Differences between reform and rehabilitation of a home

Many times we refer to changes in a home as works, but depending on what it entails we will be facing a reform or a rehabilitation project.

Since these two concepts are sometimes confused in this post you will find the differences between the two. These are two very different situations, so it is convenient to know the details that differentiate them.

What do we call reform

When we talk about reforms in a house we are referring to the process of changing the appearance or state of the facilities or elements of the home.

When making the reform what is sought is to renovate the house with an aesthetic purpose, almost never of functionality.

It is an action that we do voluntarily, never out of obligation. Energy consumption and home security will remain the same.


  • Demolition of partitions
  • Change of material in the floors
  • Change of bathtub for shower tray

What do we call rehabilitation

In the case of rehabilitation, the main objective is to repair a damage or improve the state of any element already existing in the house.

It is an action measure focused on improving the safety of the people who live in it or improving energy efficiency.

They can be structural elements that affect the entire building or specific areas of a home exclusively.


  • Repairs of structures in poor condition
  • Leak solution
  • Plumbing arrangements
  • Replacement of electrical installations

Comparison between reform and rehabilitation

In both cases we will be facing a work at home, but the differences are several.

Reform Rehabilitation
Objective Aesthetic change Functional improvement
Execution Voluntary Compulsory
Priority Casualty Loud
Scope Housing Dwelling or building

These are two processes that must be executed by professionals, but the differences between them are important.

Knowing if you are facing a reform or a rehabilitation work is important, since in the case of rehabilitations you should act as soon as possible.

Do not miss a damage to the structure of the house or the roof, because although it is a minor problem, with the passage of time it will become a significant damage.

Security should be your main objective, so if you doubt contact a professional. Teach him what you need to change and he will tell you if it is an urgent measure.

Legal requirements

Another aspect you should pay attention to is legal requirements. In this case it cannot be divided into two groups, since they will depend on the scope of the reform or the rehabilitation work.

Type of work Scope Permission
Rehabilitation Partial (does not affect the structure or the façade) Not necessary
Rehabilitation Partial (affects the structure or façade) Major works license, security plan and basic execution project
Rehabilitation Integral Major works license, security plan and basic execution project
Reform Interior of the house Building permit
Reform Roof Major works license

The completion and presentation of the permits will be borne by the reform company. These are technical documents for which you need to have a good knowledge base.

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By Catharine Bwana