Renovation vs Remodel

So you’re ready to tackle a home renovation project, or is it remodelling? The two terms can cause an abundance of confusion for both you and the professionals! You probably never even second-guess which word to use and may only ever use renovation. Of course, which word you use when describing your project is not the end-all-be-all, though it can lead to confusion.


Regardless of word choice, the pros will understand what you’re referring to when dealing with renovation or remodelling projects. Professional contractors, designers, painters, plumbers, and others will likely not care which word you use. But, if we stop to think, what do these terms actually mean?


The Definitions


Believe it or not, technically renovation and remodelling mean two different things. It does depend on who you ask, but by definition, they are not the same.




A remodel is the full transformation of a structure or form of something/space. This can be adding an addition to your home, taking out a bathtub for a standing shower only, or adding a kitchen island, or finishing your basement. Your changes thus alter how the space will be used post-remodel. When you remodel, you are making changes to the floor plan, and maybe even the purpose of the space. It can be seen as a “remake”




In contrast, a renovation restores something that’s older to a newer, better state of repair. It can be done by cleaning, repairing or rebuilding. It is synonymous with reinvigorate or refresh. Examples of renovations are repairing creaky doors, stuck windows, peeling wallpaper, and other such upgrades. The original space is never altered drastically. Thus, renovating is akin to “reviving” something.


A renovation is also likely to cost less than a remodel as your focus is on repairing and upgrading and not really structural changes.


Can They Be Interchanged?


Of course, most of the time the terms can be used interchangeably without much afterthought. Now there is little difference between a renovation and remodel. Most contractors will use either term, or both, and most clients will as well.


Professionals often see the words being used hand in hand. Jojo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers of Cash Pad say that more confusion comes around when people use the terms renovation and remodel instead of flipping! Flipping is an entirely different concept that is not always tit for tat with home makeovers. According to Jojo Fletcher, if your makeovers are intended for resale, then your project is a flip. Remodelling, or renovation, is taking your current home and making changes to improve your living experience with the home.




At the end of the day, feel free to refer to your project as a renovation or a remodel. It doesn’t really matter. What does matter, is taking the proper time, care, and effort to plan your project. Look at which areas of your home can benefit from a renovation/remodel, and focus your budget there. Being realistic with your project will enable you to set a proper budget, minimize the chance of going overboard, and still improve your enjoyment of the space.


To get started on your next renovation or remodelling project, work with the Bryan Baeumler approved pros at Marvellous Contracting Inc. Your dream remodel is just a call away.

Written by Aaron P

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