Budget Room Makeovers: Weekend Projects for Under $1000

Dated: September 10 2020

Views: 454



General Tips


Living Room or Family Room




Landscaping and Curb Appeal


Living Room –15 feet x 15 feet

Landscaping and Curb Appeal


At some point or another, every home could use a makeover. Whether it’s time to sell your home or you just want to update the look, home improvements can be exciting. Makeovers can be costly, especially if you’re working on your entire home. If you’ve thought a room makeover was simply too expensive, keep reading.

It’s been well documented that, from a financial standpoint, few home renovations are worth the money. You rarely get back the money put into the project, unless you can do the labor yourself.

However, there are some simple projects that you can do yourself for very little money. You might think you lack the skill required to update the look of your home, but you can do more than you think.

Let’s look at some ideas for a variety of room makeovers, as well as some realistic examples with actual numbers.


“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.” 

- Benjamin Franklin

General Tips

While each room has its own requirements, there are rules that apply to nearly any makeover project. Following these rules will save time and money.

Recommended tips to keep in mind during a home makeover:

1.      Be especially aware of used items and materials. Whenever a home gets a makeover, the appliances and countertops are frequently removed. In more affluent areas, these items are still in excellent condition.

·         Keep an eye on the classifieds, and try contacting local contractors. It’s not uncommon to find nearly new appliances for 20 cents on the dollar.

·         Borrow a friend’s pickup truck or hire someone from the classifieds to move the items for you. You’ll be surprised at what many people are willing to do for $20. The classifieds are a great place to look for inexpensive labor.


2.      It’s especially important to do it yourself. There’s usually a bit of intimidation or hesitancy when it comes to tackling projects yourself. However, many projects are quite simple. You can save a lot of money if you can avoid having to pay for expensive professional labor.


·         The internet is full of instructional videos that can teach the intricacies of nearly any job. The only area where you may be lacking is speed. You obviously won’t be able to hang drywall as quickly as someone that does it 40 hours a week.


3.      Complete the project in steps. Having a strict timeline isn’t necessary when you’re making over a spare bedroom. However, the kitchen is a vital part of the home. It might be necessary to complete the project in steps to minimize the impact on household activities. However, you might enjoy having an excuse to eat out.

4.      Think about the simple things that will have the most impact. Since you probably will be unable to splurge on a complete makeover, take the time to figure out the best way to spend your dollars.


·         Sometimes a simple coat of paint will greatly help the appearance of a room.

5.      Avoid getting in over your head. Some homeowners (mostly men) throw caution to the wind and start tearing down walls. If you have the skills, use them. Keep in mind that some missteps can be costly.

6.      Sell what you can. It’s fairly easy to sell used countertops, appliances, and furniture. In some cases, even flooring can be sold.


Just keep these tips in mind before lifting a hammer or ordering your first can of paint. A little planning can go a long way towards an awesome home makeover. You’re likely to develop a few additional rules of your own once you have a little experience under your belt. 

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.” 

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The kitchen is a unique room. There’s a lot of traffic coming and going at all times of the day, and there are also many expensive appliances that could potentially need to be replaced. It’s impossible to change everything with only $1,000.

Fortunately, there are numerous creative ideas that can be done to a kitchen, even with a strict budget.

Try these weekend kitchen projects on for size: 

1.      Paint or wallpaper: Most people know how to paint. Fewer know how to wallpaper. With a little effort, anyone can make their kitchen walls look like new. Kitchens can be challenging to paint, since there are so many things to paint around. But on a positive note, there’s usually only a small amount of wall space.

2.      Backsplash: It’s possible to make a simple or fancy backsplash with a small investment. The cost is determined by the tile and the size. A backsplash is a great way to create a kitchen with a custom appearance.


·         A backsplash does a much better job of protecting the wall than paint or wallpaper. It also provides a great visual impact.

3.      New countertops: High-end countertops can often be found in the used market. Many of these fancy countertops come out of larger homes, so there’s probably plenty of material. You might need an expert to cut it for you, but the cost is minimal.


·         Depending on the material, new countertops can be quite inexpensive. Fortunately, they are easy to install. Assuming everything was level when you removed the old top, there’s little to do besides some gluing and cutting.

4.      New light fixtures: Many people are afraid to deal with anything electrical, but there are only a few wires to connect. Turn on the old light and trip the breakers until the light goes out. Then turn off the switch and you’ll be super safe.


·         Find a video online or a book at the library on simple electrical projects. If you can use a screwdriver and join a few wires together, you’re all set.

·         Electrical projects can actually be among the easiest to complete. There’s nothing to cut or anything else that requires significant talent or skill.

5.      New flooring: Flooring projects can be challenging for two reasons. First of all, ripping up old flooring can be exhausting and frustrating. Furthermore, installing new flooring usually involves crawling around on your hands and knees for prolonged periods of time.


·         There are tools designed to scrape up old floors, particularly anything laid with adhesive. It can be worth the expense to invest in these tools. Renting is also an option. Kneepads are another worthwhile investment.

·         Check out books or videos on flooring to learn all the tricks of laying down tiles. However, choosing a random-patterned rollout floor eliminates this burden.

6.      Paint cabinets or appliances: You may have seen people paint kitchen cabinets, but you may not know that it’s possible to paint your refrigerator or other appliances, too! A fresh coat of paint is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to spruce up the appliances in your kitchen.

7.      Install new cabinets: Maybe a coat of paint isn’t enough for the plans you have in mind. New cabinets are pretty easy to install, as long as you get everything straight and level. Depending on the cabinets, it can cost more for the installation than for the cabinets themselves.

8.      New hardware: If time or money is tight, consider just changing all the hardware on your cabinets. New pulls, knobs, and hinges can bring cabinets up-to-date.

9.      Build a bar. A cool way to update a kitchen is to add a bar. Even though, they can be fairly easy to build, you’ll probably need a book or friend to help, unless you’re experienced with construction. The cost of the materials is minimal.


A kitchen is a great place to start any home makeover because few rooms are used more. If you can simultaneously make the kitchen more functional, it’s win-win.


Since kitchens makeovers are common, it’s possible to find a lot of used items at great prices.


“It may be that the satisfaction I need depends on my going away,

so that when I've gone and come back, I'll find it at home.” 

- Rumi


Living Room or Family Room


There are two types of living rooms: the one that people actually live in, and the formal-type room that only gets used a few times each year. The latter rarely gets worn out, and is more likely to simply go out of style. The first room is designed for living. Ensure your makeover is appropriate.

Create the living room of your dreams:

 1.      Art: A great way to liven up a living room is with art. There are numerous options available, and many are very inexpensive. Art can vary from an impressionist-style piece to a large photograph of your family.


·         Local art fairs can be a great way of picking up something unique without spending a lot.

2.      Reupholster: New furniture can be expensive, but purchasing some fabric and reupholstering your furniture can be done for a very reasonable cost.


·         Worn out cushions? Furniture-quality foam can be used to spruce up an old couch or chair. Use the old cushion as a model and cut a new one.

3.      Window treatments: Those little metal or plastic Venetian blinds are handy and functional, but not particularly attractive. Wider, wooden blinds that are more attractive can be part of a $1,000 makeover budget. Stylish curtains are also a nice touch.

4.      Accent Furniture: Accent furniture could be defined as items that are intended to primarily function as decoration. However, some accent furniture can be functional, too.


·         A unique chair, table, lamp, room divider, vase, or other accent piece can dramatically change the look of a room.

·         With so many unusual styles available, you can find something that will be a regular topic of conversation.


5.      Walls: Of course, you can go the paint or wallpaper route. But what about texture? Try using metal, textured ceiling panels on a wall and then paint. What about painting one wall a unique color and keeping the other three a little tamer?

6.      Rearrange: You probably remember coming home from school and finding your mom had completely rearranged the furniture. It drastically changes the look of a room. Some have a better eye than others. Think of your more stylish friends and enlist their help.

7.      Flooring: A living room is conducive to a wide variety of flooring options. You probably won’t want to put carpeting in the kitchen or bathroom. Using tile in a bedroom is a little unusual, but a living room is perfect for nearly any type of floor.


·         Carpeting and laminate flooring are easy to install with a few simple tools. The costs can vary depending on the type of flooring.

·         Real wood flooring is usually more costly and requires a more precise install. It also requires maintenance.

·         Tile is a unique option for a living room and requires little in the way of tools beyond a tile saw, which can be purchased or rented.


8.      Furniture: It’s easy to quickly blow a $1,000 budget with furniture, but there’s a lot of used furniture on the market. You might have to search around to find what you’re looking for, but it’s likely out there somewhere.


9.      Rug: Think about buying an area rug to put over your existing floor. It really changes the look of the room, and the cost can be minimal.


10.  Ceiling: Many nicer homes have a unique living room ceiling. Your local building supply store has ceiling tiles that can create a dramatic effect.


11.  Trim: Although most trim is very inexpensive, it has a profound effect on the appearance of a room. If you want to make a statement, you might want to try putting trim around the ceiling rather than just around the floor. This will make your home stand out from other homes.


The living room is another great room to choose for a makeover. Your family likely spends every evening in this room. If you’re making over a room, it only makes sense to start with one that you spend a lot of time in.


Include all the family members in the planning of your new family room. Kids sometimes have the best ideas. Be sure you hear them all.


“I'm the type who'd be happy not going anywhere as long as I was sure I knew exactly

what was happening at the places I wasn't going to. I'm the type who'd like to sit

home and watch every party that I'm invited to on a monitor in my bedroom.”


- Andy Warhol



Every modern home has at least one bathroom. Fortunately, most bathrooms are relatively small, which cuts down on the cost of materials and time needed to do a makeover. The kid’s bathroom can be a safe place to start your first remodeling attempt.


Keep in mind that different bathrooms have different decorating needs.


A bathroom for the kids needs to be functional and easy to clean. Your master bathroom can be more luxurious. A half-bath for guests might require a bit more formality.


Check out these great ideas for the bathroom:


1.      Vanity: The vanity is the centerpiece of any bathroom. Some vanities come with sinks, and others allow you to choose a sink. Some provide storage. Now might be the time to try something daring.


·         Vanities can be very easy to install, depending on what you’re currently using. Investigate the amount of work involved. If you can avoid tearing into the wall, your life will be much easier.

2.      Sink and tub faucets: Just like in the kitchen, a new faucet can be an inexpensive way to update the bathroom.

3.      Toilet: Toilets are surprisingly inexpensive and also very easy to install. Turn off and disconnect the hoses at the toilet, remove a few bolts, and lift it out. The new one goes in the same way, but you’ll need a new wax seal. Have you always wanted to try a bidet?

4.      Towel racks: New towel racks and a new toilet paper holder are simple and inexpensive to replace. Try to find something unique.


5.      Shower door: Those sliding shower doors eventually reach the point of needing replacement. Or perhaps you have a shower curtain and want to go to doors. While replacing an entire shower or tub can be a big job, replacing or installing doors is relatively easy.


6.      Flooring: Now is the time to remove the carpeting that the previous owners installed. High moisture and indoor carpeting don’t go together.


·         The bathroom is a great room to tile. It’s a smaller room, so the material costs are low. Specially treated tile provides excellent water resistance and good footing.

·         Linoleum tile is another option. While a rollout floor is a possibility, there’s a lot of precise cutting involved to work around the vanity and toilet. One mistake can put you back at square one.


7.      Miscellaneous decorations: Most bathroom walls are pretty bare, so consider using the space for something. Keep in mind the humidity levels. For example, photographs tend to curl in such conditions.


·         Come up with something unique for the back of the toilet besides using it as a place to stockpile toilet paper.


Most bathrooms are small, can be made over quickly, and will only require a minimal outlay of cash. Remember that anything in a bathroom is likely to get wet at some point. Certain items don’t fare well in the bathroom.

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Ted Daigle

About Ted Daigle – Realtor Growing up in Church Point, LA instilled values of hard work and dedication, which has carried over into every aspect of his life, including real estate. This Lafayette r....

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