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

Understanding basic construction terminology can greatly benefit your home improvement planning process and help communicate with a contractor. Two common terms used interchangeably are ‘renovation’ and ‘remodel.’ However, significant differences exist between these two types of projects:

What is a Renovation? 

A renovation is any project that revives or restores an existing room or feature while maintaining its purpose. Renovations shouldn’t stray far from the room’s original design. Instead, homeowners make upgrades and repairs. Installing new lighting fixtures, upgrading your siding or replacing damaged windows are all examples of renovations.

What is a Remodel? 

If you want to improve your home layout or design, you require more than a renovation. Remodelling projects completely transform a room’s structure, style or purpose through such steps as removing walls or building a home addition. Keep in mind that remodelling projects will require a building permit, while a renovation may not. 

Return on Investment 

Renovations typically have a higher return on investment (ROI) than a remodel, as home upgrades tend to have a bigger influence on increasing property value. According to the Remodeling Magazine 2022 Cost Vs. Value Report, re-siding your home can have an approximate ROI of 68%, while a major kitchen remodel may provide a 56% ROI.

Cost Difference

Compared to renovations, remodelling projects require major layout changes and more complex designs. As a result, remodelling projects will often cost more than a renovation due to increased labour, materials and equipment requirements.