What Is the Difference Between Remodeling & Renovating?

A building renovation is necessary if a natural disaster completely destroys a property.

Renovation and remodeling are similar but distinctive approaches to altering the current state of a structure or property. A main difference between the two is that renovating involves restoring something to its former state or improving upon it, while remodeling is completely alternating the structural or aesthetic nature of a property or structure.

Renovation Basics

Renovations are for both personal and business properties. A renovation restores the condition of a room or structure when common repairs or fixes are no longer adequate. Buildings are often renovated when their current structure is outdated and requires a major overhaul of the existing structure. Though the physical structure is restored or improved, the general function and purpose of the structure is maintained.

Renovation Types

The three main types of renovations are cleaning, repairing or rebuilding. Additionally, building expansions are often considered renovation projects. Major cleaning or repairs become renovation when ongoing maintenance and care is not enough to prevent the property from fulfilling its purpose. Rebuilding is a major type of renovation and often involves demolishing and removing former physical structures and rebuilding from scratch.

Remodeling Basics

The keyword that distinguishes a remodel from a renovation is "alter." When you remodel a room or property, it is generally to completely change its use, functionality or aesthetics. Remodels may not even occur when structures are in generally good condition, if the occupant wants to change the use or look for a particular reason. Remodels often include more elements of design alternations versus physical structural work.

Remodeling Purpose

Two reasons to remodel are for use and preference. People do remodels in homes to change the functionality; for instance, if an extra bedroom is needed, a remodel may mean changing an office into a bedroom. A business property remodel often takes place when a new type of business comes in, requiring a change in the functionality. People often do remodels in their home purely because of preference: they become bored with existing designs and aesthetics.