Blog Post

Building DIY > News > Construction > Internal Construction > White box finish: what is it, what work is included and is it worth choosing it

White box finish: what is it, what work is included and is it worth choosing it

Have you seen the concept of a white box in the developer’s brochure and don’t quite understand what it is and how it will affect your future renovation? In the article we will understand what lies behind these words, what work is included in this type of finishing – and of course, we analyze all the pros and cons.

Choosing housing for yourself and your family is a pleasant, but long and responsible task. You need to take into account as many factors as possible and choose the best option. Even if you’ve narrowed your focus to new construction and are willing to wait anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years for the home to be delivered, there are several finishing solutions to choose from. Concrete walls without partitions, turnkey finishing, or white box? In the article, we will understand what lies behind the last option and what nuances are hidden behind the fashionable concept. Read all about the composition of white box finishing, its variations, pros, and cons.

What does white box finishing mean in a new building?

By and large, an apartment delivered in this form is just such a white box. Partitions have been erected, walls have been plastered, and the floor has been poured. Another name for this condition is pre-finishing. That is, the dirtiest, thorough work has already been carried out, but finishing materials are still needed for finishing. A kind of intermediate option for those who do not want to dive into the issues of rough repairs, intending to move in as soon as possible after accepting the apartment or renting it out. At the same time, there is also room for design maneuver – you choose the floor, walls, ceiling, doors, and other elements yourself.

Some developers have the option to choose the type of finishing – in this case, you will immediately see how much the cost of white boxing is built into the price of the property. This is convenient – you can compare the numbers with the cost of materials and crews performing these rough jobs. But many properties are sold a priori with pre-finishing repairs, without alternative options.

Many people question the quality of such a base. But you shouldn’t be biased towards every white box apartment on the market – it all depends on the developer, the class of housing, and, accordingly, the technologies and materials used. Developers, of course, will not choose everything that is most expensive (and if they do, this will directly affect the price); usually, the most popular, inexpensive solutions are used. Depending on whether the house is economy, comfort, business, or premium class, the quality of the repairs performed will differ.

What is included in the white box repair

Despite the same principles, developers can interpret such finishing in their own way. For example, it usually does not include the installation of interior doors, but the developer may offer this to increase the attractiveness of the property. Or sockets: they are installed by default, but sometimes it is possible to agree in an official or informal format to move them at your request.

Let’s consider what white box finishing includes and what will already be done in the apartment before it goes into your hands.

  • Concrete floor screed on which laminate, quartz vinyl, parquet, or other covering can be laid. All developers claim that the pre-finished floors are almost perfectly level, but it is worth checking this on the day of acceptance of the apartment with a specialist and equipment.
  • Partitions have been erected.
  • The walls are leveled, and covered with primer and plaster. The ideal surface of the walls before painting is critical, so also check the degree of their evenness separately.
  • The heating system is ready for operation, and radiators and thermostats are installed.
  • The ceilings have been prepared.
  • Plastic windows and window sills have been installed, and the slopes have been leveled.
  • Electrical wiring has been done throughout the apartment. Although most often you still have to finish something to suit your needs. Sometimes there are sockets and switches.
  • Water supply and sewerage systems have been installed and basic plumbing work has been completed. But before installing plumbing and finishing bathrooms with tiles, you still have to do a lot, laying out all the pipes in the way you need, to suit your layout.

Interior doors, thermal insulation of a balcony or loggia, glazing of a balcony, and sound insulation of floors are optional. The latter can be offered at business and premium-class facilities. Sometimes a full metal entrance door is installed, and sometimes, meaning its replacement, a temporary wooden one is installed.

We weigh all the pros and cons

Before choosing a white box finish, weigh all the pros and cons that are relevant to you. But renovation also has universal advantages and disadvantages.


  • No global dirty work. This will save a lot of time and effort. There is no need to hire a team, supervise their work, or make constructive decisions; all that remains is the pleasant part – deciding what your nest will look like. You can do the final finishing yourself or hire specialists for a particular task.
  • Space for creativity. At the same time, you do not receive a finished apartment; you can add your vision to it. Flooring, paint, wallpaper, tiles, and other smaller decorative elements remain your responsibility. This is better than standard repairs made from the simplest and most boring materials.
  • Possibility to move in faster. Housing readiness is especially important for those who pay a mortgage and rent at the same time. In a white box, it is quite possible to complete the work within a month, or even less if you hire workers.
  • There is less noise and dirt around. A plus that doesn’t immediately come to mind when you’re busy looking for apartments and all your thoughts are about future renovations. But when you move into a new home, you will feel new comfort factors – the noise level and cleanliness in the entrance. In pre-finished houses, few people redo the existing walls and floors, so there will be much less noise. If you’re lucky, no one will be making any significant changes within a two-story radius of you, and then it will be pretty quiet most of the time. And the landings will not be littered with boxes and construction waste.
  • Saving. Even if the finishing included in the price of the apartment is more expensive than if you did it with your team (which is unlikely), you do not pay this money at once. They are included in your mortgage payments, reducing the financial burden on you. Available funds can be used to purchase finishing materials and pay workers.


  • The quality of materials and workmanship is questionable. In economy and comfort houses, various nuances can indeed “come out” over time – from leaking heating pipes to plaster that has begun to fall off. When taking risks, make sure of the reputation of the developer (a plus will be the properties he has already delivered with similar renovations and reviews of them). It’s good if he has a “showroom” – an example of a renovated apartment with exactly the same materials, or at least a stand in the sales office with examples of them.
  • Not personalized solutions. For the most part, this concerns the location of sockets and light sources, but also certain partitions already erected that you would have installed otherwise. When arranging furniture and planning functional areas, you will have to take into account what you have.
  • You may need to redo everything. Firstly, interior designers do not like half-finished solutions and always advocate renovation from scratch. This allows you to plan materials of the best quality and design customized solutions. Secondly, even if you are ready to do without a designer and work with what you have, after accepting the apartment it may turn out that the walls or floor need to be redone for some reason.

In what cases is it justified to buy such an apartment?

There are situations when all the described advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages. In any case, you need to keep them in mind and be prepared to correct certain shortcomings, but sometimes the benefits in time and money turn out to be more significant. So, a white box from a developer is a good option in the following cases.

  1. You are buying an apartment for subsequent rental. Few people invest all their resources into such objects; more often they try to get by with little money and nice, but budgetary solutions. Ready-made pre-finish repairs are an ideal base for them. In addition, once you receive the keys, you will be able to quickly complete the stage of preparation for new residents and start earning income.
  2. You are planning to make a visually stylish, trendy renovation and sell the apartment at a higher price. It is also not completely perceived as “our own”, so few people want to spend time and energy on large-scale work before resale. All the most unpleasant and dreary things are done before the keys are handed over, and having received them, as in the previous case, you can quickly begin to take steps to make a profit.
  3. You are applying for a mortgage. The larger the payment, the more logical it is to move in faster and invest minimally in repairs.
  4. A small apartment – one room or studio. Firstly, the smaller the apartment, the cheaper the repairs. Secondly, a small number of squares and partitions means that even if you have to do redevelopment or make other changes, they will not be as noticeable as, for example, in an apartment of 100 square meters. An imperfect location of sockets will also not be so critical.

Of course, these are not the only situations when buying an apartment with this type of renovation is justified. These are just formal principles that you can rely on when you have doubts about an important choice. If you are purchasing housing for yourself and your family, and the area is rather large, this does not mean that you are making a mistake when choosing a pre-finished white box finish.

At the same time, there are cases when such a purchase will definitely cause disappointment and additional difficulties.

  • This is not your first apartment, and this time you want to put your heart into planning and decorating it. Then it is better to spend resources on rough work, doing everything completely for yourself, thinking through every corner, and choosing materials that suit everyone.
  • You will work with a designer. As we already said, they rarely like white box and will want to redo either everything or at least something. For you, this means extra spending of money and time on dismantling and remodeling.
  • The team that you have almost decided on (for example, your acquaintances “hand it over” to you) fundamentally does not take on turnkey projects where something has already been done. They imply dismantling what is there since they will not be able to provide a guarantee for their work if it intersects with someone else’s. This opinion is often found among foremen, and it is justified.
  • You buy an apartment in the business or premium segment and expect that the semi-repairs performed, as well as the evenness of the surfaces, will correspond to the “title” and the money paid. All the same, the developer is putting such construction on stream, and he cannot pay special attention to the quality of your housing. Yes, such a finish will be much better than an economy one, but will it meet your expectations? Question.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How To Build Cheap Large Greenhouse 6 mistakes in operation and maintenance that pool owners make How to build outdoor sauna: 7 suitable materials for walls All about the screw pile foundation 6 proven ways to create modern lighting in your apartment Seven types of insulation for the home: which one to choose and why How to make a sewer system in your country house DIY Septic tanks for a summer residence: which one is better? How to waterproof the basement from water Finnish-type foundation: what is it and how to build it How to buy a house or apartment – 5 bad advice you shouldn’t follow How to cut aerated concrete blocks: 5 suitable tools 6 mistakes in the garden that are most often made Best Cordless Tools of 2023 7 myths about the operation of air conditioners that it’s time to dispel A house roof without eaves, Barnhouse-style: advantages and disadvantages Which home heating system is better: comparing 6 heating systems 5 REASONS TO BUILD A TINY HOUSE How to make a wooden bathtub heated from a wood boiler 7 SOUNDS AT HOME YOU CAN’T IGNORE