Why Renovation and Remodeling Are Not the Same Thing

Why Renovation and Remodeling Are Not the Same Thing

By: Technic

When it comes to home improvements, two terms that often get mixed up are 'remodeling' and 'renovation.’ Contrary to popular belief, they don't mean the same thing. Interchanging the terms can actually make things rather tricky, especially if you were looking to renovate but call on home remodeling contractors (or vice versa). 

In theory, they're generally the same in that they will make any home better. When it comes to execution, however, they vary considerably. You should not call on home renovation contractors to turn your spare bedroom into a walk-in closet, for example.

Read on to learn more about why renovation and remodeling are not the same thing:

Remodel Changes the Purpose of a Room or Structure

When you want to change the purpose of an area, that calls for remodeling. Switching up the design falls under this as well. This is where you will see major upheavals, such as taking down a wall for two separate rooms to be a big one, or reconfiguring a den layout to move the entertainment system and seating. 

Having a whole-new addition constructed? That's a remodel as well, whether that's a new porch or otherwise. 

That said, remodeling can also mean something aside from construction. If you turn your game room into a spare bedroom, that's considered a remodel.

Renovation Does Not Change the Purpose of a Room or Structure; Instead, Things Get Updated

When a room or structure gets a renovation, its general purpose remains the same. That means a bedroom, spare or not, will still be a bedroom. Renovation has more to do with updates and repairs such as painting, changing certain things like knobs, faucets, or lighting fixtures, as well as installing new floors. Structural rebuilds (such as the replacement of rotted wood) also fall under this.

Remodeling Is More Expensive than Renovation

Because remodeling involves full-on changes instead of tweaks, wiring, plumbing, and ductwork have to be addressed too. Specialists need to be called for this, so the costs can rack up pretty quickly. Materials also have to be purchased for home additions, and this can add up too. Simply put, remodeling is a more complex job compared to renovation, so it’s naturally more expensive.

Remodeling Always Requires Permits; Renovating May Not

Building codes should always be followed no matter what the work in question is. Permits are a solid way to make sure they are so. Whenever a structure gets changed, it's possible for a permit to be required by the local building authority. This can include the likes of interior walls being torn out and reconfigured or a home getting an addition. 

Needless to say, permits are not required for simple renovations like painting or installing new carpets.


The terms 'remodeling' and 'renovation' are often interchanged, but they do not mean the same thing. Remodeling is used when the structure, design, and purpose of an area change entirely. Renovation is used when changes are made, but the purpose of the area remains essentially the same. If you need remodeling services, you need to work with knowledgeable and experienced people for the job to ensure a hassle-free project. For that, let Technick handle the work.

Technick is one of the best remodeling companies in Irvine, Anaheim Hills, Orange County, and San Bernardino County. Whether you’re looking to remodel a residential or commercial property, we’re here to provide expert services. Contact us today to get started!

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