Many home buyers in Finland have a common problem: they can’t tell what renovations will cost down the line. Especially they easily neglect the renovation requirements of the housing cooperative as a whole.
So does this mean you have to sum up renovation needs of both the cooperative and the flat as such?
Yes it does, and below I will show you how.

Why do the cooperative’s renovations affect you in Finland?

When you buy a flat you actually become a shareholder of the housing cooperative and obtain the right to use the particular flat. Accordingly as a shareholder you also carry the costs for the maintenance and renovations of the cooperative.

You will typically pay a monthly compensation to cover the cooperative’s running costs (f.ex. heating and minor repairs). But when it comes to large renovations a housing cooperative takes a loan, which the shareholders pay back monthly over several years. Consequently flats in a cooperative with upcoming renovation projects qualify for a lowered price.

The cost for the major renovation works mainly depends on the cooperative’s size, the chosen scope and implementation method. Nevertheless we are able to give you indicative price ranges below. See also the table at the end of the article.


Pipe renovations in Finland

The pipe renovation is probably the most known and feared of all renovation works. It is extremely expensive and usually troubles living or makes living in the building impossible for a certain period. The so-called traditional pipe renovation work in general implies the renewal of all fresh water and sewer pipes, the building’s electricity lines, water insulation and a fundamental update of all bathrooms and toilets.

It is also common to renew only one set of pipes at the time if the other has sufficient lifespan left. Some cooperatives might choose to not renew the bathrooms. Others leave the electricity renewal out and resume it later. The prices vary enormously according to the scope and the methods applied. The traditional pipe renovation technique is the most expensive, but also has the longest lifespan. Also the risk of future water leaks is minimal if all bathrooms are new. Cheaper and less burdensome procedures include to insert new pipes into old pipes or to renew the inner surface of pipes.


Facade renovation

The facade renovation represents the second largest maintenance work if executed at full scale, i.e. windows and balconies are renewed at the same time. A facade renovation can disturb living in the building, but nobody has to move out temporarily.

The price range is again pretty large as it depends both on the facade material and the work required. A periodical repair is obviously less costly than renewing the facade. If plastering is involved the renovation gets more pricy. On the other hand tile and stone facades last longest with comparably low maintenance needs.


Window renovation

Window repairs or renewals can occur in connection with a facade renovation or as a dedicated project. The renovation as such takes a few days and is reasonably priced. New windows usually enhance the building’s thermal insulation considerably.


Balcony renovation

Also balconies can be upgraded or renewed in connection with the facade or as a dedicated project. Balconies sticking out and especially when uncovered require renovations more regularly due to their exposure to rain and snow. If a balcony renovation includes the installation of windows the price naturally increases.


Roof renovation

Roofs suffer badly from the climate in Finland and need to be renewed or repaired depending on their shape and material in 20-50 year intervals. Gable roofs out of sheet metal last longer than f.ex. flat asphalt roofs. Surprisingly renovating a roof is not at all as expensive as one might think.



Costs vary depending on whether an existing elevator needs a renovation or the cooperative decides to build elevators from scratch. Housing cooperatives receive remarkable public incentives for new elevator construction (prices below are net of incentives).


Summary of renovations in Finland

Below you find a summary of estimated renovation costs per m2. As I have pointed out there are many factors that affect renovation needs and costs. They largely depend on the type of building, the scope of the renovations and methods applied. Also the size and the statutes of the cooperative can have an impact on the costs per m2.


home renovations finland
Michael Lutzeier