The 4 R’s: Renovate, Remodel, Restore, Rehabilitate

The 4 R’s: Renovate, Remodel, Restore, Rehabilitate

How many homes have you flipped?

It’s a question we get fairly often, and one that sometimes makes us cringe.

House flipping became a popular term thanks to HGTV, but it doesn’t necessarily describe what we do with The House that Social Media Built (as well as our Beyond the House properties). 

Every house requires something different. When walking through a property, we determine how much of the home needs to be updated, how old the home is, and from there, we decide what type of project the house will be.

Below, we go through some of the ways dilapidated houses can be brought back to life. 


With a home renovation, improvements are made to an existing home. To renovate means to renew; which can include updating a kitchen or bathroom with new finishes or replacing old windows with new ones. A renovation often focuses on updating the aesthetic features of the home.


Often, remodel and renovate are used interchangeably, because both involve updating an old room or home into something new. But a remodel consists of changing at least a portion of the home’s structure. For example, taking down walls in the main living areas to make an open floor plan is a remodel. 


Rehabilitation makes it possible to update a historic home to modern times while still preserving historic features. We think of this as the best of both worlds, especially when working on homes in historic shoreline towns. Rehabilitation allows for the amenities people love today – such as a modern kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances – while keeping architectural features that make it unique to a certain time period.


Restoration is when the interior and exterior home is restored to its original time period. In towns with historic districts, restoring a home can come with strict guidelines. Unsafe and damaged features can be fixed, but all updates should stay true to the property’s history. 

No matter what type of work is completed – renovation, remodel, restoration, or rehabilitation – major upgrades require a clear vision, attention to detail, and a bit of patience.

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