You will hear the term custom home used a lot but what does it really mean? Let's look at some different terms that might be used as you investigate building your dream home.
Production Built - A production built home is one which has been designed by a builder working with an architect or designer and the same floor plan is built over and over. If you buy a production built home, you will not have the opportunity for any input into its style or design. If you purchase it early enough in the building process, you might be able to choose such things as carpet color, paint and maybe cabinets and some lighting. While this is not personalized to you and your family's tastes, there are cost savings in the construction of the same house, over and over again.
Semi-Custom Built - This home is between a production built home and a custom home. Either the builder has several basic designs, or you might start with stock plans, which you can customize to your own tastes. This could include adding a room or another bay to the garage, or even changing the layout or shape of the house. While you may start with a basic plan from the builder or a stock plan, the semi-custom built home will most likely be more expensive than an equivalent production built house because it is unique.
Custom Home - A true custom home is one in which you work with an architect or designer to create a plan for a house that has never been built before. Throughout the process, you design the layout and size of the rooms, and you select everything that goes into the house, from the type of flooring, to the fixtures, where the rooms are placed and how large they are. Because this house has not been built before and is not being built in volume, it will likely be more expensive than the other two options. Designing and building a custom home gives you and your family exactly the dream home you have always wanted. In doing so, you have the opportunity to incorporate Green Building techniques into the design and construction of your home which provide greater comfort and livability for your family as well as allows you to be a more responsible member of your environmental community. Or, you can also take advantage of many of the advances made in the Universal Design field to build a home which serves the needs of all people regardless of age, ability or circumstance, today and in the future. Any and all of these are great reasons for you and your family to design and build the custom home you have always dreamed of.
So which of these is the best option for you and your family? Only you can decide after determining what your house needs are and putting that up against your budget, and then deciding if you want to take the time you will need to devote to a semi-custom or custom-built home.