What is the Difference Between a Renovation and Remodel?

With popular shows like “Property Brothers,” “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home,” and “Beachfront Bargain Hunt,” Americans are clearly obsessed with home remodeling and renovation. Add a pandemic that required everyone to stay at home and you have a major uptick in home design changes. 

Commercial construction

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many business owners and schools required their employees/ students to work remotely. With buildings virtually empty, owners began thinking about renovation or remodeling projects too. Projects like outdated bathrooms, worn-out carpeting, tight conference rooms, or tiny company kitchens have all been on the drawing board. 

Is there a difference between renovation and remodeling?

The words “renovation” and “remodeling” are often used interchangeably, but do they mean the same thing? Actually, no. Renovating aims at restoring to an original state, whereas remodeling often updates the original version.  


In more specific terms, renovation means restoring or reviving something to its previous state. A renovation can be on just one room or an entire structure, but it doesn’t change the purpose of either area. It’s an opportunity to update or refresh the look. 

Most small renovations don’t require permits, but major renovations, such as a new roof or refinishing floors may require prior approval. For the most part, simple renovations such as painting or wallpapering can be done by the homeowner or business owner with little skill. Therefore, they’re usually less expensive.


When you remodel, you are changing the design and sometimes even the structure of an existing building. Remodeling can involve tearing out walls, moving a bathroom, or expanding the footage of a structure. Since they are bigger jobs, they’re usually more expensive.

If a building was poorly designed, a simple renovation isn’t enough. Remodeling a home or business can often mean redoing systems such as wiring, plumbing, and ductwork. More professional labor is required and you need to apply for a building permit. If people want to know the ways you can maintain your drains by PIC Plumbing Services, you can click here!

Examples of Renovation vs. Remodeling

Renovate. Remodel.

Repainting a room(s). Combining two rooms into one.

Refacing kitchen cabinets. Installing a kitchen island.

Replacing windows with the help of experts like www.valleyshades.com. Removing walls.

Changing the light fixtures. Raising the ceilings.

Replacing tile and flooring. Changing the entire footprint of a room.

Professional Contractors & Engineers (PCE)

For over 100 years, PCE has been building, remodeling, and renovating buildings throughout Mid-Missouri. Whether you need general contracting, construction management, or our design/build services, we are ready to serve you. Our builders believe that the better we know our clients, the better the project turns out.

If you’re ready to do some renovations or remodeling on your building, contact PCE. Our experienced staff is well-trained, experienced, and dedicated. We’re proud of our work and you’ll be proud of your building.