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Production Homes VS a Custom Build

Updated: Mar 25, 2019

Picking your new home is a daunting task. There are many decisions that go into the process from picking a neighborhood, obtaining financing, floor plans and styles, to picking between a production builder (high volume communities) or a custom home builder. 

Let's start with clearly defining the difference between a production home builder and a custom home builder. 

A production builder  builds a community of homes from their own selection of floor plans, They usually offer a few limited options to personalize your home.

A custom builder typically creates a one-of-a-kind home based on your needs and ideas. They offer a unlimited range of design choices, and the home is  built on a single lot of your choice.



Another main difference in the two is your involvement in the construction and design process. Usually production homes have a limited selection in colors and finishes to pick from. You select your house plan from their 3-5 plans with a handful of modifications to customize the home to meet your families needs. These homes are in developed, or developing neighborhoods where you select your lot. The cost of the lot are rolled into your purchase of the home. 

Custom homes require a much more involved process from the you as the home owners. You have the freedom to work with an Architect to design your floor plan from scratch. Or some builders have a library of floor plans used in the past to provide inspiration and a starting point. Picking everything in your home from finish material and color is up to the owner, and there are not limits to the options. Most owners have land purchased for their future homes, but some builders have land available to build on.

Here is a quick synopsis of what to expect with each:

Production Builders 

  • The home and land are a package

  • Have a selection of house plans to choose from 

  • Customization based on selection of styles and colors based on a set menu in different product categories. 

  • Lower cost per square foot to build due to their ability to buy in bulk. 

  • Neighborhood developed with a specific design and cohesive house types. 

Custom Builders:

  • 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. No pre-defined choices or menus to choose from.

  • Homeowner selects and acquires or already owns the land

  • You can bring a floor plan to the builder, or work with the builder and an Architect to design the perfect floor plan. 

  • You are directly involved in every aspect of the construction process and make many decisions to direct every aspect of your home. 

  • Your options on products are only limited by your budget in every category. 

Both offer advantages to the correct buyer and have differing processes to meet each customers needs. Consider all the options and the differences from conception, to design, to selection along with loans before making your choice. 

Want to learn more about the different loans?

If you are interested in the steps to build a home, then please see our article here. 

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