Building your dream home can be equally as confusing as it is exciting. The process is full of decisions that will have long-lasting effects on your new home. One of the larger choices is whether to engage a custom or volume builder. With a number of key differences in operations and approach, it can make a huge difference to the scope of your build and your overall experience.
As a custom building specialist for over 25 years, we’ve guided countless clients through the building process and seen many others succumb to the pitfalls of volume building. Here are our top 6 reasons for choosing a custom builder over a volume builder.
1. Achieve a one-of-a-kind home
One of the key differences between a custom and volume home builder is the scope of design. With volume builders, you choose from a pre-prepared design, identical to many others, and are unable to make structural changes. When you build with a custom builder, you can create a design from scratch or utilise one of our 100 house plans as your starting point, incorporating all your wants and needs, as well as your individual style. Youcan also play a key role in the design process, ensuring the end product enhances your lifestyle and exceeds expectations.
2. Personalised service
Most custom builders will only take on a few projects a year, while a volume builder may build in excess of 1000 homes a year. This means, should you opt for a volume builder, you may end up having a very ‘hands-off’ experience, with no direct contact with the owner or personalisation throughout the process. By limiting their projects, a custom builder can provide a 1-1 service with each client, with the business owner often overseeing the build. This allows the process to be tailored to your wishes and makes it easier to ask questions, receive updates and follow guidance.
3. Budget certainty
The nature of volume house plans means you must pick a standardised plan that fits into your budget. From there, any customisations or variations from the base option will incur an additional charge. In most cases, you won’t find out the final costs until you’ve signed up, so there’s a chance of budget blowout. A custom home means greater control over your budget, as you can tailor your choices based on cost. A custom builder will also work with you to use your budget effectively, identifying where you can save money and where it might be worth paying a little extra.
4. Local knowledge
Most custom builders work within a certain geographical area – for example, Melbourne’s East. This localised approach gives them a unique knowledge into the area, any challenges and what to expect from local councils. Volume builders are often big franchises and can work all over the city or region, so may lack knowledge of the local terrain or area.
As mentioned already, opting for a custom builder allows for more input in your home. As part of this, it also means more time with your builder and designer, resulting in a more collaborative home build. This will allow you to build a strong relationship with the team, increasing trust and providing peace of mind that your home is being well looked after.
As a rule of thumb, custom builders are generally more quality driven, rather than profit driven. A custom builder’s reputation relies on the small number of homes they build per year being exceptional, as this fosters good client feedback and encourages positive word of mouth. In contrast, the varied locations and large number of projects completed by a volume builder mean they aren’t as reliant on reputation and can be more focused on cutting costs where possible. This can sometimes result in a lower quality build.
Should you be thinking about building your dream home with an experienced custom builder in Melbourne, get in touch with the team at Brownhill Homes today!