Restoration, Renovation, and Remodeling

Why You Want To Hire the Right Specialist for the Right Job

a construction worker remodeling a houseWhen it comes to “fixing up” your home or business, there’s a lot of confusion about who the best person to hire is. Many contractors use terms like restoration, renovation, and remodeling as interchangeable, but they aren’t the same thing. Each has its own specialities, even if they are similar. They all do a lot of the same things, but each have their own specialities and you want to use them for the right job. We spoke with Alpine, a cleaning and restoration company in northern Utah for the details.

What Is the Difference Between Restoration, Renovation, and Remodeling?

The real difference is in the type of work done in the job. Restoration, as the name implies, is restoring a structure to its original state before damage or decay. You restore a home or business if it’s been worn down from time, or if it gets damaged by flooding, fire, or other disaster.

Renovation goes a step further; you might be restoring damage, but you will also be making changes to the room without changing its structure. You might be painting it different colors, adding different built in appliances to a kitchen, or making other upgrades that don’t require the structure itself to be rebuilt.

Remodeling is the most extreme. When you remodel a room or building, you are tearing down parts of the structure and completely rebuilding it to add on to it, or change specific aspect.

What Do the Different Jobs Entail?

While all three jobs might involve construction in some form, each job has its own specialities. Renovation requires knowledge of design a bit more than construction, as the initial construction is already done. If it’s a remodeling job, construction and demolition is a must, because you will be tearing down and rebuilding parts of the core structure. A renovator won’t have to worry about load-bearing supports and foundational elements, because those won’t be changed, but a remodeler does.

When it comes to restoration, there are a variety of specialize skills depending on what sort of restoration you are doing. Fire restoration needs to know how to correct smoke damage. Flood restoration needs to know how to locate moisture sources and seal them off to prevent damage from happening again. If a building being restored has mold in it, a restoration specialist needs to know how to remove mold form surfaces, and what surfaces can even be cleaned – porous surfaces, for example, need to be completely removed because you can never clean every part of it.

Why Get A Specialist?

A kitchen after a fire
This house needs fire restoration.

In addition to the unique specialties listed above, hiring the wrong person for the job can backfire. This is especially true in restoration jobs. Mold, for example, has severe health impacts and ruins the value of the building. Mold is a tricky beast, though, and gets in places you can’t see. It grows inside the walls and under surfaces. To remove it all, you not only need to find all the places mold takes root, you need to find the source of the moisture that lets it grow. If you just remove the visible mold, it comes back. With fire damage, the smell of smoke often lingers long after the visible damage is removed and needs specialized cleaning to remove.

At the same time, a restoration specialist might not make the best renovator. While skilled at finding and correcting damage, they might not know much about the kinds of additions you want to add to your building. They might not be able to get the best deals on the additions because they don’t normally do that sort of work.

If you hire the wrong person for the job, it’s you who are affected by the job being done wrong. If you hire a general contractor to remodel a building, they might remove mold they find, but will they catch the moisture source that caused it? If they don’t and the mold comes back, it’s your health (and your customers’ health) that will suffer from it.

The Right Person for the Right Job

Knowing what it is you want to do is important. If you want a building restored to its original state, that’s restoration. If you want to add a few things to make a room or building function better, that’s renovation. If you want to make major changes that alter the structure of the building, that’s remodeling. There’s crossover in the skills, but each specialty can have different focuses that will be needed.

When you’re hiring for these kinds of jobs, make sure you hire the right kind of specialist. Know what it is you want done so you know what sort of person to look for. When you contact a company, ask questions specifically about the kind of work you’ve got done so you can be sure they know what they’re doing. The right person for the job will get it done right the first time and save you money in the long-run. The wrong person might create future problems down the line.