Renovation Vs. Remodel – Which One Is Best For You?

by | Jun 29, 2022

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People often confuse renovation projects with remodeling jobs, but, contrary to popular belief, they are not the same, and both have very different characteristics that set them apart.

While both a remodel and a renovation will update and improve your home’s living space, it takes industry knowledge from a professional contractor to truly know the factors that distinguish one from the other. When hiring a New Jersey kitchen remodeling contractor to improve your home, it is essential that you understand the difference between a renovation and a remodel, including the cost difference and which one is best for your improvement project.  

This article will help you identify the work that ultimately separates renovations from remodels so that you can confidently hire the right contractor for your next home improvement project.

What’s the Difference Between a Renovation and a Remodel

When you renovate, you restore it and repair it to its previous condition and make it seem new again. When you renovate, you invigorate or revive your space. In terms of a home construction project, a renovation usually involves repainting, refinishing, installing new light fixtures or cabinets. The home’s original structure does not change in a renovation project. Instead, you update your home interior, reflecting a new style, décor or design. 

When you remodel something, you actually alter its structure or remake it. Anytime your home improvement project changes your home’s layout, the placement of walls, or its overall style, it is classified as a remodel. Any project that alters the home’s floor plan, like combining an existing dining room and kitchen to create a shared area, putting a sunroom addition on your house, or even adding an attached garage, is considered a remodel.

If you are planning a home improvement project, you should understand the different elements of what you want done and communicate that to the contractor. That is why you need to understand the difference between a remodel and a renovation. A professional contractor will understand exactly what is necessary to complete your remodel or renovation and use that information to set up the project properly.  Additionally, they can provide savings a homeowner normally wouldn’t have when purchasing wholesale home remodeling supplies.

To truly differentiate, the key for the homeowner is to understand how much actual construction may be involved versus how much of the work will be cosmetic.

Examples Of A Renovation

A renovation will involve changing your home to improve function, chage its style, and increase functionality and comfort. In most instances, a renovation will not require you to obtain builder permits from your municipality.

Here are some examples of common renovations:

  • The painting of walls and/or trim
  • The refinishing or the replacing of cabinets
  • The installation of new light fixtures
  • Window replacements
  • Kitchen appliance replacements
  • Flooring replacement
  • The installation of new shelves
  • The installation of new carpet

These more minor and less expensive home alterations will not only help you to create a more pleasurable interior, but they can increase the value of your home, especially if you are considering selling soon. For example, a bathroom that features new tile, and a new toilet and sink, will be more attractive to potential buyers. If you avoid changing the plumbing, the electrical system, or moving walls, it will still be a renovation.

Kitchen renovations are also popular and usually involve installing new cabinets or refinishing your old ones, installing new appliances, and replacing light fixtures. You can round out the job and give your kitchen a total transformation with new countertops, plumbing fixtures, and cabinet pulls. In the end, though, it remains a kitchen.

In a renovation, the purpose of the room remains the same. There is a chance during a renovation that certain structural changes will need to be made if, for example, during the renovation, it is determined that water damage or rotting wood requires the replacement of any subfloors, ceilings, or walls.

Examples of a Remodel

As part of a remodel job, the framing, layout, electrical, and plumbing are just some major systems that may be replaced or altered. Sometimes, a remodel can involve tearing down walls or extending roof lines. These kinds of home improvement jobs will likely require that the homeowner obtain building permits from their municipality.

Here are some examples of common home remodeling projects:

  • Combining two rooms to create one or splitting one room into two
  • The installation of a new island in the kitchen with electric and plumbing
  • The removal of or the moving of walls
  • Redoing your fireplace
  • Raising your home’s ceilings
  • Changing a room’s structural layout
  • Adding a new enclosed space where a deck or patio currently exists

A remodel improves or changes the layout of the home or its construction. For example, a bathroom that has a leaky sink might require new plumbing and new flooring to be installed. While this work is underway, a homeowner can choose to add a tub or shower where one did not previously exist. That would require the installation of new plumbing lines. Perhaps the bathroom ends up being too small, in that case, there is a possibility that a wall could be extended.

Another example could include the addition of a breakfast nook to an existing kitchen, which could mean that an outside wall would be torn down, new walls would be built, and new windows and electric lines would be added. This remodel would change the kitchen’s form and layout, breathing new life into that part of your home.

What Costs More, A Renovation or a Remodel?

A renovation typically costs less because these alterations include mostly surface changes or element updates. Materials that are needed are usually less expensive and the labor costs tend to be lower. In some cases, the homeowner can perform a renovation on their own.

Since remodeling work usually includes modifications to a home’s configuration and structure, material costs will be higher and the necessary labor can include specialized professionals to handle ductwork, plumbing, wiring, framing, and more. The need for building permits will also increase the cost. The cost of remodeling a basement in NJ will most likely be higher than that of a basement renovation.

Upgrading Your New Jersey Home with a Remodel or Renovation

This article has probably given you a lot to consider when thinking about your home improvement project. Thankfully, the New Jersey remodeling and renovation experts at Interior Excellence are here to help sort it all out.

Whether you are looking to renovate your kitchen or bath and give it a fresh new look or remodel your entire home for more space and comfort, we can help you decide what is going to work best for you.  

At Interior Excellence, we create happy homes. We have served countless satisfied customers in New Jersey with High Quality New Jersey Home Renovations and remodels for three decades. Contact us today to find out how our experts can help you.