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What is the difference between refurbishment and renovation

You might be wondering whether your home or space needs a refurbishment or a renovation. Although most people tend to use renovation and refurbishment interchangeably, they refer to different things. Before embarking on a project, you need to be sure of what you're getting into. After all, every construction project is an investment that you need to be thoroughly diligent from the beginning. So what is the difference between refurbishment vs. renovation?

The main difference between refurbishment and renovation is that refurbishment focuses on improving aesthetics while renovation changes the entire structure of a building.

What is a refurbishment

A refurbishment is focused on improving the aesthetics of a space, be it an office or a domestic residence. It is also less intrusive since it involves restoring or repairing the condition of the building.

It's also essential to note that house refurbishments costs are less compared to renovation projects because of the nature of the changes to be made. With a refurbishment, you are simply refreshing the image or appearance of a building. Some of the cosmetic repairs involved in a refurbishment include the following:

  • Repainting the building
  • Plastering walls
  • Conducting repairs
  • Decorating a room
  • Cleaning, etc

What is renovation

Renovation is more complex in nature as it involves changing the structure of the room or building. With a renovation, you can easily repair and improve any damaged areas of a building or the entire building. It's especially ideal if you intend to change the structure of a building to adhere to new building regulations.

For example, if the local authorities in your area require that certain materials be used for construction contrary to what the building has, then a renovation will be necessary.

Also, if you need to acquire extra space to accommodate your loved ones, you'll have to embark on a renovation project where you'll have either an extension or a conversion depending on what will work best for you.

Apart from the above mentioned, other home renovation ideas the following:

  • Adding or removing walls
  • Changing the floor layout
  • Raising ceilings etc

Since a renovation is more intrusive, it requires thorough diligence when planning every aspect. After all, losing money due to poor planning isn't an option. You also have to bear in mind that the amount of work involved is more extensive hence it's bound to cost more.

With the above definitions, it will be easier for you to determine the type of project you want to embark on. Is it a refurbishment, or a renovation? Remember to consider what your goals are: do you want to improve/enhance the aesthetics of your space or are you looking to alter the structure of the whole building? What's the nature of the alterations you want to make on your space? The decision you make will determine how much you'll need to budget for and the type of home you'll end up with.


Clara Annesley

Clara Annesley is an interior design and construction content writer. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Architectural Design Technology from the University of West London. Clara specialises in residential construction for topics like health & safety, architectural design and writing cost guides for renovation and remodelling projects.