Renovating vs Restoring: Whats the difference?

Renovating vs Restoring:  Whats the difference?

Terms get thrown around all the time, some in context, others not.  So, renovating vs restoring, whats the difference?  And, just to make sure the conversation is complete, how does remodel fit into the conversation?  Just a quick article to shed some light on the subject.

Restoring is bringing something old back to life. Or returning it to its original condition. It means keeping the base item but making it look fresh, new, rejuvenated, etc.

Renovating is the act of renewing. It definitely has some overlap with restoring but can be the addition of new elements along with the renewal of the old ones.

When you remodel you are making changes to the original form. I’ll add remodel here too since it has some overlap with renovating but very little overlap with restoring. This is likely the most common thing you see on the HGTV remodel shows. They demo out the old, replace with new = remodel.

That said, most remodels I have done have elements of renovation and restoring. For instance I kept all the wood banisters on my staircase but restored them by standing them down, re-staining and then re-lacquering them. I suppose that could be considered renewing here. A bit of splitting hairs.

Good luck!


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