Photograph Karl Rogers

The kitchen is more than just the place to grab a sandwich. It’s the hub of your home where family and guests gather. So when people want to give their home a makeover, the kitchen is often the place they start.

If you’re thinking about redoing the kitchen, you might not have yet distinguished whether you want to renovate or remodel your kitchen. Yes, there is a difference. Quite a big one. So before you call up a contractor make sure you know what it is that you really want.

Kitchen renovation

A renovation is a makeover that doesn’t entail redefining the actual floor plan of the kitchen. To renovate means to renew, whether it is to upgrade the kitchen with a new look, or restore it to its former glory. It’s a smaller scale project than remodelling.

Depending on what you want done, you could even make many of the changes yourself. Renovating could mean upgrading your cookware, painting the walls, putting in new shelves or redoing the flooring.

Kitchen remodel

Remodelling is a more thorough makeover, where you’re actually changing the blueprint of the space. Perhaps you want to change the layout of the kitchen, or you want to make it bigger. It could involve knocking down walls and installing a new kitchen island.

If you think of a renovation as a facial, think of remodelling as a face lift that entails surgery. As such, you’ll probably need a professional on board (unless you’re very savvy when it comes to DIY).

Why know the difference?

By knowing early on whether you want to remodel or renovate your kitchen (or really any room), you can think about your redesign ideas along the right lines, and along the right budget. If you simply want to renovate your home, you’ll probably spend less money, but you’re ultimately more limited in what you can do. While there are a lot of changes you can still make, you won’t meddle with the structure of the building. If you want to remodel your kitchen, be prepared to spend more money, but let your imagine loose in what you want to achieve.