Is there a Difference Between Renovating and Remodeling Commercial Property?

Is there a Difference Between Renovating and Remodeling Commercial Property?

August 9, 2023 5:42 pm Published by

Commercial properties are big investments, and maintaining a building is a necessary part of retaining its value. Leaving a commercial building to degrade can cost millions of dollars and ruin the property’s appeal to tenants. If you’re a commercial property owner, you can remodel or renovate your building to make it more appealing to tenants or accommodate your business requirements. However, many commercial property owners don’t understand the difference between renovating and remodeling. Let’s explore the difference between the two.

Is there a Difference Between Renovating and Remodeling Commercial Property?

What Is a Commercial Renovation?

People often use the terms renovation and remodel interchangeably. However, that’s not correct. A commercial renovation can include repair work, but it mostly focuses on renewing and refreshing a building with replacements or updates, but the building retains its function. For example, your office renovation project might include adding wood paneling and storage casework.

There is a certain amount of overlap between restorations and renovations. When undertaking a restoration, you might complete renovations at the same time. For instance, if you’re restoring an office reception area, you might want to upgrade it with a new communications infrastructure.

Adding the infrastructure combines a restoration and renovation project into the same task.

Renovations include the following projects.

  • Install new flooring systems.
  • Painting interior or exterior walls.
  • Replacing bathroom faucets and fixtures.
  • Removal of rotting drywall or wood.
  • Repair of damaged or broken structures.

What Is a Commercial Remodel?

A commercial remodel is a larger project in terms of the work involved. Remodeling alters the functionality and design of a building. Due to the amount of work involved in a remodel, it’s going to have a higher price tag than a renovation.

Some of the tasks involved in a remodel include:

  • Increasing square footage of rooms.
  • Raising the ceiling.
  • Installing plumbing, communications networks, or lighting systems.
  • Gutting, removing, or adding walls.
  • Installing an HVAC system.

Remodels can change the appearance of the building, updating it to modern aesthetics or functions that your business might need for a new headquarters. It’s a more intensive construction project, increasing costs. For instance, installing an HVAC system or lighting infrastructure can be costly. Therefore, it’s important to shop around for prices from the top commercial construction companies in your area.

Commercial Remodeling vs. Commercial Renovation – A Closer Look

A commercial remodel changes the purpose of workspaces, storage areas, or other spaces in or around the property. A commercial renovation provides repairs to a location in or around the property without changing the nature and purpose of the building or site.

Consider these factors when deciding which project suits your commercial property.


Renovations focus on changing the appearance of the building and internal structures like offices, restaurants, and high-end hotels. A remodel looks at ways to transform the space. For instance, a renovation will include tasks like replacing the original flooring, fixtures, and hardware.

When undertaking commercial renovations, you perform cosmetic upgrades and update items like technology and fixtures. If you need more than cosmetic changes to your building, you’ll have to plan a renovation, such as changing a warehouse area into an office space.


Successful renovations and remodels boil down to price. A remodel is more expensive than a renovation, which will affect the project budget. Remodels can require plumbing, electrical, or construction tasks, making them expensive.


A remodeling project typically takes more time to complete than a renovation. Remodels require far more work than renovations and require more labor to complete. A renovation can be as simple as painting the external or internal walls in the property, requiring less time and cost than a remodel. However, a renovation involving replacing tiles with hardwood floors will take considerably longer than a simple paint job.


Remodeling a commercial property offers complete design customization and flexibility to change anything you want with the building. You can start with a blank slate and build out your vision. Renovations have customization options, but they’re limited to aesthetic changes, such as painting.

Remodel vs Renovation: Which Is Best for You?

Which project suits your commercial property upgrade? Let’s run through the benefits to give you an understanding of which one is the right choice for your building.

Remodeling Benefits

  • Improves functional space.
  • It allows you to change the look and function of the building completely.

Renovation Benefits

  • Personalize spaces.
  • Improve the functionality of areas.

Both projects add value to commercial properties, but the extent of the value-add depends on the changes to the building’s aesthetics and functionality.

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This post was written by Contour Construction