By Sam Ferris

So you want to start remodeling your home. Maybe you’re selling it. Maybe you’re just tired of the way it looks. Either way, you probably want remodeling projects that don’t break the bank. DIY is definitely the way to go, right?


OK, sort of wrong. It depends. Sometimes DIY projects are less expensive. But sometimes DIY remodeling can end up costing you more money because of rookie mistakes, especially with larger projects. It also takes time to learn how to remodel yourself and actually do it.

Luckily, not all professional remodeling projects are expensive. Here are seven fix-me-ups that probably won’t cost you more than $5,000. They’ll also make your home more attractive and more marketable.
Photo by Hallmark Interior Design LLC
Powder Room Remodel

Max remodel size: 15 square feet

Recommended material cost: $120/square foot or less

Bonus: Vessel sink ($360)

You won’t complain about your powder room being too small when it’s time to remodel it, that’s for sure. For a quick and affordable makeover, install new granite or quartz countertops with a stunning natural stone vessel sink. If you want new floors or a lower budget, don’t splurge as much on the countertops – you can find granite starting at $45/square foot.

Editor’s note: Since powder room vanities are small, make sure you select countertops from what your flooring provider has left over from another job. Otherwise, you’ll pay for an entire slab.

Photo by Mohawk Flooring
Almost Anything Laminate

Max remodel Size: 600 square feet

Recommended material cost: $4/square foot or less

We say “almost anything” because it all depends on whether you want luxury laminate floors or not. If you want to remodel a sizeable space with a high end laminate, you’ll probably spend $5,000. You can find a good laminate floor for $4/square foot or less, install it under a fairly large space and escape without paying a dime over $5,000. Opting for laminate instead of hardwood floors will generally keep your budget on the lower side.

Photo by Sam Ferris
Shower Spruce Up

Max remodel size: 100 square feet

Recommended material cost: $7/square foot or less

Bonus: Mosaic strips, $50/sheet or less

Like powder rooms, shower remodels are typically easier on the wallet. Considering most showers are 60-100 square feet, you don’t have to buy a lot of material. That means you can spend more on tiles and mosaics than you normally would. We played it safe with our price recommendations in case you’re ripping out an old tub. That’s more labor, more plumbing and more expensive.

Photo by Sam Ferris
Bye Bye, Kitchen Backsplash

Max remodel size: 50 square feet

Recommended material cost: $50/sheet or less

Here’s an interior design tip. If you’re on a budget and remodeling your kitchen, avoid cabinet and countertop renovation. Why? Changing your kitchen’s backsplash can totally reshape the way your kitchen looks, and it’s less expensive. Trade in your dated backsplash for a trendy glass mosaic and install it vertically for a very contemporary effect. For larger kitchens, keep sheet cost a little lower than our recommendation. 

Photo by DD Ford Construction, Inc.
Totally Talavera Countertops

Max remodel size: 45 square feet

Recommended material cost: $20-30/square foot or less

We’re thinking talavera tile countertops in an outdoor kitchen with travertine floors (in Versailles pattern, of course) and Tuscan stucco walls, but anywhere else would be just as bonita. The best part about remodeling your countertops with talavera is it’s so inexpensive compared to granite and quartz. Think of it as a budget remodeling project sans sacrificing quality.

Photo by Mohawk Flooring
Upstairs Carpet

Max remodel size: 1000 square feet

Recommended material cost: $3.50/square foot or less

Carpet installation is probably the most affordable professional remodeling project. Before you tell us that carpet is out of style and it’s a waste of remodeling, stop. If you read our 10 Remodeling Myths You’ve Probably Heard blog, you’d know that’s not the case. Redo your bedrooms or entire second floor in a plush taupe, or both if they’re in the same place.

Photo by Sam Ferris
Staircase Runner

Max remodel size: 100 linear feet

Recommended material cost: Varies

First things first: if you have a staircase that’s 100 linear feet, please invite us over for a peek (and maybe even a remodel?). Exceptions aside, most staircases are probably in the 40-60 range. That said, remodeling your staircase with a runner should end up costing you well under $5,000. We sold and installed the runner you see above for under $2,500.

*All remodeling projects budget enough for additional labor and material costs (such as tile removal, countertop removal, fiber rock, grout, etc.). Overall job cost may vary depending on your home.