Home Renovation Tips

What’s the difference between renovation and remodelling?

The words “renovate” and “remodel” are often used interchangeably when it comes to real estate, contracting, and interior design. However, for professionals working in one or more of these industries, these terms actually entail two very different things. Essentially, the difference between them is that a renovation refers to restoring something to a previous state, while a remodel refers to creating something new.

Looking for home renovations Melbourne? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 


A renovation project is a process of restoring or repairing a structure back to a good or “like new” condition. In the construction business, renovation can include but are not limited to, refacing cabinets, installing new light fixtures, replacing outdated and possibly dangerous electrical systems, and generally replacing or repairing any part or all of a home or building that is outdated, worn by time, or damaged and not in working condition. This includes elements of a structure that may not meet present-day building codes and pose a safety hazard to the owner and/or the general public if the structure or dwelling is to be used by people.

But renovations also hold another purpose: Adding value to a home or other structure. Let’s say you want to sell your home, which was built sometime in the 1980’s, and as a responsible homeowner, you kept most, if not everything, in good shape over the years. Nonetheless, if you decided you wanted to sell your home, the realtor may advise updating your kitchen to add value and appeal to buyers. Replacing the linoleum tiles with porcelain tiles; replacing the cabinets with modern ones; and changing the sink with a better, more modern-looking one is also considered renovations.

Renovation is the process of renewing a building or structure by fixing what’s already present—and in some cases, adding new components.

Renovation tends to be cheaper than remodelling. Depending on the project, it can also be more cost-effective than restoration.

Renovation is all the construction activities surrounding the act of improving or repairing aspects of a room or building. This means that the project site activities will include – but are not limited to – repainting, cabinet repair or refacing, installing light fixtures, and installing and upgrading various aspects of the room.

The focus of renovation is to leave the space more appealing than it was before it began, ideally in such a way that it adds value to the home. This means that renovating rooms, especially the kitchen, is a great way to boost the value of a property if you’re thinking about putting it on the market. Smaller-scale renovations can also provide a great return on investment.

Typically, renovations are done in conjunction with restorations. For example, someone may decide they want to restore their bathrooms. But to make it a bit more modern, they add a shower component to the tub, which would make it a renovation project as well.


A remodelling project can add pizazz and bring life back into any home or office space. Remodelling is defined as altering a structure, whether this alteration is exterior or interior, from the original construction. Some examples of remodelling are, but are not limited to:

  • Completely transforming the structure and/or style of any space, home, or building.
  • Changing the layout, in part or in whole, of any space, room, or garage area from the original floor plan.
  • Combining rooms or other spaces within a structure that were once separated by a wall or any other sort of permanent partition.
  • Adding or taking away from the exterior and/or interior of any structure.

When one is planning a remodelling project, they should understand that it can involve complex design considerations, causing the need to hire or consult an experienced and licensed building contractor and architect prior to beginning any remodelling project. Remodelling projects need to be done right the first time because if you have to go back and fix any flaws in the design, it can become very costly.

Remodelling involves changing an entire room or building.

Remodelling tends to be a much more involved process than restoring or renovating, as it involves making changes to a building’s structure. Examples of remodelling include:

  • Expanding the square footage of a building
  • Gutting, removing, or adding walls
  • Raising ceilings
  • Adding plumbing
  • Adding heating/cooling ducts

Remodels typically have the highest cost of all the three options, and they require the most materials and time to complete.

Remodelling, on the other hand, is concerned with the alteration or changing the use of a given space. This means that if you’re considering changing the layout of a room or altering the floor plan of a home, then you’re thinking about getting it remodelled. For example, you’re considering remodelling if you want to break down a wall separating your dining room and kitchen to create a more open and friendly space. Or if you’re going to enlarge the amount of area in your kitchen to make cooking easier.

Because remodelling involves a greater amount of changes, often much more permanent than renovation, the process also often costs more. Suppose you’re looking to drastically alter the floor plan of your home, for example, adding another room. In that case, you might have to ensure that you comply with local and federal building legislation.

Remodelling a building is a lot of work. You’ll only want to remodel if your building is missing major components that it needs to function properly. Before choosing to remodel, you’ll want a cost-estimate to make sure you have enough in your budget for the project.

Renovation vs. Remodel

Home Renovation Tips

Renovation updates the look and feel of a room—or an entire structure—without changing its intended purpose.

In a renovation, a kitchen remains a kitchen, and a bedroom remains a bedroom, but repairs and updates are made. This generally includes such things as painting, installing new flooring, and switching out items like cabinet knobs and faucets. The renovation also includes structural rebuilding. For example, if rotted wood members are discovered, they will be removed, and the area (wall, subfloor, or roof) will be rebuilt using new lumber.

Renovation updates the look and feel of a room—or an entire structure—without changing its intended purpose.

In a renovation, a kitchen remains a kitchen, and a bedroom remains a bedroom, but repairs and updates are made. This generally includes such things as painting, installing new flooring, and switching out items like cabinet knobs and faucets. The renovation also includes structural rebuilding. For example, if rotted wood members are discovered, they will be removed, and the area (wall, subfloor, or roof) will be rebuilt using new lumber.

Renovation vs. Remodel: Which Will Alter the Structure and Room Layout?

During a remodel, the design—and sometimes the structure—is altered.

Remodelling is the process of changing the functionality and the design of an area. It may involve tearing out a wall to expand a bathroom and reconfiguring a kitchen layout, so the cabinets, fridge, sink, and range are in different locations. Constructing an addition to your home would also be considered a remodel. Remodelling need not always involve major structural changes; however; it can be something as simple as turning a guest bedroom into a home office. If the purpose of the area has been altered, it’s been remodelled. At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of home renovations.

Remodelling is often costlier than renovating.

Since remodelling may involve changing the physical structure of a home, it’s often necessary to reconfigure the wiring, plumbing, and ductwork, which makes the project more complex and pricey. More professional labour is usually involved in a remodel, and the material cost is often higher as well since many remodelling projects involve building new additions. While the final cost comparison depends on the scope of the project and the quality of the materials, because renovations are usually less complex, they’re also easier on the budget.

Renovating may require pulling a permit, but remodelling almost always does.

Permits ensure that proper building codes are followed. Communities set their own rules, but it’s common for a local building authority to require a permit any time a structure is changed, including putting an addition on a home or tearing out and reconfiguring interior walls. Simple renovations, such as painting and installing new carpeting, don’t require permits, but replacing a roof (a renovation project because design and function are not altered) usually does. Reroofing is in a special category because if a new roof isn’t installed correctly, it could leak and the home’s structure could be damaged, so most communities require permits for reroofing.

Renovating is more DIY-friendly.

If you’ve got the skills, time, and desire to take on a home improvement yourself, consider renovating rather than remodelling. Most communities do not allow unlicensed homeowners to run electrical wiring or install plumbing, but painting, wallpapering, hanging new doors, and installing trim work are all permitted. Even if a community allows homeowners to do their remodelling, the average DIYer may not have the chops to tackle a project that involves pouring a new foundation for an addition or framing walls and rooflines.

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 remodelling projects when they sell their house.

You could spend big bucks on adding a large three-season room to the back of your house (remodelling), but if your roof leaks and the furnace doesn’t work, buyers will go elsewhere. Remodelling Magazine publishes an annual cost-vs-value analysis for common home improvement projects and notes that renovation projects, such as replacing an entry door or a garage door, or re-siding a home, will net the homeowner approximately 75 per cent, 98 per cent, and 76 per cent ROI, respectively, when the house sells. A major kitchen remodels, however, will net only about 60 per cent ROI and adding a master suite addition to the home will bring just about 50 per cent ROI.

Remodelling is a better solution to poor home design.

If you have to walk through one bedroom to get to another, or if the water supply lines to your kitchen sink are installed in an exterior wall and freeze nearly every winter, renovations won’t solve the problems. When a home is poorly designed, often remodelling is the only solution. Poor design is more often seen in older homes before strict building codes were the norm.

Only renovating is allowed on some historic homes.

If you have your heart set on buying a beautiful Victorian home that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you won’t be allowed to remodel it. Not only are homeowners not permitted to change the structure of a home that’s on the Register, they’re encouraged to restore it as closely to its original look as possible. This can include such things as replacing old siding with new siding of the same wood type and repairing the original plaster walls rather than replacing them with drywall. While some leeway may be permitted, such as allowing storm windows to be installed over old steel windows, remodelling to alter the design or purpose is out.

A Deeper Dive

A renovation is fixing up a room without changing its use, while remodelling is transforming the entire purpose of the space. But why do these differences matter to you, the home or business owner? While subtle, the distinctions between the two can make a difference in how worthwhile an investment your project will be to you.

When choosing between a renovation vs. a remodel, here are some of the factors you’ll want to consider:

Price: No matter what you decide to do with your space, a remodel will always cost more than a renovation since it often requires complex construction, electrical, and plumbing work. You might also need to obtain permits for a complete remodelling project, which could add hundreds of dollars to your bill.

Time: While you can perform minor cosmetic touch-ups quickly, any remodelling will require a significantly longer timeline. Expect the planning and construction of your remodel to take several months. Living rooms and bathrooms are typically finished around three months after you start planning, while kitchens can take up to five months.

Project Scope: Renovation projects mainly focus on the appearance of your home or commercial building, while remodels alter its entire functionality. With a renovation, you can install new appliances and fixtures and upgrade your building’s technology. On the other hand, a remodel allows you to completely transform your space when cosmetic changes aren’t enough to fix the issue.

Customisation Options: Renovations can give your building a more modern appearance and add many functional elements to your building, but they can’t change the structure altogether. If you want to open up the room by tearing down a wall or completely transform the space to make it your own, you’ll need to do a complete remodel.

Hitch Property Constructions has the best range of renovations services to help you create your dream house.

How to Choose Which Type of Project Is Best for You

Maybe you have a room in your home or commercial building you’d like to change, but you’re not sure exactly what you’d like to do. Perhaps you’d like to touch it up with a new fixture, or maybe you’d like to completely start over and treat it like a new part of the building. If you’re not sure whether a restoration, renovation, or remodelling project is best for you, here are three critical questions to ask yourself:

What’s My Budget? 

A full remodel will typically cost between 7 per cent and 10 per cent of the value of your building. If you’re remodelling a room in a $500,000 commercial building, for example, expect to pay between $35,000 and $50,000. If you can’t afford to put that much money aside, a renovation or simple restoration is the best way to go.

How Much Do I Want to Change?

Do you want to make some repairs to your current building? A restoration offers the chance to make some simple fixes that will enhance your room’s appearance and functionality. Are you merely hoping to make your building look more modern or update some elements to be more practical? Then a renovation project will likely offer what you need. Or, do you want to come back to a room you don’t even recognise once the construction is finished? In this case, you’ll need to do a complete remodel.

Do I Like the Current Room Design? 

Renovations and restorations can both transform the look and feel of any area. However, if you don’t like the room’s entire layout and want to tear down a wall, add an extension or move the sink to the other end of the room, you’ll need to spend the extra money for a remodel.

Deciding whether to renovate or remodel your property can be a big decision. You’ll want to take into account your budget (what can you afford and how will you cover the costs?), time (how available are you and when do you want the project completed?) and your final goals for the property. 

If you’re looking to update a few aesthetic areas or increase the value of your home in time for a sale, a quick renovation may be your best bet. If you’re settling into the property for the long haul and you aren’t happy with the look and/or functionality, a full remodel may be in order.

A remodel may also mean less in upkeep and maintenance down the line, since you’ll be adding new fixtures and hardware that are current with modern building codes and standards.

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