The benefits of hiring a custom home builder over simply buying an existing home are clear. Instead of getting stuck choosing from whatever homes happen to be available, you can design the home you want. But there are other choices for new construction besides a custom builder, and the relative advantages may not be quite as clear.
This article will compare custom home builders to production builders and basic general contractors to determine which option is best for you. But before we begin, we should define our terms.
What Are Custom Home Builders, Production Builders, and General Contractors?
These are the most common options for new home construction. There’s overlap between the three, but they’re distinct from each other in significant ways, as you’ll see.
Custom Home Builder
A custom home builder constructs homes that are unique to the buyer. You can get exactly the home you want, down to the last detail. The only things limiting you are local building codes and your budget.
A production builder offers new construction homes based on a restricted set of home plans. Buyers can customize these stock designs in limited ways, but they can’t get their dream home if it strays too much from the available floorplans. Production homes are usually part of a larger community development project.
A general contractor hires and coordinates every aspect of a construction or renovation project. They take care of pulling permits, hiring subcontractors, and managing construction. Even though custom and production builders are general contractors, basic GCs deserve a separate mention because not all general contractors specialize in home construction.
Now that we understand our choices, we can move on to their relative merits.
A Custom Home Builder Offers the Greatest Flexibility
As we mentioned, production builders offer only limited customization options on a handful of stock home designs. This flexibility level allows for variety in their housing development but doesn’t cater to specific needs and desires. Homebuyers may have the option to move window placements and alter interior finishes, but they can’t add a wrap-around porch or change the location of the master suite.
Custom homes, by contrast, offer nearly infinite flexibility. Homebuyers work closely with a custom home builder, designing everything from scratch. You can have precisely what you want, from the floorplan, exteriors, and interior finishes.
Custom Builders are Home Construction Experts
Because every custom home is different, each stretches the builder’s abilities. Experienced custom home contractors have, quite literally, seen it all, making them experts at every stage of construction.
Qualified production builders are skilled at what they do, too, but their limited selection of homes means they don’t necessarily have the breadth of knowledge that a custom home builder does.
At the bottom of the list, a simple general contractor that doesn’t specialize in new home construction has the least experience of the three options. They’re generalists, and as the saying goes, they may be a jack of all trades, but they’re a master of none.
Get Access to High-Quality Labor
Custom home builders generally keep skilled craftsman on staff, giving them ready access to the best labor available, on-demand. If a project requires last-minute changes, custom builders can pivot quickly, having full control over their resources.
Production builders may offer this same perk, but you’re likely dealing with external subcontractors if you opt for a basic general contractor. This can translate to more difficult quality control.
Custom Home Builders Can Place a Home Anywhere
Production builders typically purchase large tracts of land and then sell a parcel along with home construction. This limits where you can build your dream home. If you already own land or plan on buying a specific piece of property, only custom home builders will offer the flexibility to develop it.
Custom Builders are a Better Value
As they say, you get what you pay for. Basic general contractors don’t offer the specialized knowledge you get from either production builders or a custom home builder. Production homes are generally less expensive than custom homes, benefiting from the economies of scale possible from standardization, but tend to be somewhat “cookie-cutter” in their design.
If you’re after the home of your dreams, your best value is a custom builder. They have the experience to make the most of your budget while realizing your vision. They can guide you through the construction process, from initial architectural renderings, through construction, landscaping, and finishing.
At Cannon Construction Group, we’re your partner, helping you to get exactly the home you want, precisely where you want it. We make new home construction easy. Give us a call if you live in the Stanwood/Camano Island, WA area. We’ll discuss your needs and show you how to make them a reality. Get in contact today! Remote appointments are available.