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Should You Build A Custom Home Or Buy A Production Home?

Choosing The Correct Home Building Option For You

Let’s start this blog by defining a couple of the options that you have available. If you’re looking to move out of your current home, you have the option to purchase a resale or a new construction home.

Since you’ve stumbled onto this blog, chances are you want to be the first one to cross through the front door and have eliminated resales. Now, you want to understand what it means to build new construction and the options of home builders in Maryland.   

Production Builders

If you’ve been out driving, you may have seen small signs at key intersections, directing you to a community. In that community, you’ll find one or more model homes for a regional or national homebuilder. They’re meant to showcase a sample of what that home builder can do for you.  

In this instance, you pick a preapproved floor plan and then identify a home site from a current lot-release. Finally, you select features from a predetermined list of available options.

Once a contract has been signed, the builder starts your home. In 3 to 6 months, your new construction home is ready for move-in. We’ve simplified the process, but that’s it in a nutshell.

Is this option right for you? Well, it depends on your personal circumstances and goals.  

Lower Cost Option

Since production builders build homes by the hundreds or thousands, they leverage economies of scale on labor and materials that a custom home builder cannot. Think of it as the Walmart of home construction, which means a lower price for the consumer.

Shorter Turnaround Time

Since production homebuilders are often beholden to shareholders, they drive value to the bottom line, by saving in labor in material and days under construction.  This means that a home that could take a custom home builder six months or longer to build is often be completed in 70 to 90 days by a larger builder.  

They accomplish this by having multiple tradespeople in the home at once. If you’re on a tight timeline to be in your home, buying from a larger builder expedites that timeframe.

Simplified Process

A production builder keeps the process fairly simple. If you like to stick to the “menu of options” to avoid being overwhelmed with customization or a vast amount of really cool options available to you,  a production builder is able to keep the process easy.

With a large builder, you pick one home plan from five or six. Afterward, you run down the options list and place it on the best homesite that they’re currently offering. It keeps the process fairly limited and simple.   

If budget, timing, and simplicity are your three main drivers, a production builder is the right choice for you.

However, if you seek a client-centric approach, consider a custom home builder in Maryland or your home state. We use the phrase “client-centric” because, with custom home building, the process is all about exactly what you want without compromise.  

Custom Home Building

Some overlap exists between the pathway toward production building and building a custom home.  However, you have more choices in terms of custom home location and specific floor plan that you should check out our post on how to start the process of building your own custom home. (insert link).

Custom Experience Personal To You

If you embark on the journey to build a custom home, you’ve begun a process that helps you actualize your home-building goals, whether they’re presently clear to you or not. A custom home builder works with you to select the perfect floor plan, whether it needs collaboration with an architect or is presently offered.

This involved process allows you to focus on what’s important to you in your home, not necessarily what appeals to the masses.  A dedicated custom home builder gives input on design, from cost and livability perspectives.

Higher Degree Of Quality

The much higher quality home you receive is another vitally important factor of custom home building.  If you want the benefit of carefully designing your home to your taste, a new custom home has an enduring quality that’s meant to last. A quality home builder, like North Market Construction, ensures every last detail for the sole purpose of delivering quality to you.

This attention to detail produces a far better home than a production builder. This breaks down simply into three main components of construction: Labor, materials, and workmanship.  

A production builder, focused solely on a deadline, uses the least-expensive subcontractors and pushes them to work on top of each other at the same time. Picture the plumber, electrician, and HVAC specialist all jockeying for position on the same day.

Contrast that with a custom builder that uses highly skilled craftspeople and balances the schedule, so each has the right amount of time to complete their trade. It’s a highly choreographed dance, not a mosh pit.  

A production builder has entire procurement departments focused on researching and negotiating for the lowest-cost items to go in your home. A custom home builder spends their time researching the highest-quality products and most innovative building science.

Finally, the craftsmanship of your home is a direct result of the actual person building it — not necessarily the company — and their personal belief on delivering quality. With a production builder, you find the same home, built in the same community to highly different standards.  

Is the person managing your home’s construction a new on-the-job project manager who’s overloaded with a mandate to settle 35 homes per month? Or is it the person more focused on watching their company’s stock price in order to retire as soon as it hits the target?  

A small-batch customer builder is intimately aware of every home under construction, and the owners are usually on site daily to ensure the little things are done correctly. At North Market Construction, we like to say that it’s the last 5 percent that makes all the difference. This comes from decades of experience and a passion for each home, which means a better home at the end of the day.

Have More Fun

When you select your custom home builder, you’re starting a long-term relationship with key people in that company. You want to like them, be confident in their ability, and have fun throughout the process.  A good custom builder encourages active dialogue, welcomes you on site, talks through various options, and asks input from you.

They enjoy looking through your Pinterest boards as much as they love talking about different construction techniques.  If you want to be actively involved and have your input heard, this is a great option.

Timing, Cost, And Simplicity

These three factors are where you tip the scales in favor of a production builder, but it should be noted that you still get all the benefits of a custom home building without having to sacrifice too much in these categories.  

Since this is considered the most important purchase of your life, isn’t it worth more patience, investment, and involvement to ensure it’s the best?

As it relates to timing, take a look at How Long Does It Take To Build A Custom Home. (insert link here). If you consider that it takes three months to build a production home, it’s going to take six to eight months for a custom home, which isn’t an earth-shattering difference.

When you talk about cost, a custom home builder easily works to build within your budget. If it costs a little more to get exactly what you want, isn’t that worth it in the long run?

If you’re drawn to the simplicity of a production builder, a custom builder is able to deliver an existing floor plan with available options. The process becomes as unique as you wish it to be.

When you weigh the pros and cons, the decision is left only to you. If you ask the three principals of North Market Construction, who formed our company for the purpose of building a select and limited amount of quality homes each year, the choice is obvious.

We all left a production builder after decades of experience because we knew a better way was out there. Now that we’ve perfected it, we’d love to talk to you about your home-building goals.