Home Remodeling vs. Home Renovation: What’s the Difference?

Do you want to revamp your home?

It’ll be either a remodeling project or a renovation project. But wait! Aren’t they the same?

Well, remodeling and renovation both involve physical changes to a property, but these two terms have different meanings for housing professionals. Most people use the terms “renovation” and “remodel” interchangeably.

However, it’s essential to know the difference between these two terms before you talk to a contractor or any other professional. It’ll help you estimate the cost and find out the type of construction that will be involved in your project.

Let’s find the difference between home remodeling and home renovation.


The word remodel means “to change the structure or form of something. It generally transforms or changes the structure and layout of a home or a building. The property undergoing remodeling is either slightly or entirely altered.

Home remodeling generally changes the space and aims to enhance its functionality. It’s done when simple redecoration and renovation can’t deliver the desired results. You can improve the existing structure or layout of your home or transform your space with remodeling. 

Some Common Remodeling Projects:

  • Removing a wall (or walls)
  • Installing a kitchen island
  • Combining two rooms into one
  • Raising ceilings
  • Changing the layout of a room

Home remodeling is always the best solution for a poor home design. In the case of remodeling, you need a permit to make the changes. So, if you are removing load-bearing walls or putting an addition, you’ll have to contact the local building authority.


The word renovate means “restore to a good state of repair.” In renovation, the existing structure is repaired or restored. It updates the structure and look of a room without reconstructing it.

Renovation usually involves DIY jobs such as repainting, replacing old, outdated features and fixtures. Renovation is small-scale projects done to enhance a house and increase its value before selling it.

Some Common Renovations:

  • Replacing tiles or flooring
  • Repainting
  • Adding new hardware
  • Replacing windows
  • Updating cabinets
  • Installing new light fixtures
  • Replacing outdated systems
  • Installing new appliances

As mentioned earlier, renovation is DIY-friendly. Painting walls, installing new carpet, or replacing fixtures don’t require any permits. In contrast, renovations like replacing a roof do require permits.

Which Costs More?

Renovation is cheaper than remodeling. The reason is that remodeling requires a lot more professional assistance as compared to renovation. In remodeling, the structure of a home is changed, due to which there’s a need to reconfigure the plumbing, wiring, and ductwork.

Since you can’t do such complex jobs by yourself, you’ll have to hire a plumber, electrician, and other experts. All this makes remodeling more expensive and complex. Moreover, permits required for remodeling also add to the overall costs.


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