How To Decide Between Remodeling and Renovating Your Kitchen

When you are considering an overhaul of your home’s kitchen, you need to take a serious moment to consider…should you aim to remodel or renovate. First let’s take a moment to define the two (see the original post here):

What’s the difference between remodeling and renovation? Aren’t they essentially the same thing? Both remodeling and renovating mean to make improvements on an existing building or home. However, they refer to two slightly different types of construction.

Renovation DefinitionRenovation means “restore to a good state of repair.” In other words, dilapidated buildings or poorly maintained houses are sometimes considered to be in a state of disrepair. To renovate a house or building means to resurrect that structure from a state of disrepair.

Renovations can often be subtle, improving on the existing building or house. Or, they can be drastic, much like a remodel. Remember construction involving renovation often refers to “restoring” or “repairing” an existing structure, replacing the old with the new.


Remodel DefinitionRemodel means “to change the structure or form of something.” If you’re looking to remodel your bathroom, you’re looking to change the appearance of it. If you’re looking to renovate your bathroom, you’re looking to repair or update it.

Remodels generally work to change the appearance, structure, or function of a room. In other words, a remodel works to improve upon or transform the existing design and layout of a room. Remodeling refers to “changing” or “transforming” a building or home.

Why is it important to know the difference? You’ll want to be able to accurately communicate with your contractor what changes you want made to your home or building. If you’re planning on selling your home, a newly renovated home means something different to the buyer than a newly remodeled home. There are also certain costs associated with each type of construction.

When to remodel your kitchen:

  • You bought a fixer-upper, and the kitchen was dismal.
  • Your family is growing, and you need more space. After all, the kitchen is oftentimes the heart of the home!
  • Just about everything feels like it needs an update…cupboards, flooring, appliances. This is an opportunity to customize your layout.
  • You have the budget to drastically improve your kitchen, especially if you’re selling your home and want to increase its value.

When to renovate your kitchen:

  • Common user functionality issues (eg. you can’t open your dish cupboards with the dishwasher open)
  • It’s time for a new feel. A fresh coat of paint, new outlet covers, or updated hardware can all accomplish this for a fraction of the cost of a remodel.
  • Modernization is in order. Appliances have come a long way in recent years, and you might benefit from an update.
  • Something is completely out of order. Linoleum floor starting to peel? Previous owner painted over the cupboard hinges? Fixing these small problems can alleviate much of your stress.
  • Inexpensive changes are required to improve your home’s value.

Looking for more resources?

Check out our blog on the first steps in a renovation or remodel.

Head to our blog about preparing for a kitchen remodel for your first steps!


Author Since: 25 / Apr / 2018

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