Custom Home vs Production Home


Do You Know the Differences Between Custom and Production Homes?

One of the most important decisions you can make when planning for a new home is whether to go with a custom home builder or a production home builder.

To make your decision as informed and easy as possible, check out this side-by-side comparison of custom homes vs production homes.

Custom Homes vs. Production Homes: A Side-by-Side Comparison

What are production homes?

Production homes are pre-built homes most often constructed in large quantities before being sent out to market. Usually, these homes are quite similar in appearance, and production home builders spend lots of time ensuring that what they’re building will have an audience interested in their product once it hits the market.

Aerial view looking over several streets of a suburban neighborhood filled with similar-looking production houses

Image by saddleroad from Pixabay

In general, production home builders construct hundreds of homes a year. The only way to accomplish this mass production is to keep costs low by quickly producing near-identical homes with little to no room for customization. The primary benefit of production homes is that they generally cost much less than custom homes do.

Here are some other key things to know about production homes:

  • Little-to-No Customer Input: Without having any input from customers, production home builders develop pre-built, similar-looking properties in large quantities. These properties are later sold, in mass quantities, as buyers are found.
  • Fixed Prices But Little Flexibility: Production homes are generally pre-built at a variety of price points, giving future customers several options to choose from. As a result, you are allowed some level of flexibility when it comes to customization. However, since the key objective with production homes is to keep costs low, you will likely be restricted to a very small catalog of frequently reused plans and models to choose from.
  • Quicker to Build But Harder to Customize: Because the houses are mass-produced with little attention paid to customers’ requests, the process for building production homes is much faster than the process of building custom homes.
  • Interior Decorating Options Are Limited: Like every other aspect of the house, features like counters, carpets, tiles, and so on are limited to a pre-selected batch of options. Once again, by restricting these options, production home builders can keep prices low – but this could also make buyers feel stuck when it comes to personalizing things both inside and out.
  • Warranties Might Be Limited…Or Non-Existent: If you buy a production house, be prepared to do so without any extra protection against common issues that might occur down the line, such as plumbing issues like a broken sink or toilet that won’t flush. As a result, you will have to contact a plumber on their own to fix these issues, with no assistance or aid from the manufacturer.

What are custom-built homes?

Custom-built homes are homes where the customer gets to work directly with the home builder to design, plan, and select virtually every facet of the home’s layout, construction, and finish.

Exterior shot of a custom home built by Sleeping Dog Properties in Osterville

As a result, custom-home builders are all about the client experience; they take the time to meet you, talk to you, and learn your exact wants and needs. Then, they work together, both with the client and any subcontractors necessary, to bring your dream home to life.

Here are some other things to know about custom homes:

  • Customer Input From Beginning to End: Custom-home builders stake the entire fate of their business on the positive relationships they develop with their clients. As a result, these companies approach every engagement with a client-centered focus from beginning to end. This means that, from the earliest stages of ideation through to completion, you’re sure to receive top-tier customer service and an accommodating team ready to work around the clock to meet your requests.
  • Maximum Flexibility – Price-Wise and Construction-Wise: For the majority of customers, the number-one benefit of working with a custom home builder is knowing that the final product will suit their vision as closely as possible. This nearly endless level of customization encompasses every aspect of the home’s design, build, and decorating processes. For example, at Sleeping Dog Properties, we’re also encouraging feedback on everything from home office ideas to what types of material you want your kitchen countertop to be made out of.
  • Slower to Build, But Easier to Customize: One of the key benefits of production homes is the speed at which they can be mass-produced. So when it comes to building a fully personalized home instead of a pre-made one, greater amounts of time will be required. However, if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind luxury home built just for you, it’s important to realize that these things just can’t be rushed – but your patience will always be rewarded.
  • Interior Design Options Are Endless: Most general contractors have either in-house capabilities or close relationships with subcontractors, meaning even something as “small” as the interior design aspect of your custom home will be discussed in great detail so it can be brought to life. For example, many of the biggest 2021 home trends revolve around aesthetic improvements like livening the mood with customizable color palettes and other things that impact the inner workings of their homes.
  • Warranties: One of the most important benefits of a custom home is the warranties. At Sleeping Dog, for example, we offer a lifetime warranty – not just because we truly believe in our work, but because we want you to understand how committed to quality we truly are. That’s something you just can’t expect to get from a mass-manufactured production home.

Custom living room

Custom Home vs Production Home: Which Wins?

As you can see, both production homes and custom homes have their unique benefits and disadvantages. On one hand, production homes are a cheaper, yet typically much faster option – albeit one with very limited opportunities for customization. On the other hand, custom homes take a lot more time and patience to build, but the level of personalization, attention-to-detail, and quality assurance you’ll receive fully justifies the waiting period for many.

Ultimately, it’s impossible to declare a true winner between the two. However, if you’re positive that you want something truly luxurious, unique, and built to last, then it sounds like your next step should be finding a custom home builder.


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