At a Glance

So, you’ve got that itch, that unmistakable urge to spruce up your humble abode. But wait a minute! Should you be reaching for your tool belt, or are you better off summoning the remodeler extraordinaire? It’s a conundrum as old as home sweet home itself. You see, there’s a bit of a mix-up in the jargon – renovation, remodeling, they sound pretty similar, right? While these terms are often used interchangeably, they represent distinct approaches to home improvement. Understanding the difference between home renovation and remodeling can help you make informed decisions about your property. Read on to learn more:


Type Renovation Remodel
What is it? Restoring or repairing existing space Changing structure or style of a space
Cost Usually cost-effective Tends to be more expensive
Time Typically faster Often takes longer
Customization Limited changes Significant alterations
Value Added May maintain or enhance value Often increases property value
Character Preserves original character Often results in modernized look
When to Consider When updating or refreshing a space When you want to make major structural changes

What are Home Renovations?

Home renovations involve the restoration or repair of an existing space without changing its fundamental structure or style. This typically includes tasks such as painting, refinishing floors, updating fixtures, and making minor improvements. The goal of a renovation is to refresh the space while retaining its original character.


Was the median amount Americans spent on home renovations in 2022. This is an increase from $14,000 in 2018.

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Benefits of Home Renovations

1. Cost-Effective

Renovations are generally more cost-effective than remodels because they focus on cosmetic changes and minor repairs. This makes them an excellent choice for homeowners on a budget.

2. Time-Saving

Renovations are typically quicker to complete than remodels, as they do not involve major structural changes. This means less disruption to your daily life.

3. Retain Character

One of the primary advantages of home renovations is the ability to preserve the original character of your home. This can be particularly important if you have a historic or unique property.

When to Consider Home Renovation:

  • When you want to update and refresh a space.
  • To address minor wear and tear in your home.
  • If you wish to maintain the character of your property.

What Is Home Remodeling?

Home remodeling involves making significant changes to the structure, layout, or style of a space. This may include knocking down walls, adding rooms, changing the floor plan, or completely transforming the look and feel of a room or the entire house.

Benefits of Home Remodeling:

1. Customization

Remodeling allows for more extensive customization and personalization. You can tailor the space to your exact needs and preferences.

2. Modernization

Home remodeling can result in a modernized look and feel. It’s an ideal choice if your home is outdated and you want to bring it up to contemporary standards.

3. More Value

Remodeling projects often add more value to your property. The increased functionality and aesthetic appeal can lead to a higher resale value.

When to Consider Home Remodeling

  • When you want to make major structural changes to your home.
  • If your home’s layout or design no longer suits your needs.
  • To modernize and increase the value of your property.

Cost Difference Between Home Renovation and Remodeling

Home renovations are generally more cost-effective than remodeling. Renovations typically focus on cosmetic changes and minor repairs, which require fewer materials and labor. Remodeling, on the other hand, involves structural changes, which often result in higher costs due to the need for permits, skilled labor, and more extensive materials.

Which One Should You Consider: Remodeling or Renovation?

The choice between renovation and remodeling depends on your goals, budget, and the condition of your property. Here are some considerations:

  • If you have a limited budget and want to refresh a space while maintaining its original character, a renovation is a suitable choice.
  • If you’re looking to make significant changes, modernize your home, and potentially increase its resale value, remodeling may be the way to go.


Financing options include personal savings, home equity loans, home improvement loans, or a home equity line of credit. The choice depends on your financial situation and creditworthiness.

The duration of a remodeling project varies depending on the scope and complexity of the work. It can take several weeks to several months.

In many cases, you will need permits for remodeling projects that involve structural changes. Renovations typically require fewer permits since they focus on cosmetic improvements.

“Renovating” and “restructuring” are other terms often used to describe making significant changes to a house.