Home renovation is a huge project that can start off simple. You peel back a corner of carpeting on Saturday morning, and a lightbulb goes off in your head: Why not refinish these hardwood floors?

Six months later, that mere refinishing project has led to torn-down walls, pried up floorboards, and decommissioned bedrooms. But the flip side of this is you end up with a gorgeous, refinished house for a fraction of the cost it would have cost to buy a new house.