What’s the Difference Between Renovating and Remodeling Your Home?

[fa icon="calendar"] March 05, 2021 / by Home Services Expert

family renovating home and smilingMany people use the terms renovating and remodeling interchangeably when talking about updating their homes.

However, there are key differences between renovating and remodeling. While it may not matter when you are talking with friends about your planned home changes, it’s probably a good idea to get a little more specific with terminology when speaking with a remodeling contractor and considering what your home needs and how much it is going to cost.


What’s the Basic Difference Between Renovating and Remodeling?

In short, remodeling is a bigger job that involves some construction and possibly changing the layout and purpose of a space. Renovating is keeping the original room as intended while updating the finishes.

According to Realtor.com: “The key difference is how deep the changes go. A renovation means you’re updating an existing structure with cosmetic changes, whereas a remodel involves changing the structure through demolition and construction, explains Jason Larson, founder and president of Lars Remodeling & Design in San Diego, CA.”


Renovating Explained:

Let’s say you’re renovating a bathroom. In this case, you would give it a new look by painting, replacing counters, cabinets, fixtures etc. Renovating can include new floors, and if any issues such as water leaks are fixed, they can still be included in a renovation.

In the case of a renovation, the pipes and walls stay put and the overall purpose and layout of the room is the same. You can see why these terms confuse people, considering that many people would say they are remodeling a room when in fact they are renovating.


Remodeling Explained:

In a remodeling situation you’re going to change more. Let’s say you have a small half bath that you want to turn into a full bathroom with a shower. This will involve moving and adding plumbing, taking down walls and adding in new ones, completing construction and adding all of the finishing touches.

Remodeling is more expensive because you are doing more than surface changes - you are getting involved in construction and altering layouts and moving plumbing and wiring, among other things.


Things to Know about Renovating:

Here are some of the details of renovating:

  • Renovating is cheaper since you are not changing major structures or the purpose of a room.
  • Renovating is more DIY friendly. After all, it’s easier to make cosmetic changes yourself rather than tearing down walls.
  • Renovating can take less time.
  • Depending on the renovation, it may or may not require a permit.
  • Renovating won’t change the purpose of your room or add to your home.


Things to Know about Remodeling:

For the larger jobs, remodeling is the way to go:

  • Remodeling can give you the layout and rooms you need.
  • Remodeling can be more expensive.
  • While more expensive, remodeling can be cheaper than buying a new home.
  • Remodeling will almost always require a permit.
  • Remodeling should involve an expert contractor.


What about Return on Investment? Renovating vs. Remodeling:

Don’t forget to look at the financial angle any time you are making changes to your home. Even if you have a large budget you want to make smart investment choices that will pay off down the road.

According to Bobvila.com:

“Renovating offers a better return on investment (ROI). Since renovating usually costs less, and because it involves repairing and updating a home’s basic features, homeowners will often see a better ROI on renovation projects than they will on remodeling projects when they sell their house.”

That’s not to say that remodeling isn’t the smart choice in your situation, since every situation is unique. In some cases you may choose to do a major remodel instead of buying new due to rising real estate prices.


Getting Help with Your Home Renovation or Remodel

At Experts In Your Home, our licensed remodeling contractors can walk you through the changes you want or need in your home and determine if renovating or remodeling is best for you. We’re happy to get started with helping you improve your home. Give us a call or contact us for a free consultation today!

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