Your building needs adjustments, but you are not sure whether to restore, repair, or renovate? You need to know the difference between them when starting your project. That way, it’s easier to plan your project and know exactly what needs to be done to complete it.

In this article, we will mention the difference between building restoration, renovation, and remodel. It will help you decide which one is best for your project.


Restoration is the process by which you bring the building back to its original state.

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

  • 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 restoration is definitely right for you. However, be prepared to still make some renovations and remodeling, as some parts may not be completely restored.


Renovation is the process of renewing a building or structure by repairing what is already there and in some cases adding new components. Depending on the project, it can also be more cost-effective than restoration.

Typically, renovations are performed in conjunction with restoration. For example, someone may decide they want to restore their bathroom. But to make it a bit more modern, they added a shower component to the tub, which would also make it a renovation project.


Remodeling involves changing an entire room or building. It seems to be a much more involved process than restoring or renovating, as it involves making changes to a building’s structure. Remodeling includes:

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

Remodels have the highest cost of all 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 to estimate the cost to ensure you have enough in your project budget.


A remodel is fixing a room without changing its use, while the renovation is transforming the whole purpose of space. But why are these differences important to the landlord or the business owner? The difference between the two can make a difference in how valuable your project investment will be.

When choosing between a renovation vs. a remodel, here are some of the factors you’ll especially want to consider:

  • Price: No matter what you decide to do with your space, a remodel will always cost more than a renovation since it often requires complex construction, electrical, and plumbing work. You might also need to obtain permits for a complete remodeling project, which could add hundreds of dollars to your bill.
  • Time: Any remodeling will require a significantly longer time. It is expected that your planning and remodeling will take several months. The living room and bathroom are usually completed about three months after you start planning, while the kitchen can take up to five months.
  • Project Scope: Renovation primarily focuses on the appearance of your home or commercial building, while renovations change its entire function. With renovations, you can install new appliances and fixtures and upgrade the building’s technology. On the other hand, a remodel allows you to completely transform your space when changing cosmetics is not enough to fix the problem.
  • Customization Options: Renovations may give your building a more modern look and add more functional elements to your building, but they cannot completely change the structure. If you want to open a room by tearing down a wall or completely transforming the space to make it your own, you’ll need to make a complete remodel.


Maybe you have a room in a house or a commercial building that you want to change, but you’re not sure exactly what you want to do. If you’re not sure whether a restoration, rehabilitation, or remodeling project is best for you, here are three key questions:

  • What’s my budget? A full remodel will typically cost between 7% and 10% of the value of your building. If you can’t afford to pay for it, a renovation or simple restoration is the best way.
  • How much do I want to change? A restoration offers the chance to make some simple fixes that will enhance your room’s appearance and functionality while a renovation makes your building look more modern or update some elements to be more practical. On the contrary, if you want to come back to a room you don’t even recognize once the construction is finished, you’ll need to do a complete remodel.
  • Would I like to change the current room design? Renovations and restorations can both transform the look and feel of any area. However, if you don’t like the entire layout of the room , you’ll need to spend the extra money on a remodel.