If you’ve decided that now’s the time to give your home a makeover, then it’s important to work out what your home renovation budget is, and how much things will cost. Expenses associated with home modifications can easily snowball, so working out what’s worth spending money on and where you can save money can make all the difference.

There are other things to consider, like how to cover these costs, as well as common dos and don’ts when renovating your home. It’s an exciting time when you decide to upgrade areas of the house like your bathroom, bedroom or study, but it’s important to have a plan that you can stick to, even when unexpected issues pop up.

What are some dos and don’ts of home renovations?

It can be difficult to know where to start with home renovations, but thankfully there is a wealth of knowledge available to get you started. Whether you speak to your community, read books, look online or go to hardware stores for advice, it’s a great time to attempt some DIY (or, if you’re looking to complete more extensive renovations, reach out to experts). Completing some renovations you’ve had on your mind for a while is a great feeling, so taking that first step is a rewarding one.

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to get started with home renovations, some things you could do to start off on the right foot include:

  • Get multiple quotes – it never hurts to shop around
  • Think about what renovations might add value to your home
  • Get council approval (when needed) for renovations/modifications
  • Take a look at the houses around you, and compare how you stack up in comparison
  • Get inspiration from a range of sources – you never know what might catch your eye
  • Work out the cost of materials – this way you’re as informed as possible

There are also some things you should avoid doing, as they can have unintended consequences down the track. Some things you should avoid doing include:

  • Neglect planning out a budget – this can hurt you down the track
  • Go in without a plan – know what you want and what you don’t want
  • Cut corners – this will make renovations costly when things need fixing
  • Lose sight of the bigger picture – this is where costs can really skyrocket

Now that you’ve got an idea of what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re completing home renovations, it’s time to get down to the details – costs. Home renovations are often expensive, so understanding the average costs of home modifications could help you plan out a course of action. Understanding average costs may also help you know when you’re getting a good deal, and when the price is potentially too high.

What are the average costs of home modifications?

There are various rules of thumb that you might hear when you go to renovate your house, such as not spending more than 5-10% of the total value of your house on renovations. However, when completing more substantial home modifications (such as installing new rooms), this may no longer apply to you and your situation. Every renovation/modification is different, so it’s important to plan out exactly what you’re looking for, and work with experts to understand how much these renovation/s might cost.

If you’re wanting to estimate how much a typical room renovation might cost, then these figures from Hipages highlight the price of a small modification, as well how much a total overhaul might set you back. According to Hipages1, the average costs of different room modifications include:

  • Living room: $10,000-$15,000+
  • Bathroom: $10,000-$35,000+
  • Master bedroom: $2,000-$35,000+
  • Kitchen: $10,000-$45,000+
  • Garden/deck: $2,000-$10,000+

These figures are just rough guides, so it’s important to develop a budget that suits your needs. There is always more you can do when renovating your home, and one of the hardest parts is knowing where to draw the line!

Costs that might stack up when completing various renovations include:

  • Labour – especially if you’re trying to complete multiple room renovations at once
  • Timber – this year saw Australian builders struggle to find timber, so costs went up accordingly
  • Hiring/purchasing tools – especially relevant if you’re looking to complete DIY projects
  • Re-wiring/re-plumbing – relevant for rooms like the living room and bathroom

Areas where you can potentially save money when renovating a home include:

  • Embrace the DIY spirit – painting rooms yourself can help keep down costs
  • Shop around for tool bargains – look online/on Gumtree and eBay for second-hand steals
  • Offer your help to professionals that are working on your house – run errands for them, for example
  • Enlist the help of family and friends – you never know who in your community is particularly handy with the tools

Wondering how you might cover the costs of home modifications? For some people, establishing a savings goal may help, while others might want to consider taking out a construction or personal loan. Both options have their benefits, so it’s important to assess your individual situation.

How can I cover the costs of home renovations?

Setting yourself a savings goal could help you cover the costs of home modifications. For example, if you want to upgrade your bathroom, set yourself a weekly target so you could make that a reality in 3, 6 or 12 months (or any other timeframe that suits your current situation). Working towards this goal at a steady and consistent pace will make the savings journey exciting, as you can see what the reward will be once you reach the goal.

If you’re looking for another way to cover the costs of home renovations or modifications, then you may want to consider taking out a personal loan or construction loan with us for home modifications.

A construction loan allows you to receive progress payments, based on your building contract and its payment schedule*. Alternatively, you could also take out a personal loan with competitive interest rates. Different loans suit different situations, so it’s up to you and what you’re looking for when you’re renovating your home.

Is now the time to renovate your home? Call us on 1300 747 747 to start your home renovation journey.




[1] How Much Does It Cost To Renovate Your Home? [2023] (https://hipages.com.au/article/renovation_guide_how_much_does_it_cost_to_renovate)


The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.

*Normal lending criteria, terms and conditions and fees and charges apply. Mortgage insurance is required for home loans over 80% and is subject to approval. Interest only subject to approval. During an interest only period, your interest only payments will not reduce your loan balance. This may mean you pay more interest over the life of the loan.

You should read and consider the relevant terms and conditions (available on request) and our Financial Services Guide before deciding whether to obtain any of our financial products or services.

 Published February 2023