What is the Difference Between a Building Renovation and a Restoration?

Both commercial and multi-unit residential buildings start to lose their aesthetic appeal and structural integrity as they age. As a result, property maintenance requires careful planning and budgets for renovations and restorations. But what’s the difference between the two? Here we explain what each involves and what types of projects each commonly entails.

What is a Building Renovation?

A building renovation is mainly performed inside the building. Renovation projects look at the cosmetic appeal of the building, addressing outdated finishes, and general wear and tear that can make the building less appealing to tenants. When a building undergoes renovations, the projects can focus on a specific area such as the lobby, or apply to every floor such as new carpet, paint, and wallpaper in every hall.

What is Involved in a Building Renovation?

Commercial building renovations fall into two groups:

  1. Capital Improvements

These renovations focus on aesthetic improvements to the entire building. This includes:

  • Lobby
  • Public restrooms
  • Some exterior work such as painting or refacing the building
  • Common area improvements
  • Some exterior lighting works
  • Improvements to building amenities such as fitness rooms, concierge desks, etc.
  • Hallway renovations
  • Cosmetic elevator upgrades

While most upgrades focus on the interior, it is not unheard of for property managers to include some exterior improvements such as basic landscaping, exterior lighting features, or a new lobby vestibule. However, all changes are cosmetic in nature.

2. Tenant Improvements

For commercial buildings, new units are usually left down to bare walls and floors until the first tenant takes over the space. It is very uncommon for commercial unit renovations by the building owner. However, for residential buildings, it is not unusual for owners to decide to provide upgrades that can range from new bathroom fixtures to reduce water waste, to new kitchens to improve rental values. Often renovations to units are made as tenants leave so that the owner can make old units more marketable and justify rent increases.

What is a Building Restoration?

Building restorations address major projects that ensure a building is structurally sound. This would include things such as concrete work for parking lots, balcony replacement, or protective coatings for the building envelope.

What is Involved in Building Restoration?

Building restoration requires extensive assessments to determine the level of deterioration. Construction companies use their assessments to predict future damage, and breakdown remedial repair solutions in hand with recommended major replacement projects that ensure the building is sound. This might include coatings to extend the life of the building exterior components such as caulking and sealants, wall coatings, metal refinishing, sealers, etc. Masonry repairs are very common to rebuild or restore deteriorating exterior walls. Concrete repairs for balconies and underground parking garages are also required as buildings age.

At WellDone Inc. we offer a unique team of restoration, as well as renovation experts ready to assist with your assessments and constructions projects. We are there from start to finish ensuring we address all the issues that interfere with the structural integrity of your building.