How Is a Custom Home Builder Different to a Volume Builder?

Lauren O'Grady
October 22, 2019

Building a home is one of the most important financial decisions you can make. That’s why it’s important to have the correct information upfront to make that decision a sound one.

One factor you’ll want to consider is whether to work with a volume builder who offers a simple, hands-off process and low pricing, or a custom builder like L. O’Grady Constructions who construct unique, tailor-made homes. In this article, we’ll take a close look at some of the factors you’ll want to consider when deciding between the two.

Volume Builders

Volume builders focus on large numbers of homes – hence the name ‘volume’! They build homes based on a pre-determined and standardised design, meaning all you have to do is choose the design you’re after. This reduces the amount of flexibility you’ll have in determining the end look and feel of your home – it’s very likely that you’ll find a carbon copy of your home elsewhere in your area.

These homes can sometimes be cheaper to build, as builders can negotiate lower prices for materials because they are buying in bulk.  While you can request modifications to the designs, it’s important to understand that any changes come at an additional cost.

Many of the advertised prices that you see say for volume builders often do not contain all the costs such as site costs i.e. excavation, retaining walls, soil removal and rock removal. Something else to consider is that volume builders won’t take on builds that involve complex elements such as sloping or challenging sites.

When you work with a volume builder, you’ll most likely be interacting with a salesperson and unlikely to have minimal engagement with the builder as he will be replicating a standardised design that doesn’t require much input.

Quality is another factor to consider. Volume builders produce acceptable quality homes depending on the selections and finishes chosen. But they do have master schedules to follow and they need their subcontractors to work fast to maintain those schedules or the whole process gets out of sequence.

If you prefer a fast, hands-off process, working with a volume builder might make sense for you. From home styles to floor plans, the predetermined selection a volume builder offers could support efficient decision-making.

Custom Home Builders

Customhome builders are able to create one-of-a-kind homes specifically tailored to your unique design and budget. You receive personalised attention to determine exactly what you’re looking for in a home. During the quoting stage you will be presented with the total cost of building your home. Outlining exactly where your money is going and what you’re actually getting for your money.

Most custom home builders have an interior designer to assist you with the process of choosing fittings or fixtures or they have excellent relationships with trades or suppliers they send their clients to.

During the quoting entire process, your input forms the cornerstone of constructing a unique home that’s built to meet your expectations. That means your feedback will be welcome at every step of the design process. What’s more, with a blank canvas, they can find the best solution to your block of land, ensuring every square centimetre is used effectively and any potential challenges are addressed.  

Builders that create custom homes are usually locally based, boutique businesses, with an accessible team and a small number of projects being undertaken at any one time. It’s very likely you’ll be working with the Registered Builder and Director of the company throughout your project – someone who has years of experience in construction and can offer advice and inspiration along the way. These people have the time to ensure things get done right the first time and at the highest quality possible.

The most important thing when choosing a builder is to look for someone who will match your expectations. If a standardised design at a lower cost and minimal engagement is what you’re after, then a volume builder may be the way to go. For a high-quality home design with a particular look or layout then a custom builder should always be your first choice.

To find out more about how to build a unique custom home designed specifically for your needs, get in touch with the team at L. O’Grady Constructions today!

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