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The Difference Between Renovation, Restoration and Remodeling

Jul 27, 2023

The differences between renovation, restoration and remodel are surprisingly different from one another. Many people can miscommunicate while confusing one term with another when talking about redoing a room in their home.

There are many terms out there for redesign projects that seem very similar, but in fact, lead to very different products and services. Restoration, Rehabilitation, Renovation, and Remodeling are some of the most common terms that are used. Let’s walk through their differences!

The Difference in Home Design Terminology

Difference Between Renovation, Restoration and Remodeling


Reproduce the appearance of a building exactly as it once looked at a particular moment in time. Restoring a house is sort of the opposite of renovation. Instead of updating, you’re making the house like it was before.


Bringing back to a preferable manner of living which makes contemporary use possible while still preserving significant character-defining features. Includes adaptive use.


Improves the usefulness and condition of a building by repairing, altering, and adding but without necessarily being sensitive to the character-defining features.


Make over the design image of a building. The appearance is changed by removing original details and adding new features that are out of character with the original.

Clear communication is critical between owner, contractor, and an architect to a successful home design project. Agreement on some simple definitions is a good place to start.

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