Builders Explained

Builders Explained

Ever thought about building a house? With so many different home builders in our area, it can be a little confusing trying to pick the right kind.  Here is a quick-and-easy explanation of the three most common types.


Custom Builders

Custom builders are generally smaller companies that specialize in creating one-of-a-kind homes.  They often build a small volume of houses, typically less than twenty annually, and tend to concentrate on higher-end homes. They offer a high degree of attention and flexibility to their clients.  For each project, a custom builder will start with a blank sheet of paper and work closely with you to create the exact home that you desire.  The builder will often have experience working with different types of home styles, building materials, finishes, and decorative treatments.

Building a custom home is time-consuming, demands a great deal of involvement on the buyer’s part, and can be rather expensive.  But if you are willing and able to go through it, owning a custom home can be tremendously rewarding.

Building Plans

Semi-Custom Builders

For folks who want flexibility, but cannot afford a fully custom home, semi-custom builders can be a good alternative.  This type of builder will start with a pre-made plan and then work with the client to customize it.  Moving a wall, raising a ceiling, adding a room, or other structural changes are possible.  However, every modification of the existing plan does increase the cost, since it requires additional work on the builder’s part. In addition to costing less than custom homes, semi-custom homes offer other advantages.  They generally take less time to build.  And some folks find it easier to start with an existing plan rather than to start from scratch.

Production Builders

Production builders are typically corporations that build a large volume of homes each year.  Whereas a custom builder will build one home on land that you already own, a production builder will often build an entire subdivision on the land the company or developer owns.  The houses are built using stock plans that a buyer cannot modify.  Still, a variety of plans is usually offered, and buyers can choose certain options, such as flooring, kitchen cabinets and countertops, appliances, and plumbing and light fixtures.  To help buyers make a decision, model houses are often built first and made available for viewing. Using stock plans, standardized materials, and building in large volumes enables production builders to build efficiently and cost-effectively.  Sure, you won’t have control over much of the home’s design, but a production home will cost you less than a custom one.