Back to top

Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Thinking of home renovations? Know and understand the costs behind even small touch ups

Dreaming about making a few updates to your current home? From popular home renovation shows to social media, inspiration for updates abounds. Even if you are not planning a major remodel, small changes, like updating light fixtures or adding a fresh coat of paint, can have a big impact on your home's appeal. But small touch-ups do not always mean small costs, and it's important to understand the full expense for any changes before getting started.

These are some considerations to keep in mind when planning small home improvement projects:

House collage made of home improvement tools and equipment.

Get multiple estimates before starting a new project.

The cost for popular home touch-ups can vary widely depending on the materials used, labor, and tools. For example, HomeAdvisor estimates the average cost for refinishing cabinets to be $2,469, but estimates a range of $800 to $5,000. Installing a new faucet costs $239 on average, but expenses could vary between $90 and $529. One way to hold the line on costs is to opt for less expensive finishes that can deliver an upgraded appearance without breaking your budget.

Opt for budget-friendly cosmetic updates.

If your kitchen could use an update but an expensive remodel isn't in the cards, small cosmetic updates can have a big impact. A fresh coat of paint or gel stain can brighten up older cabinets. Changing out cabinet hardware with new knobs or modern pulls can freshen up your space. These are projects that homeowners often do themselves, which further minimizes costs by not needing to pay for outside labor.

Include the cost of tool rental or purchase in your budget, along with materials.

With DIY projects, you'll need to factor in the cost of tools in addition to paint or hardware when creating your budget. If you are repainting cabinets, for example, you'll need to remove cabinet doors, remove hardware, and sand the surface prior to priming, vacuum the surface to remove loose dust and then prime. Materials like an extra-fine sanding sponge, spackling compound, and mini foam roller are not expensive, but it's important to include them in your overall budget estimate so there are no surprises at the hardware store.

Balance upfront expenses with long-term value.

If you plan to move within the next one to two years, consider how much of the improvement cost you will be able to recoup when your home is sold. Small changes, like updating your bathroom faucet fixture, can be done affordably and will help your home "show well" during a house tour. If you're painting a room, opt for a neutral shade with broad appeal, rather than a custom color that may polarize prospective buyers. If you're considering more significant changes, like upgrading appliances, consider which items will have the biggest positive impact on your resell value.

Know when to call in the pros.

Minor improvements, like updating your bathroom faucet fixture, can usually be done on your own. Small changes, however, can sometimes creep into larger projects. It may be tempting to think, "If I'm changing out this fixture, why not update the tile and vanity at the same time?" More complex projects, like retiling a bathroom or replacing a vanity, could be a DIY project if you have the necessary tools and experience. However, it's important to honestly assess your skill level rather than start a project and make costly mistakes that require professional assistance to correct. For a full bathroom remodel, including rearranging plumbing, you'll want to call in the professionals.

Talk to your insurance agent about any changes.

Updating your home could impact your coverage needs. Your independent agent can answer questions about home insurance coverage and the impact of remodeling on your current policy.

Family in the kitchen.

Cover home, auto & more.

Encompass Insurance offers protection for the things that matter most.

Find an agent

The general information contained in The Encompass Blog is provided as a courtesy, and is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The contents of this website are subject to periodic change without notice. Information provided on The Encompass Blog is not intended to replace official sources. Although attempts will be made to ensure that the information is accurate and timely, the information is presented "as is" and without warranties. Information contained on The Encompass Blog should not be mistaken for professional advice. Information contained herein should not be considered error-free and should not be used as the exclusive basis for decision-making. Use of website information is strictly voluntary and at the user's sole risk. We encourage you to obtain personal advice from qualified professionals when making decision regarding your specific situation.

Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers. The Encompass Blog does not monitor all linked resources and cannot guarantee their accuracy. Statements, views and opinions included in an independent provider's material are strictly those of the author(s). These views may not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of The Encompass Blog, the Encompass family of companies or its agents, officers or employees.

ECC Monitor: OK