Refurbishment v renovation – what’s the difference?
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Refurbishment v renovation – what’s the difference?

Renovation and refurbishment may sound like similar processes, but to builders and home improvement experts such as those at Highline Design & Build, they can mean very different things. And those differences are important, because if you tell someone you’re interested in a renovation, they’ll have a very different idea of what’s likely to be needed from them than if you ask about a refurbishment.

In this article, we’re going to be taking a close look at the renovation v refurbishment question to see how they differ and what each could involve.

House attic insulation and renovation. Drywall construction

What is refurbishment?

Refurbishment is likely to involve upgrading a property rather than restoring it. That could involve anything from cosmetic work like redecorating to replacing the heating system or the sort of extensive home improvement solutions available from our team.

Common examples of house refurbishment include:

When you refurbish a property, you’ll probably be expecting to increase its value. That could be purely in monetary terms, in that your property should not only have a greater resale value as a result (even taking the cost of the refurbishment into account), but also be worth more than houses of a similar age and style that haven’t been improved. 

However, the increase in value could also be the value that you place on it as a home. In other words, it should be a nicer place for you to live and meet your needs better than it did before.

If you’re a regular watcher of Homes Under the Hammer, you’ll recognise these as the sort of properties that have little more wrong with them than being outdated, short on space or with a poor internal layout.

What is renovation?

Renovation is the sort of work that absolutely needs to be done. So when you renovate a property, you’re likely to be starting from one that’s in a greater state of disrepair than you would be with a refurbishment. You’re then going to be bringing it back to a habitable condition or even restoring it to past glories in the case of a historic or listed building.

Renovation could include anything from replacing old roofing to structural changes that are required as a result of subsidence or that need to meet new building regulations. 

Going back to examples from Homes Under the Hammer, these are the sort of properties that have probably been empty for some time and have deteriorated to the extent that they need considerable effort before anyone could even consider living in them.

Of course, a renovation should also increase the value of a property, but that is more likely to be a case of bringing it back to what its proper market value ought to be rather than making it a standout home in the area.


Here at Highline Design & Build, we’re your local experts in a wide range of refurbishment and renovation projects, with the skills and experience to update, upgrade and transform your property to an exceptional standard.

To find out more about the sort of house refurbishments we can carry out, or to get a free home visit and quotation for improvements to your home, please get in touch with us today. We refurbish and renovate properties in and around Egham, Twickenham, Weybridge and the surrounding areas.

How long will my project take?

Each project is different and the size of the build will determine the time it will take to complete; however, an average rear extension/loft conversion will take approximately six weeks from start to finish.

Will I be able to live in my property while the work goes on?

Yes, you will be able to live in the property. If this is the case, we will attempt to leave the breaking through into the house until as late as possible in the project.

Will someone be on site every day?

Yes, we will have someone on site every day. However, the caveat to this is if we are waiting on drying times or materials. That being said, we will endeavour to have a team member/team members present as much as possible to ensure the project is completed in a timely manner.

Will an extension add value to my property?

Absolutely, it is becoming more and more popular to add space to your existing property instead of the hassle and fees involved with moving. Adding additional square meterage can add up to 10-20% onto the market value.

Can you help with plans/designs?

Of course, we can offer suggestions and ideas, and show you previous projects. We can also arrange for you to visit a previous project if required. We have built relationships with trusted architects and can introduce you to our preferred contacts in order to obtain your drawings.

How long does it take to get planning permission?

It will depend upon whether you are applying for permitted planning or full planning permission. Different councils work to different timescales; however, as a guide from submission of plans it will take approximately 8-12 weeks.