Renovation vs Remodel: What's The Difference?

Updated: Aug 3

Renovation and remodel are often used interchangeably. But to home improvement specialists and real estate professionals, these terms refer to two different things. That includes the scope of the project, the activities involved, and its purpose.

Renovation means restoring something into its previous condition. Repairs and updates of existing structures are considered forms of renovation. These are done to correct any structural damage or bring back its former aesthetic.

On the other hand, remodeling means creating something new and altering the existing layout. Remodeling a room involves doing a major makeover and giving it a brand-new look. This usually alters the floor plan or the lights and plumbing system.


Imagine Unique Remodel - Kitchen Renovation in Morgan Hill, CA

(a) Kitchen Renovation in Morgan Hill, California (BEFORE)

Imagine Unique Remodels - kitchen Renovation in Morgan Hill, CA

(b) Kitchen Renovation in Morgan Hill, California (AFTER)

To revive to good condition, make new, repair, revive, update - these terms are all synonymous to renovation. A renovation project usually involves restoration work and some of the following:

  • repainting

  • replacing windows

  • replacing tiles or flooring

  • replacing outdated systems

  • refacing cabinets

  • updating appliances

  • installing new light fixtures; and

  • adding new hardware.

Custom renovation is usually done by homeowners to give their space a more personalized look that fits their lifestyle. Aesthetic changes are done to existing structures in their home for them to achieve that specific ambience that they want. Custom renovation brings more satisfaction and comfort to homeowners.

Aside from gaining personal satisfaction, a renovation project also adds value to your home. This increases the chance of a successful re-sale if you ever sell your home or property.

The set of images above is a kitchen renovation project done by Imagine Unique Remodels in Morgan Hill, California. Take a look at the before and after photos. You can see the obvious update in the look, giving it a modern and contemporary vibe. It radiates a more refreshing energy making the ambience lighter and more homey.

While the look and feel has changed, the layout has stayed the same. A renovation project revives and updates the look and personality of a space. The layout, however, doesn't change dramatically nor the original floor plan is altered.

Renovations are often small-scale projects and are DIY-friendly. If you have the time and the skills to do them by yourself, then you can do so. But we highly advice to consult first with your contractor to avoid costly mistakes and further damage. Most importantly, consult with an expert who has the expertise and experience to avoid incidents towards health and safety.

Most communities and local building authorities don't require permit for renovations such as repainting, installing a new carpeting, and wallpapering. However, for projects that involve putting an addition on a home, replacing a roof, reconfiguring interior walls, or anything that requires structural alterations, these will require permit.


Imagine Unique Remodels - Kitchen Remodel in San Jose, CA