Remodels, Renovations, and Revamps


It can be difficult to pinpoint a realistic dollar amount for a home improvement.  I look at each project separately, and identify which kind of project it really is.

Revamp – a makeover.
Renovation - to make new again.
Remodel - to reconstruct.

These are just my words I use when budgeting for a project.  Not sure that other people think of it the same way I do.  But, it makes sense to me, and helps me stay realistic in my budgeting.

REVAMP – “To redo”
Some makeovers we see on the internet are really just a ‘revamp’, yet people still call it a ‘remodel’.  When all a bathroom needs is new paint, a new mirror, new towel bars, and a few accessories, this is simply a makeover.  Adding to the existing space.  Not changing anything structural or even any of the major fixtures in a room.  It’s inexpensive and can often be the lift your room needs.  But, its budget shouldn’t be compared to a Renovation or a Remodel.

RENOVATION - “To restore to good condition”
A step up from a revamp, when you want to swap out the cabinetry or the lights and fixtures.  But, overall, you will be leaving the space in its existing form and function. Perhaps re-tiling or new carpet.  Updating fixtures and such.

REMODEL – “To reconstruct”
Obviously going to be the most labor intensive and biggest budget breaker of the 3.  To reconstruct – or in my mind, to construct it the way it should’ve been when the house was first built!  The remodel project might involve moving a toilet across the room. Changing electrical locations.  Adding a real door instead of a pocket door.   Swapping the light fixtures out for recessed lighting.  Replacing the sheetrock.  Adding a wall,  etc. etc.  This kind of project will have a demo phase where the room is stripped down to the bare walls and insulation.


Budget Breakdown
It’s important to be realistic.  Start by making a list of all the things you’d like to accomplish in the project.  Put a $ amount next to each item.  You’ll probably quickly find that your $250 budget makeover is quickly approaching $2500.  :)  Slowly work your way down the list deciding which of the items is absolutely NECESSARY vs. which is wishful thinking…  What will make the most dramatic improvement to the room for the most minimal cost?  Do you really need marble or will porcelain tile do?

Don’t expect your dream bathroom for $250 like you may see on pinterest.

Here are some numbers  that come from general contractors in my area, and real numbers from projects we have done.  Obviously, the numbers will vary depending on (a.) where you live and (b.) if you upgrade to really nice finishes (c.) how good of a DIY-er you really are!  :)



A few examples: