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David Hovsepian, Houlihan Lawrence Inc.Phone: (914) 621-2246
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What's the difference between renovation & restoration?

by David Hovsepian 05/31/2024

Renovation vs restoration

In the real estate world, the terms renovation and restoration are often used interchangeably. The words are so similar, it’s easy to assume they mean the same thing. However, there are some important differences to be aware of. Here is a quick guide to understanding these terms:

Defining renovation

Renovation is defined as repairing a space or structure. The word is often interchanged with the word remodel. However, there is a slight difference. Remodel usually refers to altering a structure. Renovating typically means making fixes to a structure. For example, you may renovate your home’s exterior wall because it has a large crack in it. 

Renovation versus restoration

As mentioned previously, home renovation is usually the repair for a space. This could be a simple remodeling project to fix or replace old windows. 

Home restoration is different primarily in its goal. To restore something means to bring it back to its original state. For example, you may have purchased a historical home and wish to maintain the vintage aesthetic or use building materials matching the time period of the architecture. 

What is the scope of work in renovations?

A scope of work is a list of items needed to complete a renovation project. When you work with a contractor, they may request a scope of work. This is their way of understanding what tasks they need to do to bring the various construction projects to completion. 

Is it cheaper to rebuild than renovate?

In most cases, it's cheaper to renovate than rebuild. On average, it costs 20 percent more for rebuilding projects than to remodel those same spaces. When you remodel, you can use some of the materials you already have to create the desired end product. For example, if you want a sun room, you can use the patio space you already have and add on to it.

Infographic about understanding the difference between renovation and restoration

Knowing the right definitions in home repair is essential to any remodeling project. Defining these terms correctly leads to proper expectations with contractors. Speaking with your local contractor can help to make sure your home repair plans go the right direction. 

About the Author

David Hovsepian

Hi, I'm David Hovsepian and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.