Home Remodeling vs Renovating

According to The New Oxford America Dictionary, to remodel means to ‘change the structure or form of something.’ The definition of renovate is ‘restore to a good state of repair.’ These definitions are in sync with what a contractor would say. Home remodeling is generally more extensive and more expensive, and implies that distinctive changes will be made. If you are remodeling your bathroom, for instance, you might as well say you are re-doing it. The scope of CT renovations, on the other hand, varies. Refreshing or restoring a room can require a lot of work, or it can be as simple as repainting walls, upgrading to new appliances, or refinishing cabinets. The extent and price of renovations depend on the condition of the room. Sometimes renovations are actually more expensive than a remodel would be. The main difference lies in your goal as the homeowner: do you want to restore the room back to its prime condition, or do you want to change its function to meet new, different needs and preferences. Sometimes we receive calls from people who don’t really know if they want to remodel or renovate, or what the difference is. First we will outline a few questions that can help you decide which you are interested in. We will also describe what a common ct kitchen renovation entails compared to a remodel, as well as the differences between bathroom renovations and remodels.

Should I remodel or renovate?

First ask yourself why you want to have work done. If you are interested in changing the function of a room, you are talking about home remodeling. Some common home remodeling projects are converting a den into a bedroom, increasing the size of a bathroom, changing the layout of a kitchen, and finishing a basement. Home remodeling transforms a room (or rooms) in a way that will change how you use it. Remodeling goes further than upgrading appearance alone.

If you are calling a contractor because you think a room in your home looks outdated or worn down, you are taking about a renovation. If you like the room and are pleased with its overall functionality, there is no need to remodel; a renovation can make a ‘well-enjoyed’ room look like new. A common misconception is that renovations are meant to make a room look just as it did in its original form, but that is called a historic renovation. Renovating a kitchen from the 1950s can result in an incredibly modern workshop for a top chef.

Common CT renovations involve modernizing kitchens and small bathrooms, installing new floors, replacing windows, refinishing cabinets, removing wallpaper, installing new countertops and cabinets. Renovations go hand in hand with redecorating. Generally speaking renovations cost less than home remodeling projects, but this is not always true. If the room is in terrible condition because it was designed poorly, you should consider remodeling. Some people choose to renovate instead of remodeling in an attempt to save money, but if a majority of the components of the room need to be replaced or refinished, it might be cheaper to start from scratch.

Bathroom Remodel

The most common issue bathroom remodeling contractors in Connecticut are faced with is size. Older CT homes have smaller bathrooms, but we have plenty of small bathroom remodel ideas. A tub to shower conversion is a great way to add space and modernize at the same time. Better yet, it can be accomplished as part of a one day bathroom remodel. Adding new features, such as a double sink, recessed medicine cabinets, or new windows can increase the value of your home. Adding a window and/or skylight is one of our favorite bathroom remodel ideas. Both increase natural light and make small bathrooms appear larger and more open. You can add a skylight during a bathroom remodel, but it can also be done as part of a less extensive bathroom renovation. If you are adding a window, you are necessarily remodeling. Adding a window and/or skylight is not only the best solution for bathroom lighting, but also the best way to keep bathroom air clean and healthy.

Bathroom remodeling contractors can also expand the bathroom to make it larger and change the layout to use the space more efficiently. Home advisor has some great bathroom remodel cost guides, but the final cost will depend on the condition of your bathroom, and how many changes you need/want to make.

Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom renovations can go a long way without a full remodel. Replacing the flooring, repainting, upgrading fixtures (from the toilet and sink to little things like the towel bars) installing bathroom vanities, re-tiling, replacing the countertops, and replacing windows all make a huge difference. For replacement windows in humid places like bathrooms, we recommend vinyl window frames from Sunrise windows. Old bathroom windows are likely to be a source of mold and rot. You should definitely have your bathroom remodeling contractors inspect the condition of your window frames and the surrounding walls because mold affects the indoor air quality. Ventilation is also key for a healthy bathroom, so make to use those windows!

More radical changes, like a tub to shower conversion, technically fall into the category of remodeling since they change the way you will use the room, but we are going to put this under renovations because you can do it without changing the layout or plumbing in your bathroom. Luxury Bath manufactures a system that allows contractors to convert an old tub into an enclosed shower in as little as a day. Corner units are available for small bathrooms, which actually frees up a lot of floor space that you can use for something like a bathroom vanity. Learn more about how a tub to shower conversion works and the benefits of the system from Luxury Bath.

Kitchen Remodel

Remodeling kitchens in Connecticut involves changing the layout of the kitchen, usually adding a kitchen island, and often merging the dining room with the kitchen.
A major kitchen remodel has a ROI of 74% in New England (Remodeling Magazine 2014 Cost VS Value Report.)

If you no longer use a formal dining room, you can tear the wall down to create a larger more open kitchen with an island and a less formal seating area. This is great for families who want the kitchen to be a more welcoming social place. One of our favorite ideas for CT custom kitchen remodeling is merging a dining room with the kitchen and using the extra space to create a sunny dining nook with bay or bow windows.

There is definitely some overlap between kitchen remodeling and renovating. For instance, replacing windows is a common part of a kitchen renovation, but it is also something you will probably do during a kitchen remodel. If you are replacing the window over the sink, we love the look of a bay window. If you don’t have a window over your sink, add one! Washing dishes is a lot more fun when you have a pleasant view of the outdoors. Adding skylights is another great way to brighten up the space. [image: www.thisgalcooks.com]

Other things to think about for your kitchen remodel or renovation are the cabinets, countertop materials, type of sink, and floor. We have some general advice for planning your remodel and a post with some of our favorite ideas.

CT Kitchen Renovation

You can definitely refresh your kitchen without a complete remodel. According to the 2014 Cost VS Value Report by Remodeling magazine, a minor kitchen remodel, or renovation, actually has a higher ROI than a major kitchen remodel in New England (87% compared to 74%.) Kitchen renovations involve replacing cabinet fronts and adding new hardware, replacing appliances with new energy efficient models, replacing flooring, installing a new sink, repainting the walls and trim, and replacing laminate countertops. New counters refresh the entire appearance of a kitchen. There are many attractive affordable options for kitchen countertops.

The extent of a renovation is up to you, and will also depend on the condition of your kitchen. We also recommend replacing old windows. An experienced contractor can take a look at your kitchen and advise you on which projects will have the highest ROI and make the biggest difference in improving the appearance of our kitchen.

Now that you understand the terms we use, call us for a free consultation!