Remodeling vs. Renovating: What Are the Differences Between the Two?

House renovation

When it comes to changing the aesthetic and overall state and value of your house, the words “renovation” and “remodels” may be mentioned. While some people use these two terms interchangeably when discussing real estate or construction, these two have very different meanings and can entail different effects on your home.

If you perform the wrong project on your home, it can have an effect on your house’s property value, how much you’ll be paying for the project, and how much you could earn from the property. So, what are the differences between remodeling and renovating?

Renovations vs. Remodeling

A renovation is a project where you take a dilapidated building or a house in a poor state and to bring it out of its state of disrepair. Remodeling, on the other hand, means changing the structure or form of the room.

So, if you say you’re remodeling a bathroom, you’re simply changing its appearance: giving it new bathroom tiles, upgrading the toilets, sinks, and shower fixtures, and making it look more like a modern bathroom. But if you were to renovate a bathroom, you’d be repairing leaks, replacing broken tiles, and updating showerheads with something more outdated.

In certain cases, renovations and remodeling can overlap. Bathroom renovations, for example, can keep the counter tops, bathtub, and other fixtures if it’s still in good condition. But a renovation can also include remodeling. But here’s where things can start to differ.


While a renovation can include remodeling, remodeling projects are solely focused on aesthetics or appearances. If you’re remodeling a bedroom, you could be replacing the cabinets, changing the wall colors, or even knocking down a wall to make more room. But remodeling won’t really touch the wiring or insulation, so if your insulation isn’t effective anymore, it’s not going to be replaced.

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Renovating a house

Because renovations are much more thorough, expect that a renovation will cost much more than remodeling. The average cost of renovations can average at almost $30,000 and start at $10,000 for houses less than a thousand square feet. In comparison, remodeling can take up a fraction of that depending on how much work is done into the room.

However, in some cases, a remodeling project will cost more than a renovating project. In some cases, remodeling involves taking a room or two and thinking about design, function, and construction. In comparison, a renovation may end up re-using the same features (cabinets, shelves, counter-tops) that are already there. Ultimately, it depends on what you want from a renovation or remodeling project.

Whether you choose to remodel or renovate your house, make sure it’s the right project for your needs. Talk to a professional contractor and tell them what you want to do with your home before beginning the project so that you know what it is your contractor will be doing and what you’ll be getting out of it once it’s finished. You can’t really say whether remodeling or renovation is better for your home as both have their own advantages.