Should You Remodel or Renovate?


Now that we’ve established the difference between remodeling and renovating, the next step is deciding which route you should take, what rooms in your home are due for an update, and at what point is the best time to remodel or renovate.

Remodeling vs. Renovating:

When you ask a contractor to “renovate my bathroom” you’re asking her or him to re-do, refresh, or update the current design. This could involve fresh paint, new facing, and updated details like modern light fixtures.

Renovation is oftentimes confused with restoring, which specifically means returning the house to how it was in the past. This is common among homes that have fallen into disrepair or historic homes. One might renovate a period kitchen by updating the appliances and giving it a fresh coat of paint in one of this season’s most popular colors (hint: it’s dark and moody, but it’s not black). To restore a period kitchen might involve repairing a centuries-old dining table and replacing modern lighting systems with edison bulbs.

remodeled custom kitchen

On the other hand, remodeling a room–like your bathroom–is usually more involved. You could be taking down a wall to fit a new rain shower system or completely changing the layout of your master bathroom. Remodels transform the structure, shape, and even function of the rooms in question. A great example of a common remodel would be getting your basement finished.

Should you remodel or renovate?

Do you have a room that you know needs to be changed (maybe it’s suffering from a design trend that seemed good at the time), but you’re not sure how best to do it? If you’re on the fence between remodeling or renovating, consider the following questions.

  • How much do you like the current room or feature?
  • What are you hoping to change?
  • What is your budget?


How much do you like the current room or feature?

It’s only natural to develop emotional attachments to our homes. If you have, or are hoping to have, a custom home it’s probably because you value the joy that unique, high quality details in a home can bring you every single day. But if you’re not protecting your investment, it’s likely that, after years of use by busy adults or rambunctious children, aspects of your once-new home will need some special attention. This is the best time to try and look at your home with fresh eyes. This can help you decide if you want to return a room to former glory with some new details (renovate), or give it a make-over (remodel). If our clients know the answer to this question, we can get on track to helping them realize their dream home.

What are you hoping to change?

Do you want warmer lighting or a whole new sun room? Do you want an updated look and feel or are you hoping to walk into a completely transformed experience once the construction is done? Deciding on your goals early on is always wise, and it helps your design and construction team work with you to decide the scale of project, which is a main determining factor for deciding between a remodel and a renovation.

 Award-winning custom home in Newton

What is your budget?

Because remodels involve entirely repurposing a space they often include more expenses for electric, plumbing, and design considerations. As such, remodels generally require more of an investment than a typical renovation project. Naturally, adding custom millwork or a new backsplash to a kitchen is less involved than combining a kitchen and living room into an open-concept kitchen. The pay-off is that the latter, a remodel, will often be much more dramatic improvement to your home than a renovation.

The most popular rooms to remodel

Every once in a while, you may find yourself yearning for something novel and refreshing from your home, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Or maybe your children have finally moved out and you’re ready to graduate their bedrooms into something more refined, adult, and beautiful. Whatever the situation, a remodel is sometimes just what your house needs to elevate your experience at home, especially when a simpler renovation is just not enough.

To get you started with some inspiration, peruse the most popular parts of the house people in Boston choose to get remodeled below.

Bathroom remodels

The bathroom is the most frequently-requested room to remodel, and it makes sense why. Your bathroom is often the first room you’ll visit after waking up, and the last one you use before drifting off to sleep. It doesn’t matter if you live in the heart of Boston in the Millennium Tower or in a Wellesley farm house, stepping out of a Nero Marquina marble shower onto heated tiles will make you feel like royalty before you head to the office.

Find more inspiration for truly luxurious bathroom remodels here.

Luxurious and masculine bathroom remodel

Kitchen remodels

For many people, cooking can be like therapy. However, everyone gets energy in different ways. You may appreciate a more cozy, high-functioning kitchen with a classic feel where you can enjoy preparing a five-course meal. Or maybe you’re moving from a Back Bay apartment to a house in Newton and are dying for an open-concept kitchen that can accommodate a growing family. Or you may just want to completely modernize your kitchen with the latest and greatest in technology–think hidden-remote-controlled-televisions in your kitchen:

No matter what you’re looking for, whether it’s sleek functionality, farmhouse-charm, or a combination of the two, we have the expertise and attention to detail to help you bring your vision to life.

Don’t have a vision yet? Explore our portfolio of kitchen remodels for even more inspiration.

Whole house remodeling

Some of our favorite work is helping our clients realize that their dream home doesn’t have to be a fantasy. This may come as a surprise, but one of the most popular types of remodels involves reimagining the entire house. Projects of this scale demand the highest attention to detail and craftsmanship, which can only be delivered by an experienced and client-centric design-build firm.

Your refusal to settle for an inferior result when creating a custom luxury home pays off many times over when you realize how much more a custom home is than the sum of its parts. If your curiosity is piqued and you’d like to see some of the stunning custom homes we’ve helped bring to life, we invite you to explore our portfolio of custom homes.

The best times to remodel & renovate

In Boston and the surrounding suburbs, many different factors can affect when you should opt to remodel or renovate. Luckily, you can get the inside scoop from Boston’s leading luxury construction company right here.

Chief among the determining factors is the famous and oft-maligned New England weather, from which Massachusetts is not exempt. Paying attention to seasonality is important — you wouldn’t want to be stuck with deck construction in the summer, or shivering while your custom fireplace is being built in the winter. Getting started a few seasons before when you’d most use the feature or room allows your design-build company to work with you early on to create a design that marries efficient functionality with satisfying beauty.

When should I plan a home addition?

Take advantage of the harder ground and dry air in winter to get a home addition started. Your builders will be able to dig foundations and pour concretes with which greater ease than if they were fighting unstable mud and humid air. Don’t be concerned about the impending rainy season, either. If you start early enough in winter, your construction team will likely be able to complete the foundation and framing early enough to set up rain cover.

What’s the best time for a new deck or patio?

Since decks require hand-digging, it’s best to wait until the ground has thawed a bit before getting started. Spring (April through June) lets your contractors take advantage of soft ground to get you a new deck or patio to enjoy in the summer and fall.

a stunning custom deck as part of a Newton farm house remodel

What’s the best time for bathroom remodels and other indoor projects?

As safety is a top concern for high-quality construction firms, they’re usually looking to focus on indoor projects during the summer months. With summers that feel hotter-than-ever, you’re less likely to run into days when it’s too hot to work if the job is inside. Therefore, we’d recommend scheduling bathroom, kitchen, and other indoor remodels for the sweltering summer months.

What’s the best time for renovations and smaller jobs?

You’re likely looking to have the project done before the holidays, so our professional recommendation is to schedule quicker renovations during the fall (October through December).

In summary

Whichever option you choose, don’t rush, don’t try to skimp on skilled labor, use lasting materials, and consult an expert. Both remodels and renovations are worthwhile investments in the value of your home and should bring you lasting satisfaction for years to come.


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