What is the difference between a Custom Home Builder, Production Home Builder and a Spec Home?

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Are you looking to purchase a new versus an existing home?

You may have heard terms like “Spec Home” and “Custom Home” bantered about, but what do they mean and what are the advantages and drawbacks of each. What is the difference between a Custom Home Builder, a Production Home Builder and a Spec Home? Custom home construction, semi-custom home, production home, tract home, spec home—they all sound similar, so how are they different?

If you are considering building a new home you’ll want to learn about each type of builder and then decide how you would like to be involved in the process. Typically there are three types of home building processes: Spec Homes, Production Homes, and Custom Homes. Of course, there can be a crossover between them, but you’ll find that each builder will fall into one primary category.

The Three Main Types of New Home Construction Processes

Spec Home Limited ChoicesSpec Home – This is where a builder or developer purchases land (usually in a subdivision) and builds a home on that lot. They choose the plan, finishes, and features, hoping to sell to a home buyer when construction is completed. These “speculation” houses are often used as a showpiece or as part of a model or “parade of homes”. The builder’s goal is to attract more buyers before finally selling the property. For some buyers, this may be a great choice. If you are willing to wait until the home is available, you can probably take advantage of a home with top-of-the-line finishes and unique features at a reduced cost. But you’ll have to be happy with the builder’s choice of lighting, paint colors, and appliances unless you want to pay to have them changed.

Production Home – In this case, builders will offer you a choice of a handful of existing home plans. Then, the home buyer will choose from one of the available plans to build. There are likely to be a few opportunities for “custom” choices at an additional cost, but they are limited and can be part of an “upgrade” to the plan or package. For instance, the base model includes laminate countertops in a handful of choices, but the upgrade package might offer a choice of three granite colors. Production homes can be a good choice for some home buyers if they will be satisfied with adjusting their living style to what the home offers, instead of their home’s design meeting their unique needs. They also may meet the needs of those who want a hands-off approach to building a home. Production homes are often purchased as a home/lot package.

Custom Home – Virtually all options are open to the buyer’s preference in a custom home. The sky is the limit, as they say. A custom home buyer will work with the builder throughout the entire process, sometimes before they even have a lot to build on. You’ll sit down with the builder and/or architect to draw up your home plans, and you’ll be involved in decision-making for every selection, feature, and function of your home. In some cases, though not always, building a custom home can be more expensive and it may take more time to construct. Cost and construction time are almost entirely dependent on your personal choices. However, many home buyers find their involvement and ability to realize their desires very fulfilling. The result is a genuinely custom-built home that perfectly matches their lifestyle and design choices.

What kind of home builder should you choose to build your home?

Choosing which type of builder to build your home is a personal choice. And it entirely depends on your style and how much personal involvement you want to have while your home is being built. Regardless of the type of builder you choose, make sure it will keep you informed throughout the building process. If you’re only looking at price, you’re making a big mistake. Building a new home should be a fun and exciting experience. Choose someone you trust and will enjoy working with to build your new home.

Contact us today if you would like to learn more about the Meyer Builders custom home building process.

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