Many people do not understand the difference between renovation and restoration, but in simple terms restoration means to return something to its original state (as near as possible) while renovation allows one to change, modernise, adds bits and pieces and generally end up looking nothing like the original. A good example would be Elizabeth Taylor versus Michael Jackson. She had her face restored many times we are told, to retain her youthful beauty, whereas Michael definitely renovated his – also several times!

But what has that got to do with the house above which sits close to the Kinta River bank. Well, looking at the new roof of modern tiles, this is certainly a renovation not restoration. We do not know anything much about this house, other than what the below notices show.

If I understand this correctly the renovation was approved in 1999. Now I remember with horror the renovation to my home in Ipoh where the planned 3 months took 1 year and 5 months with the cost more than doubling, but at least it didn’t take 11 years to get as far as completing the roof. But of course it is not anyone’s fault (it never is) but I wonder what the contractor thinks?

But the point of all this is that wouldn’t it have been nice to keep this house as an original model of its particulat style? Restore rather than renovate. After all this is in a very desirable location close to the river, but away from traffic and should fetch a tidy sum when sold on the open market. It would be even more attractive with the outside features retained but modernised inside to suit our high standard of living necessary these days.

To conclude, I say to those who have an old property in need of repair, consider carefully before you touch the building, restoration will be more expensive in the short term but the long term benefits will certainly be worthwhile. Once renovated it has gone for ever.