Home Remodel vs. Renovation

In real estate, we often see the words “renovation” and “remodel” used interchangeably. Sometimes a property description will list a home as being “renovated”, but upon closer inspection of the work that was completed, the home was really remodeled. Technically, a renovation and a remodel are defined differently. Read on to learn more.

Remodel Defined

Remodeling is any project where you make significant changes to the overall function or purpose of a space. Examples include creating an open floor plan between your living room, dining room and kitchen; expanding a primary suite; and creating an ensuite bedroom by adding a bathroom. Those are all structural changes to a home and typically require a permit.

Renovation Defined

A renovation includes cosmetic improvements to a space without changing its intended purpose. For example, kitchen renovations could include things like new paint, replacing cabinetry, upgrading appliances or installing new countertops. Essentially, you’re not changing the overall structure of the space and thus you generally do not need permits.

Final Word

If you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s important not to mislead potential buyers by misusing the terms renovation and remodeling. For buyers, ask questions to qualify whether the correct term is being used.