Home remodeling vs. renovation–it’s the same thing, right? While the labels remodel and renovation are often used interchangeably, they are very different animals. So, what is the difference between a home remodel and a renovation?
Remodel vs. Renovation: What’s the difference?
The key difference is how profound the changes to the existing structure are. A renovation means you’re modernizing an existing structure with cosmetic changes, whereas home remodeling entails changing the structure through demolition and construction.
A bathroom renovation might involve refreshing the tile and paint, perhaps even removing and replacing the existing sink, toilet, and shower; renovations include changing just about everything while keeping the plumbing and electrical systems in their original locations. By contrast, the same project would qualify as a remodel, only if you had moved the pipes to make room for adding a washer and dryer combo. Since remodels are more complicated than renovations, they typically cost more. They also require more professional assistance than renovations, from experts such as architects, electricians, plumbers, and more. On top of this, many remodels require a permit from the city, costing more time and money towards the project.
If you’re looking to update a few rooms or boost the value of your home in time for a sale, a quick renovation may be your best bet. If you’re planning on staying in the property for the long haul and you aren’t happy with the look or functionality, an entire home remodel may be in order.
Deciding whether to renovate or opt for home remodeling is a big decision. It is one where you’ll want to consider your budget, time, and final goal.
One of the biggest tips for undertaking your home project is paying attention to the rooms you use the most (and least!) and spending accordingly. Remember, remodeling is often costlier than renovating.
While home remodeling may involve changing the physical structure, it’s often necessary to reconfigure the wiring, plumbing, and ductwork, making the project more complex and costly.
When Do You Need a Permit?
Permits safeguard that proper building codes are followed. Districts and communities set their policies, but it’s common for a local planning authority to require a permit any time a building is changed. This includes putting an addition on a home or tearing out and reconfiguring interior walls.
Renovating = A better Return on Investment (ROI)
Since renovating costs less, homeowners will often see a better ROI on renovation projects than they will on remodeling projects come time to sell because it involves repairing and updating a home’s basic features. You could spend big bucks on adding a sizable three-season room to the back of your house ( home remodeling), but if your roof leaks and the furnace doesn’t work, buyers will look somewhere else.
Remodeling = A Better Answer to Poor Design
If you have to walk through one bedroom to get to another, or if the water lines to your kitchen sink are fitted in an exterior wall and freeze every winter, renovations won’t solve these problems. When a home is poorly designed, remodeling is often the only answer. Poor design is more often seen in older homes before strict building codes were the rule.