What’s the Difference Between Remodeling and Renovating?

What’s the Difference Between Remodeling and Renovating?

Home improvement is an essential aspect of homeownership. Owning a home comes with the responsibility of maintaining and updating it regularly. Making changes to a house can be a daunting task for some people. The terms remodeling and renovating are often used interchangeably, but they are two entirely different things. Understanding the difference between the two is essential when planning a home improvement project.

The terms renovation and remodeling describe changes made to a house to enhance its appearance or functionality. Renovating refers to restoring an old or outdated structure to a good condition. On the other hand, remodeling entails transforming a space entirely different from its current layout.


Renovation refers to improving a building or a room by repairing or restoring what is already there. This process involves fixing damages, replacing old with new light fixtures, and updating the existing structure. The primary aim of the renovation is to make the house look better while restoring it to its earlier state.

There are two types of renovation:

1. Cosmetic renovation: This is the process of altering the house’s appearance without changing its structural integrity. It involves replacing fixtures, repainting, or adding new lighting.

2. Structural renovation: This type of renovation involves making changes to the house’s structure, like walls new floors and the roof. It may entail reducing or enlarging the floor space and adding new rooms or a second story.

Renovation is ideal investment move for homeowners who want to update their homes without making significant changes in the layout. Renovating a house helps increase its value and appeal, providing a fresh look and modernized feel.


Remodeling refers to creating a new layout or design for a living space. It involves tearing down walls, adding new rooms or structures, and changing the entire layout of a house. Remodeling aims to transform the existing home’s structure almost completely.

What are the two types of remodeling?

1. Full-scale remodeling project: This is renovating the exterior wall or entire house. It involves changing the house’s structural integrity and may require moving walls, adding rooms or structures, and installing new fixtures to provide a cohesive design.

2. Partial remodeling: This type of remodeling mostly involves repairing or updating specific house areas, like the kitchen or bathroom.

Remodeling is ideal for homeowners who want to make significant changes to their home’s layout and functionality. Remodeling can help homeowners create their dream homes by transforming spaces within the home to meet specific needs.

Differences Between Renovation and Remodeling

The primary difference between renovation projects and remodeling is the level of change. Renovation involves minor cosmetic changes, aimed at restoring and refreshing the existing structure. Remodeling involves significant changes aimed at creating something new.

Another main difference between home renovation, and remodeling is the cost. Renovation is often less expensive than remodeling because it requires less material and labor. Renovation can be done room-by-room over time, while remodeling is an overall project that requires a lot of money upfront.

The time frames involved major kitchen remodel can also differ significantly. Renovation may be a multi-step process that can take weeks or even months. Remodeling usually requires remodeling contractors, architects, and engineers to complete the project, which means it could take longer to finish.

When to Choose Renovation or Remodeling?

Choosing between renovation and remodeling depends on the homeowner’s goals and budget. Renovation is ideal for those who want to update their homes’ look without changing the layout significantly. Renovation is also suitable many remodeling projects and for homeowners who want to prepare a house for sale.

Remodeling is ideal for homeowners who want to change the house’s layout and functionality significantly. Remodeling gives homeowners more freedom to create their dream houses in terms of interior design, and functionality.

Remodeling vs Renovation: Which Costs More?

Remodeling project vs Renovation project

Remodeling and renovating costs in California can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the remodeling project’s location, size, materials, and complexity. Generally, remodeling costs more than renovating because it involves changing a space’s layout, structural components, and functionalities while renovating refers to restoring or repairing a space without making significant changes.

In California, the average cost of remodeling a kitchen can range from $15,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the extent of the changes (such as moving plumbing or electrical lines), materials used, and labor costs. Bathroom remodeling can range from $8,000 to $40,000 or more, depending on the same factors. Room additions can cost anywhere from $200 to $500 per square foot.

On the other hand, renovating a space such as one bedroom, a basement or a garage to convert it to a livable space can cost between $10,000 to $25,000 or more, depending on the level of finishing and upgrades needed.

It is important to consult with a licensed and experienced contractor to get a better solution more accurate estimate of costs for your specific project.


Should I renovate or remodel?

The definition of remodeling is different from that of renovation. While a renovation can change its shape (like a new bathroom) renovation tends to restore older parts to

What is renovation vs restoration vs remodel?

The difference between restorations: Remodeling transforms purpose, and renovations repairs and updates areas without changing their purpose, while restoration restores space in the original condition through replicas light fixtures and original materials.

Which Is Right For You?

Home improvement projects can be exciting or challenging, depending on the homeowner’s goals and budget. Understanding the difference between renovation and remodeling is essential to determine which option suits the home construction project’s purpose and budget.

Renovation and remodeling improve a home’s look and functionality; however, the level of change and cost vary. Renovation is ideal for minor updates to refresh the house’s appearance, while remodeling is ideal for making significant changes in the layout, design, and functionality. Understanding these differences helps homeowners make informed choices when upgrading their homes.

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