This short video explains these broad categories.
- Production: build many homes from a limited set of home plans with limited options for customization.
- Custom: one-of-a-kind build homes or highly customized models usually with direct client involvement.
Selecting one or the other depends on how much design input you want to have when you want to build and move in and, critically, where you want to build. Production builders typically offer land and homes as a package; if you already own the land, a custom builder or a “spot lot” builder may be your only options.
Price matters as well but it’s not a simple comparison. Both production and custom homes can range from simple to complex, and inexpensive to high-end. And the construction quality – which is a significant factor in long-term price ownership costs, and enjoyment – can vary from “passes inspection” to superb, for either production OR custom homes.
Production building has become more customizable, and production builders have economies of scale on their side; if you buy a pre-construction home in their development, your design choices or square footage may be as good or even better than a custom builder could provide for the same price. Evaluate both options in person before making a long-term decision.