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Building Restoration: Difference Between Restoration VS Renovation

More often than not, many building owners, especially first-timers, often do not know the difference between restoration and renovation. This is because these terminologies skate a thin line and are often used interchangeably.


However, for construction professionals, they mean different things entirely and express a specific degree of change to a building. Hence it is critical to know the difference and scope before starting a project.


Let's take a walk through the restoration and renovation and their key differences.


What is Restoration?


Restoration refers to the process by which you restore a building back to its original state. For example, historical landmarks; they make for ideal restoration projects since it is essential that the rich heritage of the building be retained at all costs.


Apart from the historical perspective, restorations may also be required due to a disaster or catastrophe.


Restoration projects typically involve:

● Masonry restoration

● Building facades (cornices, pediments, columns)

● Restoring railings, windows, siding

The aim of restoration projects is to practice minimal intervention. Hence is it imperative that the foundation be strong or require minimal to no repairs. The best part of a restoration project is its minimal environmental impact (with fewer resources and energy). Furthermore, restoration is also more cost-effective than renovating or remodeling.


However, keep in mind that your building will look much more like your original structure. And you may also require a certain amount of renovation for those sections that even professionals cannot fully restore.


What is Renovation?

Renovation refers to the process of upgrading or renewing the structure by adding new components or fixing what’s present (if possible). So, while the original design isn’t modified to a great degree, there will be some upgrades to make it more functional, presentable, and liveable.


Depending on the project, renovation may actually be cost-effective, like in the case of historic buildings. Renovating your home not only makes it more attractive but also increases the value of your home. For example, minor kitchen renovations have an ROI of 75%-83%, while a bathroom renovation has an ROI of 70%-78%.


Keep in mind renovations are not possible on all historical buildings, especially heritage-listed ones.


Restoration Vs. Renovation

Compared to restorations, renovations give you more creative freedom and help bring your dream house to fruition just how you want it to be. On the other hand, restorations are more restrictive since you’d be following the original architecture to a large extent.

In saying that, restorations and renovations go hand in hand. For example, consider you are restoring your bathroom. In doing so, you can upgrade the fixtures or add a shower cubicle, essentially a renovation.


Wrapping Up

Restoration and renovation, though similar in context, are entirely different. Restorations are ideal if you wish to retain the originality and historical nature of your home. In addition, they are cost-effective since the professionals follow the original structure and layout.

Between renovations or restorations, always go for renovations. By renovating your property, you can ensure that your home is upgraded according to modern standards while retaining the original look to a certain extent. However, restoration is the way to go if you want to maintain an authentic look and style.

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