Remodeling one room seems to have a snowball effect in that there’s always something we feel we can do to make other spaces better, more efficient, more comfortable. With that in mind, we’ve pulled the most requested add-ons by clients once their initial project has started. These low to high-impact changes can improve your home and add to its functionality. Each project features what type of remodeling professional(s) can complete the home project and if a permit is required. We’ve also included the approximate cost information below.

1. Turn a Spare Bedroom Into a Walk-In Closet

Did you recently purchase a home with one too many rooms? Perhaps your children have all left the nest and you’re unsure of what to do with the extra room? It may be that converting an extra bedroom into additional clothes storage is right for you. If so, you may be asking yourself what your options are in terms of storage systems and more?

Cost range: A low-end walk-in closet will generally cost $500 to $1,500. You can expect to spend $1,500 to $8,000 for a medium-quality closet, and $8,000 to $12,000 (or more) for a higher-end setup with fancier finishes and more features.

Permit: Generally, you don’t need a permit to turn a spare room into a closet. However, if you’re changing the room’s wiring to add lighting or outlets, or are altering the plumbing to accommodate a wet-bar or ice maker, a permit might be required, depending on the building codes in your jurisdiction.

Who to hire: Handyman, General Contractor, Design/Build firm

white cabinetry in closet

2. Get a Built-in Media Wall

Perhaps you took advantage of black-Friday sales this past year – you’ve got the TV, sound system, speakers and more ready to go! The problem is all that technology isn’t exactly visually appealing with wires sticking out left and right. To make your new home theater system work on your wall, consider a built-in cabinet system to beautifully organize all your electronics and provide the best experience.

Cost range: Moderate-grade materials: For a unit measuring 12 feet wide and 8 feet high, expect to pay between $2,000 and $4,000 for moderate-grade finishes and appointments. Higher end: A more upscale unit, with more bells and whistles and a stained wood finish, would probably run you $3,000 to $6,000.

Permit: While a building permit is generally not required for a project like this, you might need one if you are adding or moving electrical outlets or rerouting electrical or plumbing lines to accommodate your new home theater system ;). To be sure, consult with a remodeling professional about codes in your jurisdiction.

Who to hire: Handyman, General Contractor, Design/Build firm


3. Remodel Your Fireplace

It’s not every year that we get to put our fireplaces to good use in Texas. Therefore, updating a fireplace is mostly an aesthetic choice. If you’re interested in creating a focal point in your room, then this type of project may be just the thing to add to your spaces look and feel. Plus, an updated fireplace can also increase resale value.

Cost range: Dry-walling over a brick fireplace could run about $1,500. A 6-foot-wide floor-to-ceiling paint-grade oak or poplar fireplace with a tiled hearth could run around $2,000. Wrapping an entire fireplace wall in stone and adding a custom mantel could run around $9,000.

Permit: Only if you’re altering the firebox, adding a wood burner or converting to gas.

Who to hire: General Contractor, Design/Build firm

gray fireplace with wood mantle

4. Add a Skylight or Light Tube

This is a great way to bring natural light into dark or windowless rooms. We recently completed a project in Arlington, Texas with this element – and it did just that. It’s good to note that aside from the light they provide, skylights and light tubes can be part of an integrated design strategy for efficient and passive heat gain.

Cost range: Fixed and manually operable skylights with installation can cost a couple of thousand dollars each; automated systems can cost up to $5,000 installed.

Who to hire: If the energy efficiency of your home is important to you, you should start by hiring a green building professional to calculate the energy efficiency a skylight will have on your space. If you want to skip right to installation, you’ll need a general contractor or roofer to give you a quote. If you’re already working with a Design/Build firm on other areas of your home; let them know your interest in moving forward with this type of project as they’re also qualified to complete this type of work.


5. Create a Built-in Home Bar

Create a special spot in your home for serving drinks and gathering with family and friends during parties.

Cost: Professionally designed and installed built-in bars might cost about $10,000 to $15,000, but the options and pricing vary. A wet-bar renovation is a relatively less expensive venture; pricing for a wet-bar renovation can range from $1,000 to several thousand depending on product selections and options.

Permit: If you are adding plumbing or electricity or moving walls, you will need a permit.

Who to hire: General Contractor, Design/Build firm


For additional information on home remodeling projects, their costs and the value they add to your home; click here to access the 2017 Cost vs. Value report for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.