Deciding to renovate your home is a big decision, and can be an expensive one depending on the type of renovation to be done. As with many walks of life, home renovations can generally be divided into those that we need, and those that we want.
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the verb "to renovate" has two meanings:
1. to restore to a former better state (as by cleaning, repairing, or rebuilding)
2. to restore to life, vigor, or activity: revive
They are slightly, almost imperceptibly, different – and one definition is generally much more important than the other for the homeowner when considering how to spend their hard-earned renovation budget.
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We often think of a home renovation as something which brightens up our living space, gives us more room, or makes us more comfortable. Consider an addition, a fresh coat of paint, or a new bathroom.
These renovations fall squarely into definition number two. They are restoring life to our home, and have the 'wow' factor which we love to share with our friends and family. These renovations also tend to add value to the price of a house, and people will talk about the return on investment that goes with them i.e. what the cost of the renovation is compared to the increase in price if the house were to be sold.
However, there is sometimes a far more important home renovation to be considered, and that, unfortunately, falls into definition number one. It is the maintenance renovation, the "restore to a former better state" renovation, the boring renovation – and the ratio of financial cost to "wow" factor absolutely stinks.
This type of renovation includes things like a new roof, foundation repairs, pointing, insulation, and wiring – normally renovations you can't see – and are generally the top priority of any homeowner, no matter what situation they are in.