What phrase can I use instead of "pop the roof" to mean revitalizing, enhancing and expanding a building? I need to convey this idea without referencing a roof.

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    Where did you come across pop the roof with that meaning? I only know it as colloquial AmE for open the bonnet/hood [of a car] - which might feasibly be metaphorically extended to imply getting down into the engine compartment to install customized upgrades, but that would seem a rather odd usage to me. Jan 26, 2016 at 16:46
  • @FumbleFingers: You mean pop the hood. I've never heard pop the roof in any context- house, automotive, or otherwise.
    – cobaltduck
    Jan 26, 2016 at 17:32
  • @cobaltduck: I did say the normal word is bonnet/hood, AmE/BrE. But what with trunk, muffler, fender (BrE boot, exhaust, bumper), I can easily get confused when it comes to AmE car parts. Jan 26, 2016 at 17:36

3 Answers 3


The building is being renovated. Renovation or renovations are the common terms associated with redoing buildings in the construction and architectural industries...


Gentrify speaks to revitalizing a building, with improvements that increase the value.

the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents

  • Yes, but generally it's gentrify a neighborhood by renovating buildings. I have never heard of gentrifying a building per se....urban renewal and revitalization, in some contexts, that can include gentrification (getting rid of the poor people by evicting them and getting richer people to buy the properties).
    – Lambie
    Jan 26, 2016 at 17:04
  • To add to @Lambie's point, gentrifying/gentrification have a specific social implication about societies developping to accommodate richer people at the expense of poorer. This is likely not an intended implication. Jan 26, 2016 at 17:40
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    @SuperBiasedMan I agree that the word carries more baggage than may be required here, only more context would tell. The term is commonly used in my region by real estate agents, properly or not, to indicate a house in an older neighborhood that has been renovated. The typical case is a house that has had all but one wall knocked down, and rebuilt from scratch, to something much larger than the previous dwelling.
    – jimm101
    Jan 26, 2016 at 18:10

You don't specify the reason for the building work, but if the intention is to resell, you can use the colloquial term flipping.

House flipping has become a hobby or even business in several parts of the U.S. The goal of course is to sell the house for more than the cost of purchase plus cost of repairs, thereby earning yourself a profit.

  • flipping is about selling, it does not explain or clarify work done on a built structure...
    – Lambie
    Jan 26, 2016 at 18:17

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