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The difference between a production builder and a custom home builder


When it comes to selecting a builder for your new home, you have probably heard a number of terms to describe the various types of homebuilders. These include production builder, volume builder, custom builder and semicustom builder.



Production builders save you time and money


A production builder, sometimes called a volume builder or tract builder, is a specialized home builder who constructs many houses in sequence. They save buyers money because of their streamlined processes and production processes.

Production builders can be local businesses or regional or national businesses. Many national production home builders are publicly traded companies and they build homes in hundreds of communities across the United States. Local production builders specialize in building in a particular community or area. A regional production builder builds across the state or group of states.

Because a production builder is one who has taken responsibility for planning, permitting, and organizing the construction of your home, you have fewer headaches when it comes to the building process. Almost every production builder has a predetermined process that guides the home building experience and eliminates unexpected issues. Production builders also are able to negotiate advantageous pricing for building materials due to their volume.

Production Builders are able to build and deliver homes to buyers at a cost that is less than a custom home. Because they have systematized their building process, and they build using a production model, and use a limited set of home plans, they are able to save money on all elements of the home building process.

Production builders often build homes in master-planned communities where the developer (who is sometimes also the builder) installs in all of the infrastructure for sewer and water, electricity and data cabling. Then the production builder offers lots and home plans as a unit. Premium lots or ones with more desirable locations or size may incur a lot premium.



Floor plans are designed to meet current market requirements


Production Builders offer an array of floor plans in each neighborhood in which they build. As a homebuyer, you choose a plan that fits your family and your lifestyle. These plans are built throughout the community and are specific to lot size or lot frontage. To keep homes from looking alike, buyers can choose from a variety of exterior finishes and materials for the front elevations of their homes. Some builders also allow the option of adding elements which will further distinguish their homes from other homes built according to the same plan.

The production builder includes many features in the price of your home. They may provide opportunities to upgrade your home by choosing special options for extra rooms or custom features per plan but which are not part of the normal build for that floorplan.

Production builders also give you the opportunity to select a variety of fixtures, finishes, and fittings for your home.

Sometimes production builders will build homes in advance of buyer interest. These are
sometimes called “spec” homes. The builder may stop at specific points in the construction of these homes allowing the future buyer to choose finishes, fixtures, and fittings. However, many production builders complete the entire home and offer them as “inventory homes” available for buyers who need a home quickly.



What is a custom home builder?


A custom home builder is one who works with you to tailor your home completely to your specifications. Architects frequently work with custom home builders to draft plans drawn from buyer requirements. Some custom home builders will purchase predesigned, stock plans and customize them to your preferences. These are called semicustom homes.

Because copious options in a custom home are not handled in a production model,
advantageous prices for materials, fixtures, fittings, and finishes are not available as they are for volume builders.



A custom home requires a site on which it is to be built


If you are a home buyer who desires a custom home, you must choose and purchase a lot on which to build your home. Lots are available in neighborhoods specifically limited to custom homes. In these neighborhoods, home plans are usually submitted to a neighborhood architectural review committee to be certain that they meet community design requirements.

Your other option is to purchase “raw land” or land which has yet to be graded or have water, sewer and electrical service provided to the lot. Raw land lots need to be graded and prepared for your home’s foundation. This is a cost that is not normally part of your home building experience when working with a production builder.



Custom homes require more decision making from buyers


People who are keen on choosing all the elements that go into their homes are the perfect customer for a custom home. Buyers of custom homes usually have a very specific vision and do not wish to have a limited set of options. They will spend much more time in the building process because they must make all decisions.

Custom home buyers make every decision about fixtures, finishes, and fittings from the total market of choices.

When you work with an architect, the architect will specify particular types of materials and finishes and you, as buyer, make the final selections in conjunction with your builder. When working with a production builder your choices have been narrowed down to fit pricing of the home that you have selected.



Production or custom, the choice is yours to make


No matter which building model you choose: Production or custom, do your research and make sure the builder that you're going to work with has a quality reputation, recommendations, and all the certifications required to construct your new home.

 

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Thank you for reading and sharing our articles from The Greater Charleston New Homes Guide. Our business is to know Charleston, SC's new home construction, home builders, neighborhoods and homes so we may assist you as you take your new construction home journey. Our online resources are a complement to our magazine which is distributed FREE throughout the Lowcountry. Please take the time to explore our library of helpful tips, guides and insights. The Greater Charleston New Homes Guide is considered the most comprehensive and reliable resource to new home construction, builders, neighborhoods and homes throughout the Lowcountry.


Filed under: Home Buying Info


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