HomeKnowledgehome and officeRenovation v Refurbishment v Retrofit

Renovation v Refurbishment v Retrofit

Although it is common practice to use these phrases interchangeably, renovation, refurbishing, and retrofitting each have unique meanings distinct from one another. It is vital to grasp the distinction between these three terms if you are planning on having work done on your home or thinking about making changes to the inside. In this article, we look more closely at these terms and help to clarify the differences.

There are some critical distinctions between rehabilitation, refurbishing, and retrofitting, even though many construction projects combine features of all three categories. Knowing the meaning of each phrase on its own is the most effective method for recognising the distinctions between them.


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Retrofitting work could be carried out by local builder, or office refurbishment companies depending whether it is residential or commercial property.

The process of retrofitting an older structure may be a labour-intensive one for commercial building contractors. They may encounter problems finding solutions, such as demolishing load-bearing walls, rewiring electrical systems, fixing plumbing, and other similar activities.

It might be said that retrofitting is nearly usually the alternative that results in lower costs, however this is not always the case. If a building is too old or out of current, it may need a significant number of costly renovations, repairs, and changes in order to be brought back up to code and have its energy efficiency maximised.


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To restore anything to a decent condition of repair is, in the broadest sense, what is meant by the term renovation. The phrase “renovation” is most often used when discussing home repairs and construction, and it most commonly relates to the upgrading or modernization of an older room, house, or structure. This is because renovation is most commonly associated with home improvement projects.

It is usual for individuals to wish to redesign areas of their houses that they discover have gotten out of date, which often comes under the heading of renovation. It is common for individuals to buy run-down dwellings to renovate them to increase the property’s value. Renovating a property may often be broken down into two primary categories: structural remodeling and cosmetic remodeling. This would include the work carried out on renovating kitchens by local kitchen fitters.

The following activities are often included in the scope of structural renovations:

  • Conversions of the attic and the cellar
  • Home extensions
  • Rewiring and re-plumbing
  • Redesign of floor layouts

The following are examples of cosmetic renovations, which are often more prevalent than structural ones:

  • Laying new flooring
  • Painting or putting up wallpaper
  • Simple outdoor gardening
  • Bringing all of the fixtures and fittings up to date


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Renovations like painting and new carpeting are at the heart of every refurbishment project. Although there may be some overlap between refurbishment and cosmetic renovation, refurbishment more specifically refers to the process of upgrading the inside of buildings rather than the outside.

Adding new furnishings and aesthetic touches to space are common types of renovations. It’s possible to draw a line between refurbishments and retrofitting when they include replacing obsolete fixtures and fittings and implementing steps to increase the property’s sustainability and energy efficiency.


Even if there is a lot of overlap between the three processes, they each have a unique meaning, and it is essential to be aware of those differences if you need any construction work to be done on your property by commercial building contractors.

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