If you’re a renter, you’re stuck with certain things for now — like that weird popcorn ceiling, those fluorescent bathroom lights or that laminate kitchen counter that’s pretending to be wood grain.
But you can still personalize your space without violating your lease. We paired five projects you can take on right now with their real national average costs, according to Thumbtack data.
Here’s what it’ll run you to get rid of accumulated dirt, add color, or hire a professional designer to help you create that homey feeling.
1. Do a Deep Cleaning
Most cleaners will calculate the cost on an hourly basis, but things like square footage and what’s included (like whether you want the inside of appliances cleaned) may factor in as well.
2. Clean Your Carpets
Vacuuming just isn’t enough to get all of the dust and germs out of your carpet, which can be 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat. Plus, you probably can’t even tell how dirty your carpet and rugs really are; but you can trust a good steam cleaning to make them like new.
3. Paint the Walls
An interior painter preps, primes, and paints walls and usually bases their cost on square footage and the amount of detail work needed. Cost varies based on where you live, but the cost of painting a 12×12 room averages between $100 and $125 depending on ceiling height.
4. Mount Your Flat Screen TV
This is one task you don’t want to mess up (busted walls = not getting that security deposit back). Get a pro to do it right with minimal impact to your apartment and in half the time. A pro can also help you answer questions like: Do you need an adjustable mount? Do you have a cord-concealing plan? Where are the components going to go? Can the wall hold the TV up? Where are the outlets?
Ultimately, the cost of professional TV-mounting services will depend on what kind of mount you want, the size of the TV, the type of wall, and more.
5. Consult With an Interior Designer
National Average Price for an Interior Designer: $75 per hour
An interior designer can help you update everything from a single room to your entire apartment. Whether you need help planning the space, choosing a color palette, picking out window treatments, or finding the right furniture and accessories, an interior designer can help guide you in the right direction and even make the tough decisions for you.
The cost of hiring an interior designer will depend on their reputation and your square footage, though for smaller projects, many have hourly rates for shopping, consulting and staging.
* All pricing in this blog post reflect the national average cost for each category at the time of post writing. For current cost estimates specific to your location, please use our pricing tool.