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Facelift vs. Remove & Replace vs. Design-Build: Which is best for your home renovation?

April 17th, 2024 | 6 min read

By Callie Lovejoy

What is holding you back from renovating your kitchen or bathroom?

One of the most important decisions you can make to ensure the success of your renovation is choosing the right contractor for your project.

Step 1 is figuring out what level of home renovation best suits your needs, budget, time constraints, and desire to make decisions. Then you can choose a company that provides services at that level.

Most remodeling companies will fall into one of three home renovation categories: facelift, remove & replace, or design-build. There is some overlap between services offered in each category and the best advice we can give is to ask lots of questions to be very clear about what a company does and does not offer. 

Here at JSB Home Solutions, we have people who are experienced in all levels of home renovations, from our weekend warriors completing DIY projects on their own homes to our president and founder with 46 years of full-scale remodeling expertise and everywhere in between.

Table of Contents: 

As you read about the three remodeling categories, imagine your kitchen or bathroom and what it will take to get your current room to match your dream space. By the end, you will know which type of remodeling company you need to complete your project.

What is Facelift Remodeling?DeSilva-Before-After--600x777

Facelift remodeling uses small updates to freshen up your space. Facelift remodeling can also be called over-existing, one-day, or same-day remodeling. Updating accessories, repainting walls, and replacing cabinet hardware could fall into a DIY category. You will probably want to hire a professional if you plan on replacing faucets, painting or refinishing cabinets, or replacing toilets or light fixtures.

In a kitchen facelift project, you could replace cabinet hardware, paint or reface kitchen cabinets, update lighting fixtures, or refinish floors.

In a bathroom facelift project, you could replace the toilet or sink, replace cabinet hardware, reglaze your tub or shower, or install a tub or shower overlay. 

The top two factors that homeowners like you consider are the project cost and the project timeline.

Cost of Facelift Remodeling

Budgets are arguably the most important factor when considering a home renovation project. You want to be sure you are not biting off more than you can chew. Facelift remodeling will usually have the lowest costs but remove & replace can be very close depending on the project.

For a kitchen, “A small kitchen remodel costs anywhere from $12,000 to $22,000” according to Forbes Home. Your kitchen’s size will be the major contributing factor to cost.

For a bathroom, costs will vary for half-baths, full-baths, and master baths among other factors but the average cost of a facelift/one-day remodel is $5,000 to $15,000 according to Home Advisor.


Timeline of Facelift Remodeling

Facelift remodeling has the shortest project timelines and can sometimes be completed in as little as one day (hence, the names "same-day" or "one-day" remodels).

Kitchen facelift projects can typically be completed in 3-5 days. 

Many bathroom facelift remodeling companies advertise one-day or same-day renovations. The longest a bathroom facelift project would take is around 3 days.


Before you hire a facelift remodeling company, you should consider all the advantages and disadvantages of facelift remodeling to know if this is the right for for your home. If a facelift doesn't sound like it's right for you, you may be intrigued to learn more about remove & replace remodeling.

What is Remove & Replace Remodeling?   

Remove & Replace remodeling involves taking out the existing materials and replacing them with new, updated products. Remove & Replace is sometimes referred to as pull & replace remodeling. New appliances, replacing a tub or shower, replacing cabinets, new flooring, and minor layout changes would all fall under the scope of remove & replace remodeling.

Typically, remove & replace remodeling has narrowed down your options to a few manufacturers and the most popular colors and styles. This might sound limiting but you will still be offered hundreds of selections from suppliers that your contractor trusts the most. Remove & replace remodeling will give you much greater customization and flexibility over a facelift approach. And you will not be facing unlimited options for each decision as you would with a design-build model (more on this later).


Most remove & replace remodeling contractors do not do anything that involves structural changes to a house. They may remove a kitchen soffit, tear down a knee wall or a non-load bearing wall but you should add this to the list of questions to ask your contractor.


The other piece that remove & replace companies usually try to avoid is moving any significant electrical, plumbing, or heating/AC lines. The goal of remove & replace remodeling is to offer more customization than facelift remodeling at a lower price point and shorter timeline than design-build remodeling. Dealing with electrical, plumbing, and heating/AC dramatically increases costs and time for a given project.

JSB Home Solutions is primarily a remove & replace remodeler and has many completed JSB kitchen projects and JSB bathroom projects that you can check out for inspiration.

Once again, the most asked questions about any home remodel project are “how much will it cost?” and “how long will it take?”

Cost of Remove & Replace Remodeling

Remove & replace remodeling will have a much larger range of prices than facelift remodeling.

Kitchens remodeled with a remove & replace approach typically fall in the $15,000 - $60,000 range. Factors such as kitchen size, materials selected and scope of work will determine exact costs.

The cost of removing and replacing a bathroom has various levels. A standard hall bathroom will cost anywhere between $18,000 and $28,000. A Master bathroom will generally cost 35,000 to 50,000, depending on the size and scope of work.


Timeline of Remove & Replace Remodeling

Remove & replace remodeling projects will take longer than facelift projects but they will not be nearly as lengthy as a design-build project. Considering the amount of time that your space will be unusable is important for what your life will look like during the project. 

Overall, the timeline of remove & replace for kitchen projects takes about 2-3 weeks in the build-out phase. Due to a lesser scope of work and more defined options,  the construction crew just has to take out and replace the kitchen’s features instead of removing the infrastructure.

A typical hall bathroom can be done in three to five days. A master bathroom can be done in seven to ten days.


As with any decision, considering the advantages and disadvantages of remove & replace remodeling will help you decide if this remodeling approach is right for your project.

Bathroom remodel completed by J.S. Brown & Co.

What is Design-Build Remodeling?

JS-Brown-and-Co-1-600x400Design-Build remodeling is exactly what it sounds like. First, you design your space with the help of industry professionals. Then, they build it for you!  The process is as simple as that. 

Need more space in your kitchen? Design-build can take out any interior wall or even an exterior wall and expand your kitchen.

Don’t like where your master bathroom is? Design-build can relocate your bathroom to swap locations with your closet.

JS-Brown-and-Co-600x401In a design-build remodel you will get a personal designer to walk you through the entire process. They will listen to your wants and desires.  They will accompany you as you visit multiple manufacturers and suppliers for anything from tile to floors, to cabinets, to lighting, and even mirrors. The sky is the limit with a design-build company.

While JSB Home Solutions is not a design-build company, our sister company, J.S. Brown & Co. can handle all of your design-build dreams.

Kitchen remodel completed by J.S. Brown & Co.

To avoid sticker shock if you are considering a design-build remodel project, let’s dive into the costs and timelines for this approach.

Cost of Design-Build Remodeling

Design-build remodeling has the highest cost of remodeling projects. But if you want full customization or need extensive layout changes to achieve your goals, the higher price is worth it. And don’t forget that the higher cost also includes working with a designer who will maximize the use of your space.

Typically, a design-build kitchen remodel cost ranges from $84,000 to $150,000. The cost depends on the scope of the project, and the quality of products being used.

Design-build bath projects will cost anywhere between $85,000 - $125,000 on average. This cost depends on how much work you want done on your bathroom. The longer or more complex your project is to complete, the more expensive it will be.


Timeline of Design-Build Remodeling

Design builds are not quick projects. They are done in months and sometimes years, and with that comes a cost. If you’re willing to invest the time and money that comes with a design-build, you can get anything you want in your space.

Most kitchen projects have a design phase of several months, and then usually 6 months to a year to build out the design from a year to a year and a half from start to finish.

The installation of a bathroom design takes at least three months and, more often than not, six to nine months. This involves the demolition, building, and installation of the project.


Once you understand the levels of home remodeling, you can begin to narrow your company search based on the scope of your home renovation project.

How do you decide which level of remodeling is right for your project?

It’s a lot of pressure to have your most important decision be the first one you make to start a home renovation. Here are some considerations to help guide the decision-making process:

  • Project Goals and Objectives: Clearly defining the goals and objectives of the project will help you determine which type of remodeling will achieve those goals.
  • Budget Constraints: Consider your budget for your project, taking into account the cost of home renovations so that your budget is realistic for your goals. 
  • Timeline Requirements: Evaluate the project timeline and how quickly you need the project completed.
  • Existing Structure Conditions: The condition of the existing structure is important in decision-making. A design-build approach may be the best solution if the structure is deteriorated or obsolete.

Keep these ideas in mind as you continue to research and learn more about the home remodeling process. Knowledge is power! You will save yourself time, energy, and hassle by soaking in all the information you can before you start to build your dream home.