Custom home builder or Volume builder

Couple looking at outline of potential home in open landShould you use a custom home builder or volume builder

As you plan to build your new home, one of the first questions you’ll need to ask yourself is whether you want to work with a custom home builder or a volume builder. Both are excellent options and each can deliver you a great new home.

Your final selection will ultimately depend on a balance of your needs including budget, floor plan layout, the level of customisation you wish to achieve and your block of land.

Where volume builders mass produce a limited range of homes with defined parameters for owner customisation, custom builders build one-of-a-kind homes based on the unique plans and specifications of each new client.

As a general rule, where budget is a key priority, volume builders corner the market, and if customisation is the key objective, custom builders offer far more flexibility.

In this blog post, we’ll unpack some of the key differences between volume and custom builders that can help you determine which is the best fit for your new home.

 Volume Builders

You have likely already encountered a few volume builders via their display homes. Volume builders mainly construct homes in planned new housing estates, and will usually have a couple of display homes in each estate to showcase floor plans, fixtures and fittings.

They can offer both house and land packages, where they build on a plot of land they have already been allocated by the developer, as well as house only packages where they will
build on your land.

A volume builder can usually deliver the same size home for less money than a custom builder. Because they require buyers to select from a defined range of homes and floor plans, and only allow upgrades and customisation based on a pre-set selection of parameters, they are able to purchase materials and labour in high volumes that make the final cost of each home cheaper.

Volume builders are a great option for first home buyers, or people who are on tighter budgets.

The biggest frustration that we often hear with volume builders is the lack of customisation available. What you see is generally what you get, and all requested changes and upgrades will add to the overall cost of the build. Very rarely will you end up building your volume home for the advertised cost you saw on the brochure.

Volume builders also tend to have stringent requirements on the types of blocks they will build on, so if you are planning to build with a volume builder, it is a good idea to get an understanding of their requirements before you make the costly purchase of land.

Volume builders tend to be larger, corporate companies with a state-wide, or even national presence. They often construct hundreds, or even thousands of homes every year and have a defined process from sale to hand-over that will often see you passed between different staff and departments to reach the point of a signed contract. Once your building contract is signed, you will usually be allocated a customer service representative, who becomes your key contact for the duration of the build.

Most communication will come via your customer service representative, who will go between you and the site manager to provide you with updates. You rarely get to communicate with the people who are building or managing the build of your home. Volume builders run their operations like a tightly managed production line to deliver new homes cheaply and quickly.

Custom Builders

As the name implies, custom builders offer owners the opportunity to build a custom home. In complete contrast to the volume builder experience, when building with a custom builder, the owner drives the process. The builder does not impose any predefined choices, set requirements or limitations that dictate the end product.

Owners start with a blank canvas and end up with a custom-built home that has been designed to meet their unique style and lifestyle requirements. Generally, we find that most people who take the custom home approach have built before, usually with a volume builder, and are now seeking much more than they can offer.

When you choose to work with a custom builder, you will have the option of bringing your own plans or working with the builder to build your plan based on your own ideas and preferences. While the final price of a custom home will depend on a number of variables, you should expect to pay a little more for a custom home than a mass-produced home of similar size and floor plan. The size of your home, complexity of the design and the block of land, and specification of the inclusions you select will be the key drivers of cost in a custom build.

The key to working with a custom home builder is to establish a realistic budget and stick to it, even when you are enticed by more luxe inclusions!

When you work with a custom builder, the process from concept to completion is a partnership. You are a key part of the process from the very beginning, and you will remain involved and have the freedom to make adjustments throughout the building process.

The process of building a custom home will usually be longer than building with a volume builder, so it pays understand their unique systems and processes and how they will engage with you over that time. Because custom builders tend to be small, family run businesses, you will receive a more personalised service and often have a direct line of communication to the builder.

Appointing a builder is about getting the right fit for your requirements. Knowing the difference in approach between a custom home builder and a volume builder will help you determine the best fit for building your new home.

Regardless of which way you decide to go, building a new home is truly an exciting time. Questions? Contact the Renmark Homes team today – we’d be happy to assist and answer your questions to help you make the best decision for your needs. Ph 1300 367 345