Renovate or Refresh?

Renovate or Refresh?

You’ve decided to make some changes to your home. Do you want a refresh or a renovation? What is the difference? Knowing the difference between a renovation and a refresh can save you time when deciding what kind of help you will need to remodel your home. More and more people have been hiring tradesman to refresh or renovate their homes, but which one is best?

Being in a lockdown and working remotely from home has drawn a lot of attention to our living and home office standards. Deciding whether to refresh or renovate will be largely determined by how much work you want to undertake and your budget.

When to refresh and when to renovate

Renovation costs can be a prohibitive factor when it comes to making home improvements. It all comes down to the size of the renovation, the quality of finishes you want, and your budget. Sometimes a refresh or small update might be all you need to improve your living spaces, lifestyle, and add value to your home.

When to refresh or to renovate


If you aren’t sure you want to tackle a full renovation, a refresh may be the better option for you. There are many cost-effective upgrades you can do that will update the look and feel and enjoyment of your living spaces, including:

Replacing the splashback

Updating your kitchen splashback is an easy and creative way to overhaul your kitchen. Before making a decision on the type of splashback for your kitchen, it’s wise to consider:

  • Performance – Will it show the grime?
  • Maintenance – Will it be easy to clean?
  • Longevity – How will it handle kitchen wear and tear?
  • Cost – How much will it cost?
  • Practicality/Safety – Can I have it near my cooktop?
  • Style – Does it fit within the overall style of my kitchen/house?

With a vast array of splashbacks – tiles, toughened glass, stone, pressed metal, stainless steel, plaster, brick, timber – colours, textures and patterns to choose from, there is bound to be something to fit your budget and style.

Updating cabinets and benchtop

Your kitchen can look like new by replacing or upgrading your cabinets and benchtop.

Whole cabinets or doors can be replaced. However, painting can give you an instant refresh for a fraction of the cost.

Replacing benchtops is probably the best way to upgrade them, however, some could be rescued with resurfacing and/or a few coats of paint. Of course your budget and objectives for the space will be a big factor in deciding which way to go.

These are relatively easy transformations that will give you that “brand new” feeling at a reasonable cost.

Changing door knobs and handles

Some of the smallest and cheapest upgrades can make all the difference to the look and feel of a room.

Replacing the handles on your cabinetry and doors is a quick way to update a room’s “aesthetic” appeal. And it won’t cost the earth and is an easy way to add bespoke touches that reflect your personal style.

New tapware

Tapware is often underrated but in truth it’s much more than just water. In kitchens, bathrooms (and to a lesser extent, laundries), tapware has evolved to become a key feature.

Modern tapware provides many styling options – shape and size, mixer options, mounting, and colours (black, bronze, brass, rose gold, copper silver – polished, brushed or matt).

From contemporary, minimalist, industrial, to Victorian, and art-deco, there is a tapware style to suit you, your home, and your budget.

beautiful bath renovation

Installing new light fixtures

Light fixtures are great for changing the atmosphere of your living space and can make it feel lighter and even larger.

Whatever your style or budget, lighting is one of the most effective ways to transform how the home feels when you walk through the door.

Considering what a room is used for is the first place to start. However, there’s much more to consider before deciding on lighting options.

Sometimes a simple refresh of features around the house will do.


Painting is another cost-effective way to upgrade the look and feel of a room or your entire home. A modern colour pallet will add and instant refresh and breathe life into your home. However, like most projects, preparation and planning is the key to a beautiful finish.

  • Accurately measure walls / the room to calculate the quantity of paint required.
  • Make a list of everything you’ll need: Safety gear, Sugar Soap, bucket, sponges/cloths, drop sheets, masking/edging tape, patch and repair kit,  sandpaper, paint trays, paint brushes/roller frame, roller pole, angled paintbrush/cutting in brush, paint, sealer, primer, step ladder or higher ladder.
  • Prepare walls and all surfaces – wash, dry, sand, and remove dust.
  • Open doors and windows for ventilation. Place drop cloths on the floor, and apply masking tape to fittings, trim edges, light/airconditioning fixtures etc.
  • Prime or undercoat
  • Paint – as many coats as required for the surface/room/paint being used.
  • Remove masking take, drop sheets, clean and tidy, and maybe vacuum the area. Replace furniture and fixtures and fittings.

Hanging artwork, mirrors or pictures

Things to remember when renovating or refreshing your home

Renovating can help maximise the value of your home, especially if you are intending to sell. However, it’s important to engage experts in the process. You may need to factor in structural issues into your plan, and be very flexible with your budget. Generally kitchen and bathroom renovations are the most expensive due to all the appliances and fittings you would need to purchase. Other factors include replacing windows, flooring, tiling, or knocking down walls to open up space.

A simple refresh is an excellent way to upgrade your home if only a few things need to be done, or if your budget is limited.

Call Handyman Homes Today

Handyman Homes is Cape Town’s favourite handyman for everything property maintenance-related. We provide a wide range of services for both your home and commercial property. Whether you are looking to refresh your house with a lick of paint or renovate to something much grander, Handyman Homes is here to help. Call – 071 319 2831.

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