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Renovation and restoration. Two words are used interchangeably to essentially mean giving a house or room or building of any makeover. So what’s the proper way to use these terms? And how do they apply to a specific project?

When it comes to restoration, it means to return the building to its original condition. Often, this refers to historic buildings that have suffered damage over the years. Restoration projects typically include basic repairs of holes in the wall and fixtures, the removal of old flooring and carpeting, and the replacement of antiques with replicas. These projects don’t require many resources, thus making them more cost-effective.

Renovations focus on fixing what’s present and possibly adding a few new things. They’re typically done in conjunction with restorations. However, the modifications made during renovations tend to focus on updating the structures within a building rather than recreating the original structure.

So, while renovations are part of restorations, restorations are NOT part of renovations. Both types of projects are relatively inexpensive and can transform the overall ambiance of a specific area. Anything more than simple repairs or updates on structures would be considered remodeling.

Remodeling is much more involved than restoration or renovation because it involves changing the structure of a building. This can include electrical changes, adding or removing walls, and expanding or downsizing an area. Remodeling can happen during restoration if an area cannot be returned to its original glory; renovations also occur during the remodeling process.

Between the three, remodeling is the most expensive. Given the amount of work involved in a remodeling, it may be best to start with small renovations until funds can be raised to do an entire remodeling. Not only can remodeling be expensive in terms of money, but it can also be expensive in terms of time. Remodeling a living room area can take up to three months, while remodeling a kitchen can take five months.

So before starting a new project, it’s important to determine what kind of project will be undertaken to create an appropriate budget and schedule. Renovations and restorations are smaller, scare projects, while remodeling is larger.