while still preserving its character and original charm.

Renovations can include replacing old windows with new energy-efficient ones, converting an attic into additional living space, or simply repainting your front door a different color. On the other hand, a home remodel has one goal – transforming your existing home into something that works better for you and your family’s needs or wants.

This article will help you understand the difference between a renovation and remodel to decide what kind of project you want to undertake next.

Renovation changes a space’s appearance and feels or structure without altering its original function

A home renovation updates an existing structure without changing its intended purpose or function. For example, when you renovate your bathroom, you change everything from flooring to lighting, but it’s still your bathroom. When you move rooms around in your house—say, flipping your garage into an office or playroom that counts as a renovation.

During a home remodel, the design and occasionally the entire structure of the space are transformed

A home remodel is typically more substantial than a renovation. It overhauls the space and makes it much different from what it was before. In most cases, that means making changes to both functionality and aesthetics. If you redo your kitchen with new cabinets, appliances, countertops, and floors (and maybe even add on), that’s a remodel. If you paint your walls blue instead of green and add some new furniture, that’s not a remodel; it’s just a renovation.

A home renovation takes longer than a home remodel

A renovation is an overhaul of your home, which is likely to take more time than a remodel. A remodel will typically involve one aspect of your home being redone—the kitchen or bathroom, for example—while most renovations involve more than one room or major piece of furniture. In some cases, though, you can have both at once—if you add on to your living room and repaint at the same time, it’s technically a home remodeling and renovation all in one. But if you’re looking to minimize costs, focus on just one thing. If you want your house to look fresh without moving out while it gets done, consider a simple remodel instead of a full-on renovation.

A home remodel is sometimes more costly than a home renovation

It’s true that in most cases, remodeling is more expensive than renovating. This is especially true if you opt for upgrades like granite countertops, hardwood floors, or an overhaul of your heating and cooling system. Fortunately, there are ways to get top-notch renovations done within your budget. Oftentimes it just takes a little extra time spent shopping around. So, don’t be scared off by higher-end products—just take some time to find ways to put them into your home without breaking your bank account.

Renovating may necessitate the obtaining of a permit, but remodeling virtually always does

Permits guarantee that building codes are followed correctly. Communities choose their own standards, although it’s typical for a local building authority to need a permit each time a structure is modified, such as adding onto a house or tearing out and rearranging inner walls. Simple renovations, such as painting and putting on new carpeting, do not normally have permits, although repairing a roof (a rehabilitation job because the design and function are not altered) frequently does. Reroofing is a peculiar case because if a new roof isn’t put correctly, it might leak and cause damage to the home’s structure, hence most localities require permits for reroofing.

A renovation often involves hiring contractors, whereas you probably will do most of the work yourself with a remodel

Though both are big projects that can add value to your home, there is one key difference between a home renovation and a home remodel. A home renovation involves completely transforming one area of your house while keeping everything else intact. This means that you’ll likely have to hire an architect, construction crew, interior designer, real estate agent, etc., all of whom will be working together to create a cohesive design. With a remodel, on the other hand, you’re able to keep certain rooms in place (so as not to disturb them), but you’re also changing smaller details—like door styles or kitchen countertops—that fit into your overall design.

Renovation offers a better return on investment (ROI)

If you’re in the market for home improvements, then you need to know there’s a difference between renovating and remodeling. The dictionary defines renovation as restoring to an earlier or more successful condition. This essentially means that renovating an area of your home essentially returns it to its previous state, with some enhancements. While there may be some new elements—such as newer cabinets, lighting, or appliances—the essential structure will remain unchanged. In addition, a renovated space will not impact any other areas of your home negatively (such as increasing your utility bills). A remodeled space is one where entire rooms are either removed or added to your residence while retaining most of its original framework.

Remodel is the better solution to a poorly designed home

If you’re building from scratch, go ahead and tear everything down and start from scratch. But if you’re trying to improve your home, it’s better to remodel than renovate. That way, you’ll keep your existing structure intact instead of taking it apart altogether. You can even use parts of an old house in your new design; it won’t all be a waste. When performing renovations on an existing home (you probably shouldn’t do them on your own), remember that you want to avoid raising expenses unnecessarily: just do what needs to be done to make things better, then move on.

Some historic homes are only permitted to be renovated

A renovation doesn’t change any existing features on your house but only fixes what’s broken. That means if you want to replace your kitchen countertops with marble, you need to get permission from your local government, and they may tell you no. A remodel is different because it can change how things are done in your home. If you want to add an additional room to your second floor, that would be considered a remodel because it changes how things were originally planned out. Some historical homes require all renovation work, while others allow for some remodeling as well. It’s important to check with city officials before starting any renovations or remodels so that you don’t break any laws!

A home renovation is more involved than a home remodel

The ultimate goal of a home renovation is to completely transform your living space or make it more functional. If you’re looking to build an addition or change up your kitchen, bath, or another major part of your home, you’re probably going to want to hire remodeling contractors for these projects. A home remodel, on the other hand, generally focuses on smaller improvements that don’t involve adding any new rooms. For example, if you’re just looking for fresh countertops in your kitchen, you might want to do that project yourself instead of hiring out (since it won’t be quite as involved). Just remember: if you’re taking on a project yourself (even if it seems simple), make sure you have access to all necessary permits!

The Bottom Line: Renovation vs Remodel

Think about whether or not you’re significantly altering how people use/see/interact with your home before deciding if something is a renovation or remodel. If not, the chances are good that what you’re doing falls under renovation. But if yes—if there’s no way someone could look at your place after doing work on it and think, Oh yeah!

At Homednb, we have vetted contractors who can help with both renovations and remodels for residential homes. Whether you need an entire house overhaul or just one room was redone to match your new lifestyle, let us make your home renovation or remodel process hassle-free and transparent with reliable, trusted professionals and a secured escrow payment system. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you bring your vision into reality!