Restoration vs. Renovation vs. Remodeling: What’s the Difference?

There are many home improvement projects that you might want to undertake, but it can be confusing to know which one is the right choice for you. Restoration vs. renovation vs. remodeling – what’s the difference and which is the best for you? 

There are multiple cases of accidents that can give your properties extensive damage. These include floods, storms, electrical fires, and other natural calamities. If you have been a victim of such an accident and your home needs repair or you just want an upgrade, you might be thinking about turning it back to its original but sturdier version but are confused over the terms. 

That is why we are here to help you understand the difference between restoration, renovation, and remodeling. Afterward, you can decide which one is best for your house according to your budget and the amount of damage done. 

Key Differences to Note

There are several objectives, standards, and techniques for each of these projects. You must first comprehend what each term implies so that you can select the finest commercial project for your needs.


Restoration is the process of returning a property to its original condition. This can be done for historical reasons, or simply to return the home to its original glory. The cost will also be determined by the amount of damage and how much labor is required. This is generally a more costly alternative since it necessitates specialized understanding and abilities. 

What does Restoration Involve?

Restoration removes all the damaged parts and returns them to their original state using the same materials if possible.

Advantages of Restoration:

  1. Restored homes have a higher value than before. 
  2. It increases the sentimental value.
  3. It can prolong the lifespan of the house. 


Renovation is the process of making changes and improvements to a property. This can be anything from a new coat of paint to a complete gutting and remodeling of the space. This is usually a less expensive option than restoration, as it generally does not require as much specialized knowledge or skills. The cost will vary depending on the extent of the project, but it is frequently less expensive than restoration.

Advantages of Renovation: 

  1. You have the opportunity to personalize the space and make it your own.  
  2. You can improve the function of the space to better suit your needs. 
  3.  It can add value to your home.


Remodeling generally provides the most freedom when it comes to design, but it is also the most expensive option. This can be anything from a new kitchen to an addition of a room. Restoration and renovation, by contrast, are generally less expensive than remodeling when compared to the cost of construction. The cost of remodeling will depend on the scope of the project, but it is usually less expensive than restoration or renovation.

Advantages of Remodeling:

  1. You can have the home of your dreams without having to move.  
  2.  It can add value to your home. 
  3. You can improve the function of the space to better suit your needs. 

Property Restoration, Renovation and Remodeling Tips:

  1. Documentation: To assist with insurance claims and for documentation, you’ll need to photograph and video the repair process.
  2. Hiring: Get recommendations and quotes for restoration firms or experts with the necessary expertise to conduct work on your house.
  3. Renters: Don’t forget to inform your renters of the restoration, renovation or remodeling project.
  4. Planning: Plan out your renovation project before you start to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that you stay within budget.
  5. Safety Plan: Have a safety plan in place for the restoration workers as well as for yourself, your family and your renters.

Which is the Best Project for You?

Choosing the best project for you will depend on a number of factors, including:


Constructions, plumbing, electrical work, and sometimes a permit for remodeling will cost more than renovation and restoration.

How Much Change is Required?

Restoration can be a costly and time-consuming process. If you’re looking to make major changes, remodeling may be the best option for you. 

Time Availability

If you’re working with a limited budget and timeline, restoration may not be the best option for you. 

Future Plans of the Property

If you’re planning on selling the property in the near future, restoration can increase the value of your home. 

Legal Requirements

There are sometimes legal requirements that must be met when conducting restoration, renovation, or remodeling projects. 

  • Building Permits: You may need a permit for your restoration, renovation, or remodeling project. 
  • Zoning Regulations: There may be restrictions in place that dictate what you can and cannot do to your property. 
  • Historic Preservation: If your property is located in a historic district, there may be restrictions on what changes you can make to the property.

Check with your local government office to see if any of these requirements apply to you. Make a note that these legal requirements may limit the scope of your project. 

With a clearer idea of what the difference between restoration, renovation, and remodeling is, you are now well on your way to creating a successful home improvement project.

The Restoration Association of Florida

RAF’s mission centers around advocacy. Our purpose is to protect the rights and make heard the voices of honest, hard-working, independent contractors. We advocate for professionals in the mold, fire, water, and wind damage industry. If you are interested in becoming a member of RAF or have any further questions, call us today.

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