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In the South African Home Improvement Contractor industry, people tend to use the terms "Renovation", "Home Improvement", "Property Maintenance" and so on interactively. What really is the definition of home renovation? And what then is property maintenance? Here, we explore the differences.

 Smarten Renovate is a South African renovation contractor business. To “smarten up” means to make or become smarter in appearance; to improve something from one state to a better state. Smarten Renovate does home additions, home alterations, home extensions, room conversions and all-round renovation and property improvement work. But what really is the definition of home renovation? And what then is property maintenance? Here, we explore the differences:

We generally think of maintenance and repairs as an antidote to deterioration. In our view, maintenance must have some relation to wear and tear or to damage which occurs in the lifecycle of a property. But we also realise that there is a very fine line here, and many grey areas. Let’s take painting, for example. To paint the outside of your house or your roof could easily be defined as maintenance: if you paint, you prevent deterioration. But you also paint to improve the look of your property.

An improvement makes something better than it was originally or provides something in a new and more valuable or more desirable form. Improvements generally increase the value, income potential or expected life of a property. Maintenance and even repairs become improvements when you go beyond restoring an item to its original function. And what is renovation then? Just look at the vast array of synonyms you find on the Internet: (These are just some of them)

Modernisation, restoration, redecoration, refurbishment, revamping, makeover, reconditioning, rehabilitation, overhauling, redevelopment, rebuilding, reconstruction, remodelling. In our view, these all relate to improvements which means that renovation in this definition is to improve an aspect of a property.

To wrap up, let’s look at some examples of maintenance work:

·         Mowing the lawn and pruning trees

·         Oiling garage door motors

·         Resealing a wooden deck once every 3 months

·         Applying creosote to lapa poles

Renovations or improvements include the following:

·         Installing new kitchen cupboards

·         Removing or adding an internal wall

·         Building a garage or carport

·         Remodelling a bathroom

·         Retiling a floor

At Smarten Renovate we believe that maintenance is non-negotiable: you have to do maintenance on a property to prevent deterioration and a consequent drop in value. Similarly, if you want to increase the value of your property, you have to consider a renovation project from time to time. Read the other articles on the Smarten Renovate website to see which renovation projects may increase your property value best.