What is a Custom Home?
It is a one-of-a-kind house that is designed for a specific client and for a particular location. Custom homes afford consumers the opportunity to control layout, lot size, and accessibility.
As the name implies, the process of building a custom home is less scripted because there are no pre-defined choices or menus to choose from. With custom homes:
- The home can be built on land you own or land that you acquire.
- You can supply a floor plan or commission a set of floor plans to be drawn from scratch.
- You can work with a separate architect and builder.
- You can work with the builder from before you acquire land or plans and avoid many mistakes.
- You’ll be more involved in the process and have the opportunity to make many decisions.
- You can pick from nearly any product in a category — within your budget, of course – rather than selecting from a defined menu of choices.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), most production-based home builders:
- Offer home and land as a package
- Offer a range of house plans to choose from
- Allow buyers to select their favorite style/design from a menu in several product categories
- Build homes priced for first-time, move-up and luxury buyers
- Often have homes already built (homes sold on speculation – or spec homes) in a subdivision that may be move-in ready, but you have no say in choices.
Why Use a Custom Builder? Once you select a custom builder, you can supply your own floor plan or work with an architect to design a home from scratch. A builder can recommend architects. As a custom-home buyer, you can select most of the details in your home and you can even work closely with your builder to design a floor plan that works around existing trees on your land and that places your windows to take advantage of the best views.
When building a custom home, your choices are nearly unlimited. The main restrictions are your budget and any building code or zoning limitations. If you find that freedom to create a home from a blank sheet of paper to be exciting, then building a custom home is likely for you.
Because the process of building a custom home is, not surprisingly, truly customized, you’ll typically spend a lot more time designing and constructing your new home than you would if you work with a production builder.
That said, knowing what to expect at each stage — and especially what choices you’ll make and when — can make your custom home process smooth and result in the home you’ve always dreamed about.
The choice is yours!