Home Renovation Loans

From home loan refinance and construction loans through to a government renovation grant in Victoria, a variety of options are available when it comes to home renovation loans.

refinancing your existing home loan

Refinancing your existing home loan can involve:

  • borrowing an additional loan amount, and/or
  • borrowing against the equity you have built up in your home over time. This is also known as a ‘home equity loan’. You can build up equity in your home by it increasing in value and making your home loan repayments. For example, if you have a home worth $600,000 and you owe $400,000, your equity in it is $200,000 (i.e. $600,000 less $400,000).

You can potentially refinance a home loan for renovations in Melbourne with your current lender or with a different one. When you refinance, you may be able to extend your loan term if you need to make your repayments more affordable.

using your home loan’s redraw facility

(If you have one and you have funds available).

A home loan redraw facility lets you withdraw any additional home loan payments you have made over time. If you have enough redraw funds available for your renovation, this is an alternative to refinancing.

taking out a construction loan

Prepare your documentation according to construction stages:

A construction loan is a suitable finance option for a large home construction and renovations project like a home extension. The loan would be separate to any existing home loan you have.

If you’re approved for a construction loan, funds are progressively released as construction milestones are reached. The loan is usually ‘interest-only’ until all the funds have been drawn. This means that you only pay interest, so your repayments will be lower. At that time, it becomes a ‘principal and interest’ loan and your repayments will increase because you’ll be repaying the amount you’ve borrowed plus interest.

establishing a line of credit

A line of credit gives you finance approval up to an agreed limit. You can use these funds for your home renovation, and you’re only charged interest on the funds you use.

taking out a personal loan

A personal loan for home renovations is another renovation finance option. However, it’s important to understand that personal loan interest rates are higher than home loan interest rates, so it’s a more expensive option. This includes secured personal loans that have lower rates than unsecured personal loans. Both will be more expensive than other types of renovation finance (excluding credit cards, see below).

credit cards

A credit card loan is usually the most expensive form of finance. You should avoid putting renovation costs on a credit card unless they are small and you’ll be able to fully repay the amount during your card’s interest-free period.

Renovation home loan FAQS

What types of renovations can you do?

Common renovations that can add significant value to your home include:

  • kitchen,
  • bathroom,
  • extensions,
  • landscaping,
  • adding a pool, decking or outdoor area.

You can also do structural renovations to your home if necessary.

How much can you borrow for renovation loans?

This depends on your individual financial situation and how much you can afford to repay. You can use our loan repayment calculator to help you work out your borrowing capacity.

What are the benefits of renovating over moving?

Renovating helps you to avoid selling and purchasing costs such as:

  • real estate agent fees,
  • stamp duty,
  • legal/conveyancing fees.

It can also:

  • add significant value to your home (or investment property) if it’s done well.
  • allow you to adjust your home to suit changing family needs (for example, a growing family).
What are the risks of renovating?

The potential risks of renovating include:

  • getting more expensive finance than you should,
  • overcapitalising your home (i.e. spending more on your renovation work than the value of your home will increase when it’s done),
  • devaluing your home if the work is inappropriate or poor quality, and
  • cost blowouts.
What happens if you have renovation cost blowouts?

You should factor an amount for cost blowouts into your home renovation finance approval. After all, you don’t want to get stuck with a partially completed renovation due to lack of finance!

You can also help to protect yourself against cost blowouts by entering into contracts with renovators at fixed rates.


Most lenders prefer you to use a licensed builder as a condition of approving home improvement loans. It’s also important to get relevant council approvals for any renovation work that’s done, especially if you’re doing the work yourself.

What is a comparison rate?

A comparison rate is the total cost of a loan or credit, including both interest and any loan fees or charges. When you see two interest rates on a loan from a financial services provider, the higher one is the comparison rate. The lower one only includes the cost of interest. Lenders must advertise their comparison rate on products to be legally compliant.


Home renovation loans typically work by allowing homeowners to borrow money based on the value of their property. The loan amount can be used to cover the cost of home renovations such as repairs, upgrades and additions. These loans can be secured or unsecured, with secured loans requiring collateral such as the property itself to protect the lender from financial loss. Interest rates, repayment terms and eligibility criteria can vary depending on the lender and loan type. Homeowners can use the funds to complete home improvements, repaying the loan over time through monthly instalments.


A home loan redraw facility is a feature that enables individuals to withdraw funds they’ve already paid off beyond their required mortgage payments. This flexibility provides them with an option to access extra funds for various purposes such as renovations or emergencies. Redraw facilities are typically associated with variable rate home loans and can help homeowners reduce interest by making additional repayments and then redrawing money when needed. It’s important to note that some lenders may impose minimum redraw amounts or charge fees.


The frequency at which you can use the home loan redraw facility depends on the specific terms and conditions set by your financial institution. While some institutions may impose limits on the number of redraws you can make within a specific time period, others may allow unlimited access. It’s essential to review the terms of your specific redraw facility or contact your financial institution if you’re unsure.


You should apply for home renovation loans when you have a clear understanding of your renovation plans and the associated costs. It’s advisable to apply for the loan well in advance to allow sufficient time for the application process, including gathering and filling out required documents. Additionally, you should consider applying when your credit score is strong to improve your chances of approval and secure more favourable loan terms. Planning ahead and applying early will provide you with ample time to navigate the loan process and ensure a smooth renovation experience.

How do you get a renovation home loan?

At ARG Finance, our experienced team of mortgage brokers can help you to choose the right lender and renovation home loan. We’ll take into account your objectives, financial situation and needs before recommending appropriate finance for you.

Contact us today for advice on borrowing to renovate your home.