Home Improvement: Renovations vs Remodels

Home Improvement

Renovations vs Remodels — the terms are often used interchangeably and it’s all home improvement, so what does it matter? Right?

Not so fast. The two terms mean very different things and it’s important to use them correctly. And that’s especially true when you’re telling real estate agents and potential buyers about your home improvement projects.


Renovations tend to be more cosmetic. If you’re renovating a kitchen, you might be swapping out appliances, replacing a faucet and changing the cabinets and floor. In a renovation, you’d leave the room’s general layout and the placement of the electric and plumbing alone.

These projects tend to be easier on your wallet. Also, they usually involve home improvement projects that don’t require permits or the use of architects or general contractors.


A remodel is more involved and goes deeper. Remodeling the kitchen might involve tearing down walls to make the kitchen open to the family room. You might move the electrical and the plumbing. You might reposition windows and doors.

Since remodeling projects are more involved, they’re also usually more expensive. Also, it often necessitates obtaining permits, contractors and skilled tradespeople. YouTube might teach you how to replace your bathroom faucet, but you want someone who really knows what they’re doing to re-do your bathroom’s electrical work.

What to do

When you look at selling your home, you’ll have a list of things to do that feels a million miles long. You probably won’t have the time or money to change everything you want, so it’s important to prioritize. What can you renovate? What should you remodel? Which home improvement projects will get you the most money?

The answers vary by your home’s price point, your market area and the scope of your project. To offer some guidance, Remodeling magazine puts together a yearly guide that examines 21 projects and their return on investment in 100 markets across the country. You can find that here: http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2018/.

We can help!

Additionally, a good real estate agent can help you answer all the questions you have, especially in regards to your particular housing market. At Zipi Wiki, we do one very important thing. We match you up with the best agent for you. There is no other service that can find more qualified real estate agents for selling your home than Zipi Wiki. We wish you the very best with your home sale, and hope your next abode is your best one yet!

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About the Author

David Haug is a Madison WI real estate agent. He is passionate about helping clients, customers, and friends succeed in residential real estate. He is also a raging Badger fan. #OnWisconsin Baby! Connect with David on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidnhaug/