Choosing Production or Custom Home Builder

What You Need to Know

As you start to plan your new home, you’ll want to consider whether you’ll be working with a custom home builder or a production builder (also known as a high volume home builder).

Knowing how many choices during construction, and how much input into the design process you’re willing to make, will make your decision easier.

Production Builder


A production builder builds a community of homes with predetermined floor plans and personalization options.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), most production-based home builders:

  • Offer home and land as a package

  • Offer a range of house plans

  • Allow buyers to select from several styles and designs

  • Build homes priced for every kind of buyer (first-time, move-up and luxury buyers)

Production Builder

Custom Builder


Custom builder

A custom builder designs a one-of-a-kind home on a single lot.

  • The home can be built on land you own

  • You can supply a floor plan or draw plans from scratch

  • You can select an architect and builder — or go with a design-build company that manages both the architectural design and the construction process

  • You’ll have input during every stage of the process

  • You can pick any product within your budget

Production Home Construction Process


A production builder can usually offer you the same size home for less money than a custom builder because of volume purchasing of building materials and systemized construction. If you select a production builder, you generally cannot change the basic structure of the home.

Many larger builders choose master-planned communities with access to a large number of lots.

Production home communities usually include a mix of home models and floor plans. A single floor plan can be built in several different looks by changing exterior features including windows and front porches and are often offered in different materials and colors (brick, siding, stone or stucco).

Production Builder

Custom Home Construction Process


While custom homes can range in size and style, expect to pay more per square foot than for a comparable home constructed by a production builder.

The bottom line cost depends on size, materials, products and the land you purchase. Your budget and any building code or zoning limitations are your only limitations.

You can choose your own floor plan and details or work with an architect to design your home.

An attorney can clarify all restrictions and get estimates on site work before completing a land purchase.

Custom Builder Construction Process
Homes on river

Final Thoughts


  • To make the process of building your dream home run smoothly, you’ll want to decide BEFORE you start how much time and money you’re willing to spend on customization.

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February 16, 2021

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