Comparing Black, White, and Green Frame finishing properties

Comparing Black, White, and Green Frame finishing properties

The properties which are on sale in Georgia have different names: Black, White, or Green Frame. These names come from the stages of construction they are in at different times. This article focuses on major cities in Georgia, namely Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, and Anaklia.

What are the building construction phases in Georgia? 

Building construction companies, commonly referred to as developers, consider 3 main phases when they start monetizing their projects, i.e. to sell the apartments they either constructed or about to construct for the project. These phases happening one after another are: 
  • Black frame ( concrete and cement, floor plan done ) 
  • White frame ( plumbing and electrical done, cosmetic works left )
  • Green frame ( apartment ready, furniture left to buy ) 

What is Black frame finishing? 

Being the first monetization phase for developers before White and Green Frames, Black frame is a common term in building construction in Georgia, specifically cities like Tbilisi, Batumi, Anaklia, and Kutaisi. A black frame unit is when the Developer has its building main reinforced concrete columns, the staircase, the elevator shaft, and common areas such as lobby and hallway fully developed, leaving only the available apartment units for sale ”shell and core” empty and completely customizable, like how most office spaces are sold and rented in other parts of the world. The developer spreads the word about the project selling the apartments under black frame condition in other words : ”designer ready”. Here’s a sample of an apartment sold under Black frame condition:
black frame finishing Tbilisi Georgia sterling property advisors

This is a sample of an apartment sold under Black frame condition in Kaklebi, Tbilisi, Georgia.


Why is it called “Black frame”?

Well, that is a very good question and the answer is very easy. The dominant color which can be seen pretty much everywhere in the project is the dark grayish color of concrete on columns and roofs, and that is why the name of this construction phase is “Black frame”. 

Who purchases Black frame properties?

In short, investors who want to take complete control over their investment’s value and costs; and those who already have sophisticated knowledge of the business in general and the project in specific, people like architects, other developers, or Georgian end-users who are already comfortable and used to investing in this way. Generally speaking, black frame units are ideal either for investors who wish to add or create more value or for end-users who are willing to put in the extra time needed to finish their apartment to make the total cost of investment cheaper for them. Investors who see the value in a certain project and jump on it quicker than other buyers are also among the few who purchase black-frame properties. However, the investor needs to know full information about the project’s plan, documents, and probable hurdles ahead. For instance, the investor must be aware how or when electricity cables will reach his floor so that he may start renovating his apartment from black frame to finished. Hidden uncertainties are the reasons why working with reputable broker becomes a seriously important matter. If your broker is an experienced one with a colorful record of assisting clients, then they always ready and willing to provide you with full information.

What services does Sterling Property Advisors offer at Black frame phase?

We know well-established, reputable developers in Tbilisi. You will be able to see their projects and choose the ones you would like to invest in. We calculate your ROI, negotiate on your behalf to get the best deal for you so that you can invest early and profitably. Most developers already offer renovation services at around 200-250$/m2 and In case they don’t, you could ask Sterling to design and renovate your apartment for you. At the end fo the day, price of renovation depends on the quality of materials you would like us to use. 

What are the advantages of purchasing a property in a Black frame condition? 

1- The best value for your investment; it is noteworthy that figures vary from a project to another and certainly from a district to another district.  2- The price per square meter is significantly cheaper. You can buy a black Frame apartment for up to 30 percent cheaper than its equivalent white or green frame. The prices vary but to have a rough estimate; you can say that a black frame apartment in a central districts in Tbilisi costs around $600 to $850 per square meter. 3- You can partition the house to fit your needs. Some investors would like to open a hotel, so a larger bedroom and a smaller kitchen is ideal for them. They also save a huge sum of money on Even those who would like to buy a house for themselves and want it to be completely customizable. E.g A new family purchasing a black-frame apartment can change the size of their living room to have a separate room for their new-born baby.  4- For high-tier investors, those who are willing to invest a million dollars and more, this is an important phase. Deals in this scale can go from purchasing a full floor all the way to complete takeover of the construction plan. The most common deals happen for the first 2 or 3 floors, and for the topmost floor. As for the first 3 floors, the whole floor function can change from a residential area which was supposed to be divided into multiple individual houses to a large boutique, a restaurant, a major supermarket, etc. The topmost floor can take a function of a sky restaurant, a luxurious cafe, or a penthouse for the lucky owner. 

What are the stages of building construction in Georgia?

Here are the main stages of construction in a building project before the developer hands you the keys and allows you to start renovating your ‘Black Frame’ apartment.

1- Firstly, designing and preparing the construction site for the machinery, construction material depots, temporary workers’ housing, equipment storage, etc.  2- Secondly, digging the foundation depending on the height of the building project and pouring foundation concrete, also known as footings.  3- After that, the developer puts up the rough frame. There are 2 easily visible phases. First, you can see the reinforced concrete columns go up. In Georgia, the majority of construction sites pour concrete over a wired meshed column covered by wooden molds. This step is done one storey at the time. Once the concrete takes its intended form, pouring concrete for the roof begins which is the second phase. While workers focus on positioning the molds and wiring the mesh of the new roof, the construction continues in the bottom floors. Once the second floor’s roof is all done, the project enters a new phase.  4- Next, bricks soon arrive, so bricklaying begins in all four corners of the project. Simultaneously to pouring concrete for other top floors, walls for the bottom floors appear. This phase includes almost all walls: exterior, interior, drywalls.  5- Electricity work and plumbing is the next step. Lastly, in this final stage of construction the building will start to have finished interior and exterior walls. Developer must make sure the electricity wires and plumbing pipes are to be brought all the way to your floor making it easy for you to connect electricity and water to your apartment, turning your apartment’s condition from black frame to white frame.  

What is White frame finishing? 

Being the middle stage, after Black Frame and before Green Frame finishings, White Frame is the most common type among the three. It is a common norm for developers to construct all common areas and put doors on each and every apartment. However, once you open the unit, you see the unit isn’t complete. It’s a shell and core apartment only with electrical and plumbing work complete. Almost unexpectedly for many, you only see white walls, dirty windows, visible pipes and electricity cables making your first impression of the house more like “man! There is so much work left here”. For expatriates in Georgia who are not aware of this condition, this might look shocking or even discouraging as it isn’t exactly eye catching under first impression or ‘’Window Shopping’’. To illustrate, White Frame or ‘White Carcass’ condition apartment is when the developer has completed your apartments’ floor plan and the installation of all important electrical wirings and plumbing needed, leaving the design of the apartment to the new home owner who will be able to finish the cosmetic works of his or her new apartment to her own taste.

White Frame means flexibility

Now, it’s time to go shopping for the flooring, lighting & furniture. Would you like to use Parkett, Laminate, Ceramic, Porcelain or Marble tiles for your flooring? That is left all up to you. Beds, fridge, sofas, TV, tables, chairs, and a washing machine are the minimum pieces you need to make your new home comfortable for you. Make sure you check the availability of these facilities as some developers have their own interpretation of a White Frame apartment. Make sure you know when the developer is going to hand-over your white frame apartment to you so that you can prepare and finish your apartment to your own taste on-time. Here’s a sample of a property under white frame condition:
white frame finishing Tbilisi Georgia sterling property advisors

This White frame property is in Kaklebi, Tbilisi, Georgia.

Why is it called “White frame”?

Similarly, like the philosophy behind naming Black frame, the dominant color which can be seen pretty much everywhere in a White frame project is the white color of plaster on partition walls. 

What are the advantages of purchasing a house in White frame?

1- Renovation 

Interestingly, a considerable number of apartments in Georgia are out of fashion and need renovation. There are also many apartments with cheap materials used and/or cheap furniture. This gives the international investor an upper hand. As more and more tourists are visiting Georgia, they prefer to stay in nicely designed, modern apartments. This is where investors like you come in to fill the gap and create an awesome apartment AND design it with the help of our experts. 

2- Ease of design

Next advantage is that you can see the shape of your house. At this stage, the sizes of rooms, their position with respect to the front door now makes sense. Ideas on how to decorate the house start to flow in. As a result, you start to use your creativity and things get really interesting.

3- No major construction hassle

Taking the project from Black frame to White frame might be a hassle for many investors. Fortunately, you can leave that to developers. When investing under white frame conditions, you avoid giving the electrical and plumbing to a third party as you would have done if you were to buy black frame.

4- Financial flexibility

You are the one who gets to decide how much value you are going to put into the apartment. It is going to be your decision all along on how much ROI you expect to get from it. You will be able to earn immediately about a 20% increase on your overall investment if you wish to immediately sell it after. Selling an apartment in Georgia takes around 6 months taking in factors like supply, demand and the season.

5- Variety of options

Last but not least, this is the ideal phase as an overwhelming majority of properties in Georgia are offered in White frame furnishing. So, you don’t have to worry about not finding your desired property as there is variety; there are simply a lot to choose from.

Who purchases White frame apartments?

Most notably, the reason Developers leave the apartment units under ‘White-Frame’ condition is because almost every Georgian citizen purchases a property to live in it not to rent it. They also like to design the property exactly to their taste and they like to spend the exact amount according to their budget. In other words, they do not want to pay the value added for a finished apartment that wasn’t to their traditional taste or financial budget. Please note that the ideal condition for developers to leave apartments at is White Frame, not black frame, because if they hand over the apartments to you under black frame, the electrical and plumbing are not done by them, meaning the investor will give that to a third party which might not always mean good quality. 

What services does Sterling Property Advisors offer at White frame phase?

In reality, Sterling Property Advisors offers design and renovation services, from 3D modeling to actually implementing the design and handing you the keys. However, due to large number of inquiries we receive, we only offer this service to our own premium customers who have purchased a property through our consultation. Purchasing a property through us offers many benefits, you can find out more information regarding our membership over here

What is Green frame finishing?

After Black and White Frames, Green frame apartment is a completed apartment without moveable furniture. This is the condition investors buy in most parts of the world. Most developers at this condition install the kitchen cabinets as well; some still don’t as they consider kitchen cabinets “moveable furniture”, so they prefer to leave that to investors’ taste. Therefore, Green frame is the final product except there is one more destination left for you to go to, and that’s the furniture store! Here’s a picture of a green frame apartment:
green frame finishing Tbilisi Georgia sterling property advisors

This is a property under Green Frame condition.

What services does Sterling Property Advisors offer at Green frame phase?

At this point, your apartment is already complete and you only need to know where to buy furniture. We know the centers where you can buy the furniture you are looking for. If you wish for Sterling to play a more active role, our design specialists charge $3/m2 and will be able to give you advice on interior design to meet AirBnB Customer Demands. Above all, we are experts in managing properties, so surely you can leave the management of your property to us. We are going to
  • cover the maintenance fee
  • utility bills, city tax
  • inspect the house quality
  • rent it out either daily or monthly
  • professionally switch between the rent strategies
Once all the hassle is gone, you can enjoy the stream of cash flowing into your pocket.  


In conclusion, there are 3 phases in your property’s condition in Georgia when investors start putting their money on real estate. These phases in order of occurrence are Black frame, White frame, Green frame. When the building has columns and roofs with partition walls, developers call this phase Black frame condition. If you wish to get the most of your investment, this is the best phase. White frame phase is when all walls are constructed, the pipes and cables are installed. This is the best phase to find your dream house and decorate it with the furniture you want. Doing this, you will get the best value when you purchase materials and furniture. On top of that, you can have your own design which matches your taste, lifestyle, and reasons for investing. Finally, Green frame is the end product in real estate. A fully functional bathroom, painted walls and ceilings, covered floors, and depending on the developer’s policy, kitchen cabinets and basins. In other words, the house is all ready waiting for your furniture to arrive. The kitchen and bathrooms are complete and the walls, ceilings, floors are done. From this point on, you can equip your kitchen, design and decorate your balcony and living room. Above all, if you wish to play a silent or passive role in your investment in Georgia, we also offer property management services where we add your property into our portfolio of hotel apartments and provide high quality service for both parties. For more information on how we like to do property management and how we differ from other companies click here.

Sterling Property Advisors

Sanan Sanani

Sanan Sanani

Co-Founder, CEO


Head Office: Sterling Royal Investors Lounge Center 13th Floor

Back office: No.2, 1st floor, Apartment Block A, Mziuri Amirejibi Highway 1, Tbilisi, Georgia


+97 156 201 4056

+995 555 987 946


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