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When you want to change something about your home, do you need a remodeling contractor or a renovation contractor? Believe it or not, these service providers are actually quite different. Both make improvements on your property, but each provides different construction services. Below, we explain the differences between remodeling and renovation contractors so you know which to hire for your work.


What is renovation?

Renovation restores your home or commercial property to a good state of repair, according to the dictionary. A renovations expert fixes issues that put your building into a state of disrepair. In other words, they resurrect your structure back to its original quality.


Renovation work is not necessarily subtle. It can involve drastic changes or repairs. But the overall objective is to restore a property to its original state. They replace old fixtures, structures and finishes with new ones. They can also repair or restore existing elements to make them work like new.

What is remodeling?

Remodeling involves changing your structure. For example, a bathroom remodel might involve building a bathroom in a closet or other room not previously serving that purpose. It will not simply repair an original bathroom because you are altering its structure, appearance or function. Remodels improve upon existing designs or transform them.


Renovation Contractor vs. Remodeling Contractor

Both renovation and remodeling contractors provide materials, equipment, labour and other services required by a home project. They can hire subcontractors as needed to do specific aspects of the work, as well.


But a renovation professional often has specialized expertise in the restoration of properties to their original appearance or quality. If you own a historic home or one you want to repair, your renovation pro is best suited for this work. They know which materials to use to recreate the look of specific eras, as well as how to maintain the historic integrity of homes. A good example of a contractor in the renovation field is Bob Villa from the television production “This Old House.”


Your remodeling contractor or interior designer specializes in the latest design trends and updating old spaces to look new. If you want to know what is hot on the market in terms of paint colours, flooring, window treatments and appliances, they bring this knowledge to your project. These pros can transform a dated home into a contemporary or modern aesthetic, for example.


When to Hire a Remodeling Contractor

Hire a remodeling contractor if your project involves the following aspects:

  • You want to reconfigure your living spaces
  • You need help picking out the latest finishes attractive to home buyers
  • You are too busy to pick out finishes like tile, faucets, countertops and paint colours and want a pro to coordinate these looks for you
  • You need someone else to source design materials to suit your budget


When to Hire a Renovations Professional

You will know you need to hire a renovation pro if your project involves the following types of work:

  • You need to repair home issues to sell it
  • Your project involves extensive construction work you cannot DIY
  • You need expert help to reconfigure the structure of a space, such as moving a window, changing the placement of a toilet or changing load-bearing walls
  • Your project involves taking the walls “down to the studs”
  • You need to have your home updated through rewiring and pipe replacement


Obviously, it can still feel confusing about whether you need a renovation or remodeling contractor. But you can make it easier by considering a renovation professional more of an interior designer. They will need to bring in more skilled construction pros for bigger aspects of the job. But a renovation expert has that structural experience and can manage those aspects for you. A renovation expert can also sub-contract for interior design aspects if needed.