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Remodel? Improvement? Restoration? - Which is it... are they different? Yes

Crystal clear communication between owner, contractor, and architect is critical to a successful home design project. Agreement on some simple definitions is a good place to start.

Remodeling” is often broadly used to describe any kind of change to an existing house. Technically, it’s more accurate to say that remodel means to change the character of a house or a portion of a house. So when you convert a den into a master bedroom you’re remodeling the den. When you combine a kitchen and dining room into one large eat-in kitchen you’re remodeling the kitchen and dining room (this is an extremely popular type of project in our office right now.)

Improvement”, aka renovation, is a much more specific term. It means, quite literally, to make new again. An out-of-date kitchen, updated with new finishes and fixtures, has been improved. Replacing old windows with new ones is an improvement project.

Restoring” a house is sort of the opposite of renovation. Instead of updating, you’re making the house like it was before (i.e., you can do a historic restoration but not a historic renovation.)

Often restoration is used when speaking of water or fire damage to a home. However, even if you convert existing spaces back to their original use, you’re still restoring the original rooms. For example, removing vinyl siding and fixing up the original wood siding and trim underneath is also a restoration project.

Confused? Let’s review. Three similar terms, three different meanings. I remember them this way:

  • Remodel: Changing the use of a space or spaces.

  • Improvement: Make a space new or better without changing its use.

  • Restore: Return a space to its original use and/or return a space to its original character.

At JLC, when you are ready to start your project, you may notice that your contract has a bold heading near the top that reads: Construction Contract

The reason for this should be clear after reading this post, but if not… it’s simply because the contract is customizable within its body for your specific project. Every project is different, and therefore every contract is different. Every time a contract is presented to a client, a JLC Team member will be there to go through the contract step-by-step to ensure the clients’ understanding of each recital. Another reason JLC builds a great trust with our clients. Ready to start a project of your own? Give us a call to schedule a consultation appointment at (760) 464-5676.

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