So you’ve decided you want to build a new home. You have two options: a custom home versus a production home. What’s the difference, and which one is right for you? First off, a custom home is…. well… a custom home. The size, floor plan, and anything else you can think of is customizable to whatever you want (within the bounds of reason and the laws of gravity). A production home is what you would see when you go to a show home for example; they have a set blue print, with some opportunities for customization.
If you’re a creative person with particular desires and demands, then you’ll probably be more interested in a custom home. If you’re trying to choose between these two options, then there are some things that you should first consider to help you make your decision.
A Custom Home: the Details
First, a custom home is a lot more work. You’ll need to invest a lot of your time into proper planning, It’s also going to be more expensive. You’ll have to pay for the custom blue prints and an architect to help you along the process. You may also need to pay for certain permits that will enable you to go through the process of building your custom home. This however is contingent on which builder you build with; some will require you to purchase permits yourself and others will take care of the associated permit costs. Also, since it is a custom home that hasn’t built before, problems may arise in the building process that requires extra money. This could be found when digging up the land or finding that certain design features won’t work given certain features of the lot or design of the house. So the estimated cost to build may change throughout the process, but this also means it could potentially be less than initially quoted, but don’t count on that!
Additionally, it’s important to note that you can’t have a walkthrough before like you can with the show home of a production home. This is relevant because it’s hard to get a true feel for a home unless you’ve been in it and experienced it; it’s hard to visual otherwise. However, it is possible to pay extra to create a 3D rendering of your place to give you a better idea of how it’s going to look.
So, these were some of the negatives associated with a custom home. But obviously, disregarding extra upfront and potential costs, as well as the extra work, it is nice to have everything in the layout reflect your personal taste, which may not be the case with your standard production home, which is obviously the biggest downfall with the production home.
However, given the wide range of production homes available, you may find one that comes fairly close to fulfilling all your demands, while saving you some money in the process.
A Production Home: the Details
Some constraints with the production home include the fact that you have to use the builder’s land they’ve provided, which restricts your options as to where you can build. Also, production homes are almost always built only in new communities, so if you’re looking for an older character neighbourhood, this will most definitely be a shortcoming. A couple pluses, however, include the short duration of time needed to build a production home. Builders get into a rhythm with these production homes, and have all the materials already at their disposal, which means they will be built quicker, and typically with a larger construction team. Since everything has already been calculated, and most likely built before, estimated costs can be expected to match the actual final costs, which can’t be guaranteed with custom homes. And while a custom home is pretty much fully customized, you can do some customization in a production home, even though your options are definitely more limited.
Overall, it depends what your needs and wants are, what your budget is, and how much time you have. Once you figure these things out, and price out both options, it should be fairly clear what the better option for you will be.
Photo credit: collage