NOTE: The beginning half of 2021 has seen an unprecedented labor shortage as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In conjunction with this, demand for materials and construction jobs has skyrocketed. As a result, material prices may be higher than those reported in this article, and lead times may be longer than usual for both labor and materials.
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Tired of looking around your house and seeing the same old paint job and furniture? Thinking of selling in the near future? Ready to make some changes, but not financially prepared to commit to the cost of an entire renovation? Whether you are looking to increase the property value of your home, flip a newly purchased house or simply want a change of pace, here are some easy home renovations that you can do for under $5,000.
Estimated costs are based on the U.S. national average. Exact costs may vary depending on your location, professional services hired, the size of your house and the materials that you choose, among other factors.
General Interior Renovations
These renovations can be done in multiple rooms for an inexpensive but transformative effect on your house.
Whether you opt for a feature wall, solid colors or a trendy design, applying a fresh coat of paint is one of the fastest ways to give the interior of your home a makeover. At an average cost of $3.50 per square foot, painting a 10×12 room ends up at around $100 to $300 if you DIY. Getting your walls professionally painted can add on anywhere from $150 to $700 depending on the size of the project, but it may be worth it if you’re facing a time-crunch.
Refinish or Recoat Hardwood Floors
Refinishing hardwood floors is daunting and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. The entire cost, including sanding and staining, runs around $3 to $8 per square foot when done professionally and anywhere from $500 to $1,000 (not counting machinery or other additional costs) as a DIY. On the other hand, recoating (the process of adding a layer of protective varnish) is around $1 to $2 per square foot and a preferable option if your floors are still in good shape.
Incorporating an Interior Design Theme
Often, making a house feel brand new can be as simple as changing up the furniture and style. Consider theming certain rooms of your house around a certain color, pattern or style and getting rid of, or refurbishing and upcycling, any furniture that no longer matches.
It also simplifies the shopping process: you can save money by buying wholesale and taking advantage of cheaper prices on themed sets of dishware, linens and accessories. By unifying your house or a room with an appealing aesthetic, you can make it look like you’re an expert in interior design. And if you have some furniture that you can’t bear to part with, but it doesn’t quite fit anywhere–go ahead and give that one room a cozy, eclectic vibe.
While the cost of a full-scale kitchen remodel averages around $25,000, there’s no need to break the bank in order to upgrade. Here are some ideas for an inexpensive kitchen remodel.
Essential kitchen appliances like refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers can all be replaced surprisingly inexpensively. Depending on the brand, it’s possible to spend less than $500 per large appliance (not counting any additional fees). Don’t forget to ask a retailer about package offers or discounts if you are buying multiple appliances, which can save you up to $1,500. Learn how to install an appliance yourself to save an extra $100 to $500.
Complete a Cabinet and Drawer Makeover
With a new coat of paint and finish, you can shake up the entire look of your kitchen just by giving the cabinets and drawers a fresh look. If you’re more worried about style but don’t want – or need – to replace everything, consider refacing instead: only replace the cabinet doors ($50 to $90 per cabinet) and drawer fronts ($30 to $50 per drawer).
Replacing countertops is a common kitchen renovation. Ceramic and porcelain tile are the most cost-effective at $5 to $30 per square foot and are easy DIY, if you don’t mind taking the time to install and maintain them. Laminate countertops are slightly more expensive, averaging at $25 per square foot, but offer a diverse range of colors and styles.
Redo the Backsplash
Re-doing the backsplash is both a surprisingly easy DIY and a classic way to bring creativity and personal flair into an otherwise standard kitchen. Inexpensive materials are easy to find, from peel-and-stick patterns to painted planks, mark-down tiles and stencil designs. Costs will vary depending on the material you choose, but you can easily get the job done on a $600 budget.
Bathrooms are a common priority for house remodels, and for good reason: no one wants to shower and get ready for the day in an unappealing space. Like with kitchen remodels, cheap ideas for bathroom remodels include replacing the backsplash, refacing cabinets and painting walls, but here are two additional ideas for an inexpensive renovation.
Install a Pre-Made Bathroom Vanity
Finding a pre-made vanity set couldn’t be easier: Double-sink vanities, floating vanities and even corner vanities are regularly sold in a variety of styles, materials and sizes. The cost for a pre-made bathroom vanity can range from $100 to $2,600. A basic understanding of plumbing and some good old-fashioned elbow grease is required for assembly, but if the thought of messing with your pipes alarms you, a professional installation average around $1,500 and can be as low as $300.
Replace a Shower
A prefabricated shower stall or kit comes with all the parts required to assemble a complete shower and can be found for around or less than $1,000. An even cheaper option, if you don’t need to replace the shower pan or bathtub, is to buy a wall kit only ($300 to $600).
General Exterior Renovations
Your house’s interior shouldn’t be the only thing leaving a good impression. Don’t forget to consider the exterior when you start thinking about renovation plans.
While power-washing, or pressure-washing, your house can damage the exterior if you’re not careful, it’s surprisingly affordable ($400 to $1,400 average for a two-story house) to hire a team of professionals to do the job for you. If the potential damage from power-washing makes you nervous, a hose, basic cleaning supplies and a soap or oxygen bleach solution can go a long way.
The national average to professionally paint the exterior of a 2-story house can be as low as $3,000. If you feel like DIY, costs can range between $500 and $1,000 depending on the size of your house, including supplies. If you don’t want to commit to re-doing the whole paint job, consider just re-painting the trim: it will be cheaper and less work, but still, give your home a fresh look.
Install a Patio / Outdoor Floor Decking
If you have an outdoor space, adding a patio or some decking can go a long way to making it a welcoming place to hang out. For a classic brick patio, expect to pay around $6 to $11 per square foot for the bricks and double that if you hire a professional for installation. For smaller areas like balconies or terraces, consider investing in outdoor floor decking. Prices vary anywhere from $50 to $150 depending on the materials, size and number of deck tiles included in the package, but assembly is easy.
An inexpensive home renovation can bring a fresh look and feel to any space. As summer approaches and the world returns to life, bringing a sense of newness and change into your home can make a positive impact on mood and lifestyle without breaking the bank. From general interior to bathrooms, kitchens and beyond, there’s always something that can be done to help make a house feel more like a home.
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