This week we’re looking at the difference between a historic building renovation and a remodel. Like last week’s description of restoration vs. renovation, this blog should help you understand whether a renovation or remodel is right for the project you have in mind.
Although “renovation” and “remodel” are often used interchangeably in conversation, the two terms differ greatly when planning a refresh of your historic building. The real difference is in your intended use of the building after the work is complete. Will the building serve the same purpose as it did before, or will you be converting it to a new use? The answer can determine whether you’ll be undertaking a renovation or a remodel.
What is a historic building renovation?
Think of a renovation as making a building feel new again. An aging office building becomes a new office building. A historic church becomes a newer, modernized church. Elements of historic charm may be retained, but overall the usable space inside the building will feel and function like a new building.
A renovation is a great way to extend the life of a historic building. Updating fixtures and finish can make a commercial building easier and more cost-effective to maintain, and new wiring and plumbing can improve safety and convenience. The best part is that you don’t have to say goodbye to a favorite stained glass window or an intricate tile mosaic. In some cases, restoration of specific features like these are part of a renovation.
What is a historic building remodel?
When you think of remodeling, think: repurposing. A building remodel refers to updating the building and converting its use to a new purpose. In our historic Washington D.C. neighborhoods, building remodels have given new life to whole blocks.
Older residences converted into workspaces and shops have helped some streets evolve with our growing and changing city. Rather than tear down and rebuild, many of the buildings that give our city its architectural character have been saved through remodeling.
Which is right for you?
With decades of experience renovating and remodeling buildings in the Washington D.C. area, we can help you plan the right project for your building. From the start, decisions about what to keep and what to change in a building with a long history can be difficult. We can help you decide whether the old fireplace stays or becomes something new and different, and we can make sure restored features get the expert attention they deserve.
Ready to give your building new life? Let’s talk!