So, you’ve weighed up your options and you and your family have decided to build your family home. Great! Building a new home over buying an existing home is a great choice for many reasons. But along with the choice to build your home comes a whole host of other questions and decisions you will ultimately need to make.
Building with volume builders or custom builders is going to be one of those decisions. And a fairly big decision at that. If you haven’t built a home before and have no idea of the process, then you may not know the difference… A builder is a builder, right? Wrong!
Builders generally specialise in different areas of construction and even though the basic building techniques and requirements are the same, the different specialities require different skills, knowledge and experience. When building a new residential home, the choice usually comes down to either a large scale volume builder or a custom home builder
Volume builders, also referred to as project builders, are building companies that complete hundreds of homes every year. To achieve this, they generally have fixed house designs and limited design options available.
Custom builders, in comparison, only complete a handful of projects per year work individually with homeowners to create custom homes that are designed and built to individual tastes and requirements.
While there is a place in the market for both these builders (and many more), there are several advantages to working with custom builders specifically to construct your new home. Read on to find out what those advantages are.
Custom Builders Can Build Completely Unique Designs
Designing a completely unique home is one of the biggest advantages of working with a custom builder. This means instead of having the same design as a large number of other homes out there, you can adapt the layout to suit your family and lifestyle perfectly.
This is an advantage for multiple reasons:
Your home is designed to accommodate your family and lifestyle perfectly. Rather than the other way around.
You get to choose everything that goes into the home and adjust (or stage your build) in line with your budget.
You have far greater flexibility and control during construction. With the ability to make minor adjustments along the way if needed.
Custom homes are often more desirable and therefore more valuable upon resale. Particularly if you are in a good location.
Custom homes arguably provide a better user experience. Particularly important for homebodies.
While volume builders will have a large range of floor plans and house design options available, the designs are often focused around one main design with different, slightly altered variations on this design. These designs are created to be replicated and constructed quickly and easily.
Custom home designs, on the other hand, opens the door to endless possibilities and when working with a custom builder, they can work closely with both yourself and a building designer or architect to create the perfect design for your family.
Custom Builders Are Able to Work With Any Block of Land
Another great reason to work with a custom builder is they are more equipped to work with any block of land.
Volume builders often avoid sloping lots as it becomes more difficult to fit a standard house design on these blocks. And when you think about it, a standard home design on an oddly shaped or sloping block may not be the best choice anyway. Having a unique block of land lends itself to a custom built home.
Working with a custom home builder is definitely an advantage if your block of land is sloping, difficult to access or oddly shaped. A good builder will rise to the challenges that the block brings and help create a beautiful home that harnesses the assets of the block.
This may mean incorporating windows in strategic locations to capture an amazing view. Creating the perfect sloping block house design so your home sits perfectly within the contours of the block. Or even making the best use of the solar orientation of your home to incorporate energy-saving features within the project.
If you already own a block of land or have a location in mind, then it is worthwhile speaking to a custom builder about the home options available to you
Custom Home Builders Provide a Higher Level of Workmanship and Attention to Detail
It’s common for custom home builders to take on fewer projects so they can be more hands-on and attentive with the projects they do work on. This is an advantage for you, the homeowner, as it results in a higher level of workmanship and attention to detail that you may not get with large volume builders.
Remember, houses built with volume builders are designed to be constructed quickly and duplicated easily. The builders and trades who produce homes at a large volume are focused on simply completing their task in one house and then moving on to complete the same task in the next house and so on… Hence the term ‘cookie-cutter’.
This is not to say the quality of workmanship is substandard with a volume builder, but the business model of a volume builder is to build as many homes as possible, as quickly as possible, as cost-effectively as possible. Sometimes this can result in details being overlooked.
A custom builder, on the other hand, appreciates the craftsmanship that goes into a custom built home. While your home is under construction, they adopt the home as if it was their own and the attention to the finer details is an important part of their service.
Working with a custom builder also opens the door to a wider array of materials, products, finishes and colours within your home. A volume builder will often limit material, and colour selections to a handful of choices so they further simplify the process and can buy materials in large quantities. You don’t have this same limitation with a custom home builder.
When building a custom home, you are able to handpick and select every single element in your home. If you want the top of the range appliances, hand-crafted tiles or custom made, one-of-a-kind joinery within your home, you can.
A Custom Builder Can Provide a More Personalised Service
As previously mentioned, it’s not uncommon for a custom home builder to take on fewer projects per year in comparison to a large volume builder. This means they can put more time, energy and attention into each of their projects. And this translates to a more personalised service for you.
It’s not uncommon when building with a custom builder, to be working directly with the owner of the company. And as they don’t have a high turnover of houses, they don’t need a larger number of trades and services on board. This gives them the option to carefully select the right trades for their team. Trades who also appreciate quality workmanship and the satisfaction of completing a custom home build.
Communication also becomes a whole lot easier with a custom home builder. Fewer projects means the builder can give you more of their attention and you won’t feel like you are just a number. Working with a custom builder helps you feel like you are more involved and in control of your project. This can result in less stress throughout the build and greater satisfaction when your beautiful new home is complete.
Is Working With a Custom Builder the Right Fit For You?
Without a doubt, choosing the right builder to build your home, is something that requires research and careful consideration. Your choice to go with either a volume builder or a custom home builder will have a big impact on the experience you have throughout the construction process and the home you are presented with at the end.
There is definitely a place in the market for volume builders, and a volume builder may be the perfect option for you if you are after a standard house design or are looking specifically for a house and land package.
But if you are not looking for these things, then there are clear advantages to working with custom builders to build your new home. If you want a more bespoke, custom built home, then a custom home builder is someone you should be working with.
And of course, once you’ve decided to go with a custom home builder, the next step is finding the right custom builder for your project. (Check out our handy guide to choosing the right builder for your project here.)
Or if you want to find out more about our projects, services or how we can help you build the custom home of your dreams, get in touch today and let’s chat.