Most homeowners don’t realize that building a home can take several forms. Not all “custom” homes are truly “customized.” Whether or not you’re working with an architect to create custom modifications, when building a home, you will need to choose between working with a production builder and a custom builder. Both types are excellent options, but there are a few key differences you should understand. Below, we have detailed the process of and differences between production and custom home builders.
A production home builder creates houses, townhouses, condos, and rental properties on land owned by the firm itself. They utilize stock plans or those developed by the real estate or building company to construct a high number of homes each year. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), most production-based home builders will offer the home and land as a package. You will be able to choose from a range of house plans curated by the builder, though sometimes they are chosen by a building community.
Whether or not you specifically purchase a home created by a production builder, the firm will create it—whether or not you decide to move in. In most cases, these professionals do not undertake “unique” homes. However, most firms allow for a limited amount of customization, which might include paint colors, countertops, faucets, flooring decisions, &c.
Though not truly “custom homes,” a production builder can save homeowners both time and money. Most custom homes take around six months to complete. Because of the simplicity design and practice in manufacturing many versions of the same home, a production builder may only take between three and four months to fully construct a home.
The process of building a custom home is far less scripted than working with a production builder. There are no pre-determined choices or menus to choose from; everything is created by an architect from scratch. These homes are built on land you own or that you have acquired, and you can supply your own plans. In most cases, home builders will commission a set of floor plans to be created. Those opting for a custom home can work with separate architects and builders, or they can work with design-build companies who manage and oversee the entire process.
Homeowners who choose to create a custom home are more involved in the process, having many opportunities to make decisions and point designers in a preferred direction. You will be able to pick nearly any product within a category rather than selecting from a provided menu.
Because the custom build process is completely unique, homes are often more expensive and take a longer time to produce. The key to working with a custom builder is to establish a strict, realistic budget and stick to it throughout the process. Custom build prices are often dynamic, as decisions are made throughout the process.