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Renovation vs. Remodel

Renovation and remodel are often used interchangeably, but the truth is that the terms mean two very different things, and knowing which is which can help you determine the right home contractor and other experts you may need for the job.

What is a renovation?

A renovation upgrades, improves and/or repairs issues in an existing space without changing its intended purpose, size or general functionality.

A bathroom renovation might include new flooring, replacing countertops or tiling the shower in an existing bathroom. If there were leaky pipes or a toilet that ran continuously, those repairs might also be made as part of the renovation.

In this client’s renovation, their existing master bathroom got a major makeover with an expanded and elegantly tiled shower, soaking tub, new vanities and lighting.

Renovations are a great option for homeowners who have a functional home that has become outdated or doesn’t suit their taste. This may often be the case when moving into a new home whose former owners did not share the same sensibility as the new owners. Renovations are a great way to make a home your own while also tackling any repairs and improvements that need to be done.


A kitchen renovation in this client’s home gave a fresh face to the cabinetry and created a generous seating area at the marble-topped island. Custom built-in backlit shelving over a wine fridge created a beautiful and functional area for serving drinks. New lighting, tile backsplash and modern brushed brass hardware completes the update.

When doing a renovation project, it’s critical to find a contractor who can work through design decisions with you or who is willing to work alongside your own interior designer, as many decisions regarding colors, finishes, materials and more will need to be made.

What is a remodel?

A remodel changes the functionality, layout or footprint of a space. This could include knocking out walls to expand a kitchen or building a home addition. While some homeowners may be willing to tackle a renovation project on their own, a remodel will require a licensed contractor as well as building permits.

A remodeling project is best for homes whose layout, functionality and flow are not ideal. Additions are also a great option for families who have outgrown their existing home, but don’t want to move.

This family home was nearly fully remodeled including opening up walls so that the kitchen flowed into the dining area for better flow and visibility.


An addition was also built onto this home as the family had outgrown the original space. Modern railings were added to the porch back of the house, providing a more functional outdoor living area



The remodel we completed in this home also included an addition that allowed a previously cramped kitchen to be opened up into a new, roomy living space. A beloved family home that the owners did not want to leave was improved and made functional again by reconsidering how each space may be reconfigured and put to its best use.

With a remodel project, it’s critical to find a licensed contractor who can also tackle design or who can work alongside an architect of your choice to ensure the vision is feasible and done correctly.

Both remodels and renovations add value to your home, and much of that value is simply in how much you enjoy spending time there or how much more functional a space can become for you and your family. So if your home is no longer working for you, or doesn’t bring you joy, consider talking to a custom contractor who is experienced in renovations, remodels and new construction. They can help you determine what kind of project you need to take on and what can fit within your budget.

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