High-Impact Remodeling Projects

A New Generation
Get the most out of your remodeling efforts by focusing on projects that will make a statement and pay off when it comes time to sell your home.

Get Your Money's Worth

Don't move -- simply improve what you already have! We've compiled a list of projects, ranging in price from $500 to $10,000, that are sure to impress your guests, pad your pocketbook, and improve your personal comfort.

Spice Up a Surround

$500 or Less

Fireplaces are natural gathering areas even when a fire isn't lit. Turn yours into a crowd-pleasing focal point with a decorative surround and/or an updated mantel furnished with attractive accessories.

Make a Statement with Tile

$500 or Less

The shimmer, brilliance, and color of glass tile make it a dramatic and popular choice for a backsplash or countertop in the kitchen or bath. The bright colors and play of light explain the decorative advantage of glass tile, but recycled glass offers eco-friendly appeal as well.

$500 Makeover: From Retro to Modern

Kitchen Revamp

$500 or Less

A few simple updates can completely transform your kitchen. See how this outdated space got a facelift for $474.

Perk Up with Paint

$500 or Less

Adding color with paint is the quickest way to change the look of any room in your home. How bold to go is up to you, and if you change your mind, it's easy to cover with another color. Limit your wall color choices to two or three related hues to unify your home's look from room to room. Painting trim the same color throughout your home helps tie everything together.

New Front Door

$500 or Less

Your front door is the one of the most visible parts of the house. A fairly easy and inexpensive door upgrade can make a huge difference in your home's appearance, energy efficiency, and security. And door manufacturers now offer numerous styles to complement almost any home's architecture. Select from hardwood, composite steel, and fiberglass.

Redo a Powder Room

$500 or Less

The powder room is probably one of the smallest rooms in your house, but it's also one that guests visit often. Cover the walls with fabric, paint, or a textured wall covering. Give the room a fresh new look by changing out the fixtures or by giving a tired piece of furniture new life as the vanity.

Refresh the Kitchen

$500 or Less

The kitchen is the center of family life, so give yours a stylish, functional, and affordable new look the whole family will love. There are several projects that will each cost you less than $500. Replace outdated countertops with a stone-substitute laminate. Or, create drama by hanging new fixtures and under-cabinet lighting. Or, dress up cabinets with a fresh coat of paint and fashionable knobs or pulls. Or, hang fun window treatments and add colorful accessories to match.

Extreme Garage

$1,000 to $5,000

The market for garage organization and improvement products is growing as fast as garages themselves, with three-car structures becoming the norm in new homes. Complete garage systems include rolling cabinets, elaborate workbenches, and even appliances. New epoxy paints for garage floors include urethane for durability. For a fancier look, buy roll-out floor mats made of resin composite or heavy vinyl.

Smart Cooking

$1,000 to $5,000

Magnetic induction lets you cook with speed and eliminates wasteful waits. Electric currents create a field of energy that produces virtually instant heat in the bottom of a steel or iron pot or pan. Cooking with magnetic induction is 90 percent efficient, compared with 65 percent for electric and 55 percent for gas.

Solar Water Heater

$1,000 to $5,000

While solar-heating costs are still high for most whole-house applications, heating water with the sun has become a practical option. For $2,500 to $3,500, an active, flat-plate solar collector system will produce 80-100 gallons of hot water per day. The payoff: Your water-heating bills will drop by 50-80 percent. Plus, you'll be shielded from future energy price increases.

Take Cooking Outdoors

$5,000 to $10,000

Indoor and outdoor living spaces are blending, especially in the area between the kitchen and a covered patio or deck. An outdoor kitchen allows you to enjoy the warmer months with a built-in grill and counter space for meal prep and staging. If you don't have the space for a countertop, some stand-alone grills come complete with work surfaces and storage. Add lighting, a sink, and an outdoor table with chairs to complete the space.

High-Efficiency Equipment

$5,000 to $10,000

Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning easily represent the biggest portion of your home's utility expenses. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency strongly recommends that if your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, or your heat pump or air-conditioner is more than 12 years old, you should replace them with new energy-efficient equipment.

Dress Up the Driveway

$5,000 to $10,000

Curb appeal truly begins at the curb, so it makes sense to create an attractive driveway. Adding color, texture, and pattern to poured concrete customizes the look and adds only a few dollars per square foot to the cost of a plain slab. Asphalt can also be stamped and colored to resemble brick, slate, or stone. Many homeowners are looking to these treatments as an alternative to plain concrete or asphalt.

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.