What’s the Difference Between Remodel and Renovate?


When it comes to fixing up your home in the western suburbs of Chicago, it’s not uncommon to use remodel and renovate interchangeably. While these words have similar meanings, there are differences between the two housing projects. If you’ve ever wondered if you’re using the correct term for your bathroom remodel or your basement renovation or if it even matters, we’ve got the answers.

What Does Renovation Mean?

contemporary bathroom renovation with gray tiles and white cabinets

To renovate your home means to restore it or to update the current structure with cosmetic and more surface-level changes. Any construction that might occur will be to restore or repair what’s already there. Kitchen, bathroom, and basement renovations can be subtle or more noticeable, but you won’t be making any structural changes.

For example, if your kitchen is stuck in the 70s and you want to make it more modern, you might replace the countertops and cabinets, repaint, and install new appliances. The plumbing and electrical, however, will remain in place. Same goes for a bathroom renovation. If your current bathroom isn’t your design aesthetic, you might add new tiles, change out fixtures, and repaint the walls.

What Does Remodel Mean?

A home remodel, on the other hand, means to change the structure of the space or to transform it. Remodeling involves demolition and more in-depth construction. Kitchen, basement, and bathroom remodels are a good idea if you want to change to function and appearance of the room in your Western Springs or Oak Brook home.

modern basement remodel with dark hardwood floors and pool table

A total gut job and kitchen remodel is a good example of remodeling. The layout of the space will be reconfigured to better suit your needs. In a bathroom remodel, you might move the toilet or shower to a different location, or you might extend the space to add a washer and dryer. Another popular remodel is to transform a closed concept space to an open concept. By knocking down walls, you can open up the kitchen, living, and dining rooms.


Renovation vs. Remodeling Costs

Generally speaking, renovations will be the more affordable option because they involve mainly cosmetic updates and limited construction. Remodels, however, are a bigger time commitment and require more work upfront to reconfigure a space. Ultimately, the decision to renovate or remodel comes down to your needs and what makes the most sense for you and/or your family in Willowbrook or the surrounding cities.

sunroom with wood ceiling, wood burning stuff, and wicker furniture

DIY vs. Professional

Depending on how involved the project is and how handy you are, you might be able to handle a home renovation yourself. Since remodeling requires special skills like construction, plumbing, and/or electrical, it’s best to work with professional who can do the job correctly and ensure it’s all up to code.

The team of project managers and home designers at Meeder Design & Renovation in Elmhurst provide a one-stop shop, and we specialize in kitchen, bathroom, and basement renovations and remodels, as well as home additions (which is a type of remodel). Contact us to schedule your free estimate, and we’ll walk you through our process.

Free Estimate

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You can also get in touch with us via our contact page.