You have a lot of choices when you decide to build a new home. There is no single best path, and no matter what you choose, your experience is going to be unique. Understanding the difference between custom homes and production homes is a good first step in narrowing down your options because these are two of the most common building methods for single-family homes.
A custom home is exactly what it sounds like. The designer starts with a blank slate and creates plans based on your specifications. This includes the number of rooms, the layout, the finishes, and every other detail. After the home has been designed, a builder provides an estimate based on the plans and refines the quote if any changes are made. Because the plans are unique and the builder has never built this home before, the process sometimes includes change orders that could increase the cost. It is certainly possible to build an affordable custom home, but the costs are typically higher than a production home that is similar in size and quality. The process also takes longer because of the time required to make design decisions.
Custom homes are typically more expensive than production homes for a few reasons. First, you have to pay for all of the time required to design a home from scratch. If you hire an architect, the fees are paid separately, but some builders have designers in-house and integrate those costs into their overall pricing. Because every home is unique, custom homebuilders have to purchase materials from a broad range of suppliers, making it more difficult for them to get volume discounts. It’s true that they might be able to get deals on some of the basic building materials, but because you can choose any finishes and fixtures you want, they might not have relationships with those suppliers.
Production builders use a different model. Instead of building homes that are designed for individual customers, they use the same plans over and over. This doesn’t mean that the customer doesn’t have any choices. Some production builders have dozens of floor plans in their collections. Customers also get to make decisions about materials, finishes, and fixtures, but the options are limited to those that the builder can purchase in high volumes from certain suppliers. Many production builders sell packages that include both the land and the house, and they also build entire communities that include a handful of plans.
One of the greatest advantages of working with a production builder is the cost. Because the homes have already been designed and the builder is able to make bulk purchases for reduced pricing, the savings get passed on to the customer. Because the company is repeatedly building the same plans, estimates tend to be more accurate as well. The biggest perceived disadvantage is the lack of flexibility and limited choices. However, if a production builder has a floor plan that you like and uses high-quality finishes, you could get the home that you want for much less than working with a custom homebuilder. Some people also find that having a limited number of options makes it easier to make decisions because too many choices can feel overwhelming.
Adair Homes: The Best of Both Worlds
Adair Homes has created a unique model that offers the best of both building types. Like a production builder, we have developed partnerships with trusted suppliers who provide high-quality materials at bulk rates. We also have a robust library of house plans to accommodate any lifestyle, including multigenerational households and vacation homes. These plans are cleverly designed for maximum building efficiency to help keep costs down. For example, the dimensions are such that fewer cuts have to be made, so fewer materials are wasted and less labor is required during the building process.
However, unlike many other production builders, we allow you to build on your own lot, and you can customize our floor plans. This includes moving walls, adding windows, and much more than just choosing colors or flooring materials. If you want to be able to see the beautiful tree in the backyard from the master bedroom, we can work with you to make sure it happens. Although you’re starting with an existing plan, you have the ability to truly make it your own. We offer materials and finishes for any budget, so whether you are just getting started with your first home or creating a luxury home for your retirement, it’s possible with Adair Homes.
In some areas, we also offer full custom services, so check with your local branch if this is an option that interests you. If you would like to learn more about the Adair Homes process and how we are different from other production builders, get in touch with a Home Ownership Counselor today.