Mr. John Mark
August 2, 2018
September 20, 2018

The difference between building restoration, renovation and remodeling

Your building could use a tune-up, but you’re not sure what route to take. Should you restore, remodel, or renovate?

If you don’t know the difference between these words, don’t feel bad. Many first time building owners have this problem.

But, you need to know the difference before you start your project. That way, it’ll be easier to plan your project and know exactly what needs to be done to complete it.

In this article, we’ll go over the differences between building restoration, renovation, and remodeling. And, we’ll help you decide which one is right for your project.


Restoration is the process in which you return the building to its original condition.

Historic buildings are common sites for restoration projects, but modern buildings also undergo restoration as well. Restoration projects typically involve:

  • Repairing holes in walls
  • Fixing old fixtures
  • Replacing old fixtures with replicas of the original
  • Removing old carpet
  • Refinishing wood floors

From an environmental standpoint, restoration uses fewer resources and less energy. It can also be the most cost-effective as long as the house has a strong foundation and requires only minimal repairs.

If your goal is to make your building look like the original structure, then restoring is definitely right for you. However, be prepared to still do some renovations and remodels, as some parts may not be able to be fully restored.


Renovation is the process of renewing a building or structure by fixing what’s already present and in some cases adding new components.

Renovation tends to be cheaper than remodeling. Depending on the project, it can also be more cost-effective than restoration.

Typically, renovations are done in conjunction with restorations. For example, someone may decide they want to restore their bathrooms. But to make it a bit more modern, they add a shower component to the tub, which would make it a renovation project as well.


Remodeling involves changing an entire room or building.

Remodeling tends to be a much more involved process than restoring or renovating, as it involves making changes to a building’s structure. Examples or remodeling include:

  • Expanding the square footage of a building
  • Gutting, removing, or adding walls
  • Raising ceilings
  • Adding plumbing
  • Adding heating/cooling ducts

Remodels have the highest cost of all the three options and they require the most materials and time to complete.

Remodeling a building is a lot of work. You’ll only want to remodel if your building is missing major components it needs to function properly. Before choosing to remodel, you’ll definitely want a cost-estimate to make sure you have enough in your budget for the project.

Building Restoration: Wrap Up

Now that you understand the difference between these terms and have an idea of which route is right for you, it’s time to start making plans for your building.

The planning part can often be the most difficult, so it’s good to enlist some help. Contact us when you’re ready to get started.

First appeared on Design Blendz


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