If you asked the average person if commercial building renovation and commercial building remodel were synonymous, most would say they were.

The two words are often thrown around in similar spaces so often that it can be difficult to distinguish the difference. The reality is they are two very different project types, with different scopes, budgets, and goals. There are also many factors to consider when deciding which one is right for your property.

In this blog, we will discuss the difference between a commercial building renovation and a commercial building remodel, how to decide which one is right for you, and how A-Line Contractors can help!


A remodel is a complete change to the appearance, function, and form of a given space. This kind of project generally involves gutting and rebuilding the space and even, in some instances, re-doing the framework.

These projects generally have a higher up-front cost but can save more money in the long run depending on the nature of the work. An example of this would be a kitchen remodel, where appliances are swapped with more energy-efficient ones and larger windows are installed to let more natural light. This would come with a higher up-front cost but would bring down energy costs in the long run.

When Is a Remodel Right?

There are many factors to consider when going the remodeling route. First and foremost, you have to make sure that zoning laws, restrictive covenants, and historic property restrictions allow you to do so in the first place. Because many remodels change the structure of the commercial property, there can be restrictions placed on the allowable scale of the project, whether to protect the history of the property or to maintain the uniformity of the property with the surrounding ones.

Once this is cleared, you must then determine if the end goal of the project can be achieved without altering the structure of the space. For example, if your commercial property is relegated to several small spaces due to the number of walls, and you are seeking to maximize the space through an open floor plan, then a remodel would be the route you would take. However, if you are merely looking to improve the appeal of these smaller spaces within the property, then you would be better suited with a renovation project.

Benefits of a Remodel

If no ordinance stands in the way of your remodel, the range of benefits the project can bring to your property are limited only to your creativity and budget. A remodel is essentially the ability to hit the reset button on a given space in your property and remake it to fit your vision. Once you talk through your goals for the project with your commercial contractor, you can form a plan of attack that will turn the space into your own which can potentially increase the resale value, as well as possibly increase the efficiency of the space depending on the nature of the project.


The goal of a renovation project is to improve the existing space, rather than overhaul it. This can be a project as small as refacing cabinets and repainting the walls, to something as involved as replacing the plumbing.

While a renovation by nature tends to be more focused on utility than appearance, it can certainly revitalize the look of a given space. Renovations are a bit more broadly defined than remodels in that a maintenance project to fix a leaky ceiling is just as much a renovation as repainting your property’s lobby and replacing old windows to modernize its aesthetic.

When Is a Renovation Right?

There are multiple reasons you might opt to go with a renovation over a remodel, the first of which would be budget considerations. Remodels tend to come with a higher up-front cost due to the scale of work that goes into them. Renovating tends to be the budget-friendly option and can sometimes achieve the same results as a remodel depending on the goals of the project.

If you are content with the space in question as is and are just seeking to improve the space, a renovation project would be right for you. Remodels involve overhauling the existing space to give it a new look and function, whereas a renovation can allow you to maximize the space as it is. Additionally, if you are just seeking to perform maintenance on your property rather than give it a facelift, this would be considered a renovation project.

Benefits of a Renovation

First and foremost, the most worthwhile benefit of a renovation over a remodel is the ROI when selling. With lower costs and equally high visual improvements and upside in some cases, renovation projects tend to yield a higher return on investment than remodels. Additionally, functional repairs and upgrades such as a furnace replacement tend to be of higher value to a potential buyer than a given space being remodeled to an open concept floorplan.

It is also worth noting that many times, a renovation can achieve the same goals that a full-scale remodel can. There is often way more potential in a given space than first meets the eye. This is why you should consult your commercial contractor before deciding on the direction of your project. A-Line Contractors’ project managers specialize in understanding the goals for your project and laying out the best options for you to achieve them efficiently.

Commercial Building Renovations and commercial building remodeling can often be confused for one another. Remodels offer the chance to recreate a given space in your property and recraft it to your or the market’s liking. Renovations allow you to get the most out of that same space as it currently exists, as well as address any functional improvements or repairs that may be needed.

Not sure if your commercial property requires a renovation or a remodel? Contact A-Line Contractors today to speak with one of our highly skilled project managers about your upcoming project!