Remodel vs Renovation: What’s the Difference?

You might often hear the words “remodel” and “renovation” being used interchangeably, but there is a stark difference between the two. If you’re planning a home improvement, it’s important to know how a remodel differs from a renovation so that you can better communicate with your interior designer and builder on what you’d like to achieve. Here’s how to tell the difference.


To remodel something is to create something new or alter something to a new state. For instance, a kitchen remodel might include tearing down a wall to open up the space or moving the sink to a different side of the room. In a remodel, something has to be altered. If you were to turn an unfinished basement into a rental unit, this would be an example of something being remodeled from its original state. 

Some common remodel projects include:

  • Finished basement or attic
  • Secondary basement suite
  • Second story addition
  • Property damage repairs
  • New deck
  • New roof
  • Sunroom or enclosed porch
  • Kitchen add-on
  • Bathroom aging in place remodel
  • Historic preservation
  • Bedroom to home office remodel
  • Fireplace installment

Remodel vs Renovation: What's the Difference?


A renovation generally refers to restoring something to its original condition without changing the purpose. This could include any upgrades or repairs to an existing room. For example, in a bathroom renovation project would likely see old flooring replaced and new paint applied. It might also include tearing out old cabinets and outdated shower units and replacing them with new ones. 

Common renovation projects:

  • New paint or wallpaper
  • New flooring
  • Upgraded cabinets or hardware 
  • New vanity 
  • New window treatments
  • Upgraded staircase 
  • Trim replacement
  • Upgraded shelving and closet renovations
  • Energy retrofits and new lighting
  • Games room or home theatre
  • New driveway, walkway, or patio

The Pros and Cons of Remodeling

A remodel is an excellent way to transform an outdated or unused room into something new. With a remodel you’re basically working with a fresh canvas where you can tear down walls, add new features or build an entire new room from the ceiling to the floors. But if you’re on a tight budget, remodeling can often be more costly than renovating, depending on the labour and materials it will take to complete the project.  A remodel can also take a lot longer than planned. And since most remodels involve some form of construction aspect, if you don’t plan accordingly, you could be stuck living without a kitchen or bathroom for quite some time. Fortunately, with a little planning and an expert remodeling crew managing the project, most of these concerns can be greatly mitigated.

The Pros and Cons of Renovating

As mentioned above, a renovation is the better choice if you have a tight budget to adhere to. You don’t have to do a lot to make a big impact, especially if you have a professional designer and renovation team on your side. Simply swapping out older features with new ones, changing up colours on the floors and walls and adding some modern décor can transform a room in a matter of days. Simple energy saving swaps can also help to save you money over the long term. The only downside of a renovation is that it’s easy to get carried away. If you don’t set a proper budget from the get-go and hire a company who knows how to stick to it, you could end up spending tens of thousands of dollars more than planned. That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence and hire a company with a proven track record of finishing projects on time and on budget.

How To Choose The Right Contractor

Not all contractors specialize in both remodels and renovations. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between a remodel vs. renovation when you start looking for a professional for your project. When you find a general contractor in your area, don’t settle until you get a couple of bids from other companies first. Make sure you compare the plans and specifications as well as the labour and material costs before deciding. You should also make sure that you can trust this company before hiring them. So look at their reviews online, call some of their past clients, and do the necessary due diligence to ensure they are the right fit for the job. 

Why Choose The Renosgroup?

At the we offer everything under one roof. From small renovations to major remodels and even mobility modifications, our team can handle your project from beginning to end. You only need to hire us and we’ll supervise all the contractors required to get your job done right on time and within your budget. 

We’re ready to help you with all your renovation and remodeling needs. Contact us today to learn more about all of our services. We also offer free in-home consultations which ensures you are presented a reliable cost estimate from the onset.  To get in touch to schedule renovations, you can fill out an online form or give us a call at (613) 727-9427.

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