DIY Home Renovations for Empty Nesters

Jordan Haddox |

As children leave the nest and embark on their own journeys, empty nesters often find themselves with newfound time and resources to invest in their homes. DIY renovations can be an excellent way to rejuvenate your living space and create a fresh environment that is tailored to your new needs. Here are five DIY home renovations, ranked from least to most expensive, along with some of their pros and cons.

Fresh Paint and Wallpaper

Cost: Least Expensive


Instant Transformation: A fresh coat of paint or wallpaper can completely transform a room, giving is a new look and feel without breaking the bank. Whether you opt for a bold accent wall or a serene color palette, paint and wallpaper provide an opportunity for creative expression and personalized style.

Creative Expression: Painting and choosing wallpaper patterns allow you to express your personal style and create a space that reflects your taste and preferences. From vibrant hues to soothing neutrals, the color palette you select can set the mood for each room.


Time-Consuming: Painting and wallpapering can be labor intensive and time-consuming, especially for larger areas or intricate designs. Properly prepping the walls, including cleaning, patching, and sanding, is essential for a smooth and professional-looking finish. Additionally, wallpaper installation requires precision and patience to align patterns seamlessly.

Surface Preparations: Before applying paint or wallpaper, it is crucial to properly prepare the walls. This includes cleaning surfaces, filling in any holes or cracks, and sanding rough spots. Adequate preparation is essential to achieve a flawless finish.

Flooring Updates

Cost: Moderate


Enhanced Aesthetics: Replacing work-out or outdated flooring can significantly improve the overall appearance and ambiance of your home. From the warmth of hardwood to the durability of laminate or the elegance of tile, new flooring can give your space an instant facelift.

Increased Property Value: High-quality flooring is often sought after by buyers, making it a worthwhile investment that may increase your home's resale value. Additionally, updated flooring can make your home more appealing and memorable to potential buyers.


Skill and Equipment Requirements: Some flooring materials, such as hardwood or tile, require specific skills and tools for proper installation. DIYers should be prepared for a learning curve or consider hiring professionals for more complex flooring projects.

Disruption and Dust: Installing new flooring can be a messy process, involving moving furniture, potential noise, and temporary inconvenience. It's essential to plan and allocate time for the project, considering how it may affect your daily routine.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Cost: Moderate


Cost-Effective Makeover: Refacing kitchen cabinets can give your kitchen a fresh new look without the expense of a full renovation. It involves replacing doors, drawer fronts, and hardware while leaving the existing cabinet boxes intact. This budget-friendly option allows you to transform the appearance of your kitchen without the need for extensive construction or purchasing new cabinets.

Time-Saving: Compared to a complete cabinet replacement, refacing is a quicker project that can be completed in a matter of days, minimizing disruption to your daily routine. It provides a streamlined update that instantly modernizes the kitchen without the need for extensive demolition or construction work.


Limited Structural Changes: Refacing is a surface-level update and may not address underlying structural issues or layout inefficiencies. If your cabinets have significant damage or if you desire a different kitchen layout, refacing may not be the best option, and a full kitchen remodel might be more suitable.

Inconsistent Results: Achieving a professional finish with cabinet refacing requires attention to detail and skill. DIYers should be prepared to take their time and ensure precise measurements and alignment. Otherwise, the final outcome may not meet expectations.

Bathroom Vanity Upgrade

Cost: Moderate to High


Fresh and Functional: Upgrading your bathroom vanity can breathe new life into the space and provide additional storage, improving both aesthetics and functionality. With various styles and finishes available, you can choose a vanity that complements your overall bathroom design and enhances the room's atmosphere.

DIY-Friendly: Swapping out a vanity is a manageable project for many homeowners, allowing you to save on installation costs. By following step-by-step instructions and having the necessary tools, you can tackle this renovation with confidence and create a bathroom that reflects your personal style.


Plumbing Considerations: Depending on the design and size of the new vanity, you may need to adjust plumbing connections, which can be challenging for inexperienced DIYers. It's crucial to understand the plumbing requirements and consider consulting a professional if you're uncertain about the process.

Cost of Materials: The price range for bathroom vanities can vary greatly, from affordable options to more luxurious styles. Consider your budget and prioritize durability and quality. Additionally, factor in any additional costs such as faucets, mirrors, and lighting fixtures to complete the overall vanity upgrade.

Full Bathroom Remodel

Cost: Most Expensive


Complete Transformation: A full bathroom remodel allows you to reimagine the space according to your preferences, from layout changes to updated fixtures and finishes. You can create a spa-like atmosphere, incorporating luxurious elements that enhance relaxation and rejuvenation.

Personalized Retreat: A newly remodeled bathroom can create a spa-like oasis, providing a tranquil and luxurious environment for relaxation. From a sleek, modern design to a charming vintage-inspired theme, you can customize the space to meet your specific preferences and create a personal retreat within your home.


Extensive Planning and Execution: A full bathroom remodel is a complex project that requires careful planning, permits, and coordination of multiple trades, such as plumbers and electricians. This renovation may involve structural changes, rewiring, plumbing modifications, and other tasks that demand professional expertise.

Higher Budget Required: The cost of a complete bathroom remodel can vary depending on the size of the space, desired materials, and fixtures. It's essential to establish a realistic budget and explore cost-effective alternatives without compromising on quality or functionality.


When undertaking DIY renovations as empty nesters, consider your budget, time constraints, and skill level. Start with smaller projects like fresh paint or wallpaper and gradually tackle more extensive renovations if desired. Regardless of the scale, DIY renovations offer an opportunity to revitalize your home and create a space that reflects your evolving lifestyle and tastes. Remember to prioritize safety, gather inspiration from various sources, and embrace the satisfaction that comes with transforming your house into a personalized and inviting home.