When it comes to updating a home, many people don’t understand the key differences between doing home renovations or doing home remodeling. Olympia homeowners often use the terms interchangeably, but there are plenty of key differences between the two. In this article, we will attempt to clarify these two terms so that when you start seeking contractor companies to carry out your desires, you will know if you should ask for bathroom renovations or a bathroom remodeling.

Home Renovations Defined

When it comes to making improvements on your home, the word renovation basically means you are restoring your home to a “good state of repair.” This could mean taking a rather dilapidated building and getting it in a sellable state, or it could be the projects that are more subtle in a home that is in reasonably good shape.

It is safe to consider any project where an existing structure is restored or repaired, a renovation. These are meant to add value and keep the home good-looking.

Examples of projects considered to be, “home renovations”.

All of the following projects would be considered renovations:

  • Replacing linoleum with porcelain tiles
  • Repainting kitchen cabinets
  • Upgrading the kitchen or bathroom sinks
  • Painting the walls
  • Adding a tile border in the bathroom
  • Putting in a new toilet
  • Adding a backsplash in the kitchen
  • Putting up crown molding
  • Taking down popcorn ceilings
  • Adding new shelves in the pantry
  • Replacing old carpeting with hardwood floors
  • Screening in a porch or patio
  • Replacing old appliances for new models
  • Switching existing showerheads to rainfall showerheads
  • Putting in new kitchen countertops

As you can see, most of these projects are either cosmetic, replacing older or dated items, or upgrading existing spaces. None of these projects involve building any new structures or tearing down any existing structures because of those fall under a different category: remodeling!

Remodels Defined

This next section will explain the definition of a “home remodeling”. To remodel means the structure or form of the house is changed. These are much bigger projects and go deeper than the cosmetic or surface level. Bathroom or kitchen remodeling will transform the current layout of your home, and can even require permits if the work is big enough.

The distinction between these two words is very important because there are many companies or local handymen that can help with a renovation, but home remodeling requires more complex skills. For instance, if you are doing a bathroom remodel, Olympia companies or technicians will need to be up-to-date on the building codes and regulations required for the new designs. These become especially important if your bathroom or kitchen remodeling projects require putting in or moving plumbing and/or electrical wiring.

Examples of projects considered to be, “home remodeling”.

The following projects are considered home and kitchen remodeling jobs:

  • Knocking down a wall between two small bedrooms to make one large bedroom
  • Creating a new bathroom or doing a half bathroom remodeling into a full bathroom
  • Putting in a permanent and immovable kitchen island
  • Adding on a laundry room to the house
  • Adding a sunroom to your home
  • Digging a new basement underneath your existing house
  • Adding a soaking tub to the master bathroom
  • Wiring a screened in porch with electricity in order to install ceiling fans

Hiring Companies for Renovations vs. Remodels

When doing kitchen renovations or kitchen remodeling, Olympia area homeowners will need to ensure they hire the right construction company for the scale of the job. Your chosen crew will be entering your home, will be responsible for making huge design and construction decisions, and you will be paying them a substantial fee depending upon the scale of the work.

You will definitely want to do your fair share of research. Make sure that you find a reputable company that is qualified to do the work that you require, whether that is kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, or some renovation work. In order to make a well-informed choice, you will want to ask your potential crews a few pertinent questions.

#1 What kind of remodeling-renovation projects have you worked on in the past, and do you have any references from those projects?

Whether you need remodeling or renovations completed, the contractor should be able to supply a substantial list of jobs that have been completed, and there should be several prior customers that are willing to vouch for the company. Being able to see a few photographs of completed projects will help you get an idea of the scope and quality of the company’s work.

Pay particular attention to projects that are similar to what you need to be done. If you are looking for a kitchen remodel, it won’t do you any good to look at picture after picture of bathroom renovations. Also, it never hurts to reach out to one or two of the previous customers via a quick email to ask about their experience with the company. This may be very important if you are having major work done like a full kitchen remodeling in your Olympia home.

#2 Is your company licensed and insured?

When you ask a bathroom remodeling crew or any other type of contractor if they are licensed and insured, the answer should be a clear and concise yes. Asking this question should not seem insulting to the company, and they should offer to supply you with copies of the insurance policies or the contractor’s license.

Working with a kitchen remodeling contractor in Olympia that does not have the proper licenses and insurance policies is a great risk. Being licensed means the company has proven their skillset and their knowledge of the industry, and having the proper insurance keeps you protected should a member of the crew become injured while on your property.

#3 What is the estimate for both the cost of the project and the time the project will take to complete?

Being able to compare various quotes of time and cost from bathroom remodel companies in Olympia allows you to compare apples to apples. You may find that one bathroom or kitchen remodeling crew charges a lot less than the other companies you are considering. However, if that company also takes twice as long to do the work, then they may not be the best choice to fit within your schedule.

Try to get as much detail as you possibly can in your quotes. You will be able to make better decisions if you know exactly what amounts are being designated to materials and what the labor costs of your kitchen remodel are.

#4 Who will actually be doing the work?

In most cases, the person who comes out to your home to discuss your kitchen remodeling plans for your Olympia home will not be the same person who is overseeing the actual day to day work. The team members that do the quotes may be from an entirely different department of the company, in fact.

You will want to find out who will be in charge of leading the crew when it comes time to do the bathroom or kitchen remodel. It is also a good idea to get the contact information for this person so that you can get any questions answered or discuss any concerns.

#5 What happens if changes need to be made?

When doing renovations or bathroom remodeling, there may be snags that pop up along the way. It may happen that the construction team runs across a structural issue when trying to tear down a wall during the kitchen remodeling. Olympia homeowners need to know how those types of problems are addressed.

In addition to unforeseen issues in the home, there is also the possibility that construction materials could be out of stock. Plus, large fixtures like a new tub for a bathroom remodeling project may be unable to fit through doorways. Changes to the design may need to be made on the fly, and it is important that you understand the process beforehand.

Renovate vs. Remodel – Comparing Costs

There is not some sort of magic number for renovations and another magic number for remodels. However, there are some general budgets or cost analysis that can be studied to grasp better the financial needs of taking on home improvement projects.

In most cases, renovations will be less expensive than remodels. That is not a hard and fast rule, however, because there may be less expensive kitchen remodeling jobs Olympia homeowners may desire that cost less than high-end renovations.

Doing something relatively minor like sprucing up a kitchen with new paint and a tile backsplash could ring in under $1000. However, a major job like a complete kitchen remodeling could cost several thousands of dollars.

Here are a few sample budgets that can give you an idea of projected costs:

  • Minor cosmetic renovations to a kitchen: $500-$20,000
  • Complete kitchen remodeling: $20,000-$120,000
  • Complete bathroom remodeling: $4.500-$50,000
  • Addition of bathroom to home: $45,000-$85,000
  • Finishing an entire basement: $50,000-$100,000

As you can see, there is a wide range of costs that depend on a variety of options. Renovations can be simple and rather inexpensive to more complex and costly. While major kitchen remodeling, Olympia homeowner’s adding bathrooms, and finishing a basement can cost quite a substantial amount.

Kitchen Remodeling in Olympia from First Finishers LLC

If you need kitchen remodeling in Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey, Lakewood, Dupont, Steilacoom, Roy, Yelm, Rainier, Tenino, or South Puget Sound, then First Finishers is the contractor you need. We have been offering excellent service, quality craftsmanship, and dependability for over ten years.

As a locally owned and operated company, First Finishers LLC prides itself on being the most reliable residential bathroom and kitchen remodeling contractor in the Olympia area. We can also provide commercial construction, insurance work, and a full range of renovations.

We have a long list of services that we can provide for our customers whether you need to repair water damage in a basement or do an entire kitchen remodel, we have the professional team that will satisfy expectations. Call us to help with home additions, countertop installation in kitchen remodeling jobs, Olympia home privacy fencing installations, or even ironwork.

If you are interested in seeing examples of the work that we can do, our online portfolio will show you prime examples of kitchen remodeling with the Olympia Perlot Residence. You can see some of our stonework with the Tenino Montgomery Residence, and you can see bathroom remodeling with the Olympia Coleman Residence. Plus, there are many, many more.

If you are ready to start discussing your kitchen remodeling project with our Olympia team, you can easily get the ball rolling by requesting a quote either via the online form or by calling our office at 360-400-7767. We are happy to discuss all of your renovation or remodeling needs, no matter how large or how small.