Remodeling and renovation are two separate but related activities, with some projects involving both. Let’s understand the differences. Read more →
what’s the difference?
Remodeling versus renovation
Consider renovation as being similar to restoring or reviving an existing room or building without changing its basic layout and purpose. A kitchen renovation might involve updating all the cupboards, countertops, flooring, appliances, and paint, however, the basic size, shape, location, and intent of the room remains the same. It was a kitchen, and it remains a kitchen. Some structural repairs or reinforcements may be required, such as replacing rotted subfloors.
Remodelling your kitchen could include knocking down walls, moving your kitchen into a different area of the house, expanding the footprint of the house, or making other major structural changes.
Simply put, renovations take what’s there and make it new again. Remodelling is taking something that exists and turning it into something different. For example, updating older homes that have multiple separate rooms and remodelling it into an open concept style. Remodelling typically will involve working with the structural integrity of your home whereas renovating is centred on the look and feel. Some projects involve both, others are just one or the other.
Assume remodelling will affect the structure or envelope of your home. Typical examples of each are shown below. This is an abbreviated list for example purposes only.
- Repair and maintenance of the roof & shingles
- Filling cracks in exterior walls or basement floors
- Basement waterproofing against leaks or damage
- Insulating the attic or walls
- Replace worn, damaged, or leaky windows
- Replacing an existing furnace, air conditioner or water heating system
- Removing partitions (non-supporting walls)
- Adding or removing walls, or changing the home structure. This might include changing the overall footprint or elevation, as might happen when adding a second floor
- Adding or removing windows that previously did not exist
- Adding or removing ingress/egress services such as
- natural gas, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
- Expand or build new footings
- Move, add or remove load-bearing walls, wide-span beams and/or load-bearing posts
- and other structural and functional changes within your home.
Who needs to be involved
Remodelling generally requires the services of architects and/or engineers (structural/mechanical), your construction team, your general contractor or construction project manager, and designers. Each of these service providers needs to understand the changes you desire and are there to help you prepare for and execute your project.
Architects, engineers, and designers will help prepare the appropriate plans and diagrams your construction team will need. Some of these documents are required to obtain building permits, and some are used to inform your building contractors what to build. A professional engineer will help to ensure all current safety regulations and standards are accounted for. For these types of projects, you may or may not need a designer, but you will need skilled and licensed contractors to perform the construction work.
Professional designers are usually engaged in home remodelling projects for beautification and livability purposes, meaning your home will look great and flow well. A good designer isn’t just looking at colours and lines, they’re also considering how you will use that space, what is the best layout for your kitchen, do all the cabinet doors have enough space to open properly, and other more ‘technical’ aspects of design.
Designers may be needed in renovation projects too, depending on the nature of the changes that are happening. Replacing a furnace or fixing a roof will not need a designer, however, a designer can add a lot of value in a kitchen renovation as they will be knowledgeable about the latest innovations in kitchen design.
Commercial or residential, remodelling will deliver a fresh look and visual appeal. Commercial property owners of offices, restaurants, or stores will remodel for many reasons.
Interior upgrades keep the space looking modern and appealing to customers and visitors
- Exterior renovations can attract new customers to the property and the businesses on it
- Property managers are justified in increasing the monthly rent from occupants
Homeowners may remodel for many reasons too.
- Their family needs may have changed, either growing or becoming empty-nesters
- hey may be planning on selling their home and know that a well-managed remodel project could result in a higher market selling price
- Some homeowners simply want to enjoy an updated new look with improved usability for their benefit
- Many homebuyers seek out homes to purchase exactly because that house is ripe for a fresh renovation or remodelling project
BE SMART, DO IT LEGALLY
Whenever remodelling changes the layout of a home you will have to make certain that the change can be made without jeopardizing the structural integrity in any way. Whether you’re building an addition or extension to your exterior walls for increased living space, or by changing interior walls or fireplaces & chimneys, get experts involved.
It is strongly recommended that you consult a structural engineer before commencing any work. An engineer will advise you on safe solutions that can help to protect your investment and enable you to proceed with peace of mind.
Different municipalities may have different requirements, but we highly recommend that you apply for a permit if you are removing or adding a wall, especially if it is an exterior wall.
BEHIND THE SCENES!
A remodelling project can be much more complex when compared to new construction because it’s what we can’t see that challenges us the most. What is inside that wall? What if it contains a bathroom drainpipe or heating & A/C ductwork, or a hidden support post.
In remodelling, contractors come across unforeseen situations all the time and because of that experience, they are well-equipped to handle it. In new construction, everything is visible, accessible, and known while being built from the ground up. This is why we say that a good renovator can easily become a good builder, but a good builder might need more time to become an expert renovator.
We can’t emphasize this enough, remodelling and renovation is a different skillset from new construction and that’s why it’s so important that you hire the right contractor for your upcoming renovation/remodelling project.
Remodelling is a common practice among contractors and developers where they obtain one or a series of homes, townhouses, or condo units and upgrade their design, layout, and finishing material bringing added value to the property.
Some remodelling projects are so drastic that the house becomes unrecognizable. The exterior of a house or a condo apartment can go through a major renovation with new materials and colours, windows, and in some cases physical design.
If you would like to unlock the hidden value in your home, there is a great potential with the right-sized remodelling or renovation project before you sell it, or if you’d just like to enjoy it more for yourselves. We would gladly sit and talk with you for your commercial or residential remodelling project. Please visit our “contact us” page and book an appointment.