Costs of renovating a property

  • 03.July 2019
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New or old building? Usually first dilemma buyers face when buying a property. Apartments in the older buildings are attractive due to their layout and location (especially when looking at the city center). Even though apartments in the old buildings are cheaper than those in the new buildings, take into consideration the renovation costs.

Here we’ll try to help you with calculation of renovation costs. However, keep in mind that each apartment is different and that it’s impossible to determine the actual price without an actual renovation project plan. But we hope that this breakdown will help you define an average budget needed. First thing you have to pay attention to is the building itself and common areas. See if the entrance doors have been replaced recently, elevators renovated, if the owner’s association is having regular meetings; try talking to the president of the association and find out who is in charge of the maintenance of the building (maybe an external agency?). Find out if insulation has been done and if the external and internal walls are being maintained and painted regularly. Because, even though you will renovate your apartment, you can’t renovate the common areas without the consent of other owners.

When you enter the apartment for the first time don’t get scared if it’s in a poor shape – you should be paying attention to the installations, layout of the apartment and which walls must not be demolished. Old apartments, no matter their condition, require replacement of installations, floors, renovation of bathroom, kitchen, terrace (if it hasn’t been done already).


Renovation project plan €20 – €25 / m2
Demolishing / cleaning-up €500 +
Floors Parquet €8 – €10 / m2; Tiles €10 / m2
Scraping walls €1 / m2
Gliding / painting €2.50 – €3.50 / m2
Installations €3 / m2
Windows PVC €100 / m2; Alu from €130 / m2
Bathroom (entire renovation) €1.500 – €2.500 / bathroom
Kupatilo (kompletno renoviranje) €1.500 – €2.500 po kupatilu
Hydro isolation €3 / m2


This is the easiest calculation. If you opt for parquetry make sure you check if the floor is entirely flat or if you need to set a new foundation layer, which would take more of your time because it needs to dry out completely before placing the parquetry. Even though there are many different materials available, keep in mind that real estate buyers prefer parquetry.

Three bedroom duplex in an old building in Podgorica, 80 sqm, EUR 69,000


Clean and painted walls make the room look neat and bright. However, walls in the old buildings tend to be uneven and it is difficult to fix it even with renovation. Choosing the right color will make the walls seem less uneven.


Changing installations will reduce consumption of electricity in the apartment and it will also make it safer. However, keep in mind that this could be complicated in old buildings and the price will vary depending on the quality of the walls.


This will be one of the first things you’ll have to replace which will also make your apartment more energy efficient. Wood used to be the main option, but now PVC and aluminium are more common. Old apartments often have many windows so this might be pretty costly item in your budget.

Two bedroom apartment in an old building in Bar, 58 sqm, EUR 68,000

Internal doors

Rooms in the old apartments are usually divided by the doors and often there are too many of them. Wooden doors can cost EUR 250 or higher, while less quality options can be bought for EUR 150 to EUR 250. Think twice before choosing the cheapest option, otherwise it will give you headache in a few months. To save on budget, remove some of the doors that are not really required – such as doors between kitchen and dining room. Replace only the frame and you’ll create a nice open space.


Hydro isolation at windows and external walls, as well as bathroom, is mandatory. This won’t cost much and will spare you some trouble in the future.


This could be the most expensive item when renovating a property. Two and three bedroom apartments usually have a bathroom and a toilet, where latter is often turned into a closet or a storage room. However, having both bathroom and toilet could spare you waiting in the line in the mornings. These are also very useful if you often have guests.



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