What is the Real Difference Between Remodeling and Renovating?

If you’re planning a major overhaul of your home, you may be unsure about what to call it. Is it a renovation? Is it a remodel? Aren’t they the same? Though the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they actually are two separate things, depending on how deep into your house’s structure your changes go. A remodel means you’re changing the actual structure of your home, while a renovation is making surface changes while keeping basic structure intact. While it’s possible to overlap these a bit, these two general definitions should cover the bases nicely.

Now, if you’re not the DIY type, or even if you are but just need to hire another set of hands, you can get a general handyman to help you with most renovation projects. However, unless you’re really experienced and confident in your skills, we wouldn’t recommend trying to complete a remodel yourself. Once you start tearing down walls or cutting windows, you can easily make a mistake that will cost you thousands of dollars to fix. Best to hire a small company or team of professionals to handle it for you.

These differences in labor and depth of work should give you some concept of cost disparity between renovations and remodels. Renovations can often be completed on a budget, while remodels are going to cost you a little more money. This is especially true if you are adding something to your home that will require a permit, which is sometimes an unexpected extra $1,000. Also, if you got an estimate from your contractor, make sure you have some extra set aside, not only for if you go over budget, but also for extras like appliances, flooring, paint – all kinds of little things that contractors may not have factored into their price. So if you don’t have the big bucks, a renovation may be more your speed. However, if you have the cash, a remodel can really transform your home in a significant way.