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Ever wondered why contractors talk about renovations and alterations as if they were polar opposites of one another?

Well, you're not alone for a start.

Many of our customers ask us this question and the difference between the two types of work will be explained below.

Alterations vs Renovations


Changing an existing structure is considered an alteration in construction.


In order to assist you with visualizing how an alteration might look, let's say you have a lounge, kitchen, and dining area all located next to one another. However, like all typical South African homes, these rooms are separated by walls. Since open-plan areas are the new craze in the modern era, a person may wish to demolish the walls separating the rooms and open them up to become one large space.

Due to the fact that we are altering the building's infrastructure, this would be considered an alteration


A renovation in construction refers to the process of improving the aesthetics of an existing structure.


Let's say you have an old tatty kitchen that needs to be renovated. A renovation means removing all the cabinets, floors, and existing sinks from the kitchen and giving it a complete cosmetic overhaul that updates its design without affecting its structure.

Since these changes are mostly cosmetic rather than structural, this would be considered a renovation.

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