Knowing what to choose between restoration, renovation and refurbishing when it comes to property alterationscan mean a huge difference between saving and losing money. There are many reasons as to why changes and modifications are needed in a certain property such as improving the appearance forprospective buyers, making it safer for the residents or tenants or the owner is just plain tired of looking at his outdated house. These are the reasons on to why it is also equally important to know at what extent these alterations will affect the whole structure.

However, it can be difficult to find out the difference of these terms since they are often used interchangeably bydesign industry people. To clear things up and to help you understand what you really want and save precious time and money, we will discuss them one by one.


When speaking of restoration, this means that a project solely dedicated to restoring a property to its original condition prior to a fire, flood, typhoon or any kind of catastrophic event that affected it. Alterations done after years of abandonment can also be considered as restoration as long as it follows the original design of the property. Skilled craftsmanship and understanding of the original, historic design are some of the key requirements needed to properly restore a house. There are different kinds of restoration practices such as rehabilitation, historic preservation and conservation; these are all focused in properties that have historical influence and significance. In contrast, buildings that do not possess historical importance can also be restored by making extensive repairs but not very intricate and delicately handled as compared to properties that do.


Renovation is the conversion of existing structures, changes in design, replacement of faulty and unreliable building accessories and additional extension to the property. This process focuses on improving and upgrading a structure that is damaged, broken and outdated. This is in contrast to restoration which focuses on following the original designs and materials used in the property. And also unlike restoration, the process of renovation is more intrusive and forward with more emphasis on replacement and repair rather than preservation. Renovation is more in using modern, up-to-date and current design and building techniques and materials. A renovation project usually involves construction on a wide scale depending on the extent of the work to be done. It can be considered tantamount to having a new structure developed on top the old one.


The process of refurbishing involves fixing and repairing a specific area, installing decors and furnishings in a room, and restoring the pleasant ambiance and condition of a house. Refurbishing projects does not require extensive additional, removal and relocation of the walls. Although certain areas will have small structural changes, this will all be for the purposeof improving its aesthetic value. For most part, the structure and layout of a specific room or space will be left undisturbed and the process of refurbishing is only limited to improving the furnishings, finishes and interior cabinets. Adding partitions, bulkheads and wall linings are also considered refurbishing works. Refurbishing focuses more on the interior part of the house in contrast to renovation and restoration which gives more emphasis on the structure of the property.

What to choose?

The right choice solely depends on the need of the homeowner. If you only need to improve a certain area on your house especially if it involves only its appearance, you might want to consider refurbishing it. For property extensions and improving or updating its structure to more robust and durable material, renovation is the best choice. To preserve and rehabilitate an ancestral house, a restoration project must be considered.

When it comes to the cost, restoration projects are considered the most expensive as the materials used in the original house might not be available anymore or might cost greater thanwidely available modern building materials. The expertise of restoration is also a specialized skill; not many builders can restore a very old house to its original design. Renovation and refurbishing cost less and are ideal for homeowners who just want improve the overall structure and appearance of their property without putting a hole on their pockets.