Understanding the Distinctions: Renovation, Remodelling and Restoration Explained

Understanding the Distinctions: Renovation, Remodelling and Restoration Explained

When you acquire a new building or property, it represents an investment, and upkeep is a substantial aspect of such investment. The scope of improvements required hinges on the status of your building and your taste in design.

Many individuals struggle to distinguish between renovation, restoration, and remodelling. Nonetheless, comprehending their differences is paramount before embarking on such a major project. Only then can you collaborate effectively with your architect.

What Is a Renovation?

People often ask about the distinction between renovation and repair or restoration, and some use the terms interchangeably. Although a renovation may encompass repairs, its main focus is on refreshing and updating a building or room through replacements and modifications. The function of the room being renovated remains unchanged. For instance, a bedroom continues to serve as a bedroom.

Nonetheless, there's an intersection between renovation and restoration. When undertaking a restoration, renovations might be carried out. Suppose you're restoring your kitchen, and you decide to modernise it with a dishwasher. By doing so, the project evolves into a restoration and renovation venture.

Renovations may encompass the following:

  • Laying new flooring
  • Painting
  • Swapping knobs and taps
  • Removing rotten timber
  • Fixing damaged or broken structures

What Is a Remodelling?

Remodelling is a more extensive endeavour when juxtaposed with renovating. It alters the design and functionality of a space, often involving changes to your building's structure, which can be more costly than renovations or restorations. A remodelling project might incorporate the following:

  • Expanding the area of a room
  • Raising ceilings
  • Installing a new plumbing system
  • Adding, tearing down or removing walls
  • Installing a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system Given the amount of work involved, you should only opt for remodelling if your building lacks a critical element, such as an HVAC system. Refer to our project budgeting guide for assistance in creating a budget for your remodelling project.

What Is a Restoration?

One key difference between property restoration and renovation lies in their definitions. Architecturally, restoration refers to a project that returns a building to its original state. Restorations are typical for historic buildings to emphasise their deep-seated cultural and heritage significance, but modern buildings can also undergo restorations. Given that a restoration aims at preserving a building's heritage, architects usually conceal contemporary technology like air conditioning systems, fire alarms, and heating systems. Typical updates for restoration projects include:

  • Replacing and refinishing original wooden flooring
  • Replacing carpets
  • Swapping hinges, locks, handles and damaged parts of doors and windows
  • Replacing doors and windows entirely
  • Replacing damaged lighting and plumbing fixtures
  • Patching holes in walls

Restorations generally require less labour and materials compared to remodels and renovations, making them potentially the most affordable option if the building or house has a sturdy foundation and only necessitates minor updates and repairs.

The primary objective of a restoration project is to make your building appear as it once did. However, certain areas of the building might be beyond restoration. In such instances, you'll need to incorporate renovation or remodelling work into your project.

Remodel vs. Renovation vs. Restoration: A Detailed Comparison A remodel alters the purpose of a space, a renovation repairs and updates a space without changing its function, and a restoration returns a space to its original condition using replicas or original materials. When choosing between the three, consider the following factors:

  • Time: Remodelling projects usually take longer than restorations and renovations due to the amount of work involved. For renovations and restorations, it can vary. A renovation involving just a fresh coat of paint will take less time than a restoration involving the refinishing of hardwood floors. If you're planning a complete building or house renovation, we've compiled some tips to help you manage the process.
  • Work: Restorations and renovations primarily concentrate on the appearance of your building or home, while remodels focus on transforming the space entirely. With restorations, you replace original fixtures and flooring. Renovations allow for cosmetic updates and upgrades to appliances, fixtures, and technology. If you need to focus on more than just superficial changes, a remodel could be the option for you to convert, say, a den into a bedroom.
  • Customisation: Remodelling offers the most design flexibility and customisation options. You can redesign the room or area from the ground up. Renovations provide some customisation options, but they are mostly aesthetic. Restorations offer fewer customisation options since they aim to restore the building or room to its original state.

Which Project Is Right for You?

When there's a room in your commercial building or home that you wish to alter, it's crucial to decide how you plan to change it. You might consider introducing new appliances to your kitchen or completely redesigning it. If you need help determining the best project for you, you could start by weighing the benefits of each and then ask yourself some questions. Here are the advantages each project type offers:

  • Restoration benefits: It enhances your property's value, increases its sentimental value and extends the lifespan of your property.
  • Renovation benefits: It allows you to personalise your space, improves the function of a room and adds value to your property.
  • Remodel benefits: It adds value to your property, improves the function of a space and helps you create the house or building of your dreams.

All projects increase your property's value. Here are some questions to help you decide which project would be best:

  • What's my budget? Knowing your budget is crucial before embarking on a costly project. If a remodel is beyond your budget, you'll need to consider a renovation or restoration instead.
  • How much change do I want to make? A restoration is ideal if you want to make minor repairs and fixes. Consider a renovation for aesthetic changes and upgrades. A remodel is best if you want a complete transformation of the room.
  • Do I like the current design of the room or area? Restorations and renovations can change the look and feel of a space, but they won't alter the layout like a remodel would.
  • How much time do I have? Since remodels take the most time, if you're short on time, you may need to choose a different project type.

Dependon Limited Can Assist with Your Next Project Once you've understood the differences between these projects, it becomes simpler to decide which is the best fit for you. Planning your project is often the most challenging part, but we're here to help simplify the process.