What Makes a Custom Home Custom?

To understand what makes a custom built home different, you may first want to examine the definition of the verb, “customize”.  According to the dictionary, it means “to build according to individual or personal specifications or preference; to make (something) to a customer’s specifications”.  This is what a custom home builder does, and this is what separates a custom constructed home from an existing home or one that went up as part of a tract, subdivision, development or as a spec house. 


The differences begin in the design of the house itself.  When a person chooses the custom route, they have significant input on what they want in the floor plan.   They may begin from scratch with an architect, or they may use an existing architectural rendering as the starting point.  But walls will move, windows will be added, any number of personalized specifications will be incorporated before the design is ready to build.

A custom home often sits on a custom lot.  Lot evaluations can be performed to locate the perfect size and depth parameters for the design that has been chosen.  Lots are often selected with the style or era of a home design in mind.  A landscape design is prepared to make home and outdoor living spaces flow seamlessly.  It is going to cost more, to be sure.  But many home buyers feel they get their money’s worth, because a home is the most significant investment most people make. They often stay in a home for 30 years, and so to have it exactly as they want it is worth the extra cost to them. 

The list of items that are customized is extensive, including interior and exterior surfaces, such as walls, roofing, brick, siding and more. Homeowners choose the windows they want.  Kitchen cabinets may be handmade, with granite and other countertops.  Flooring and carpeting are high-grade and precisely what the homeowner intends.  Appliances and other electrical features are chosen for quality. An interior designer may be a part of the team. A custom home builder even selects premium grade paints. They will use only top grade materials, and often use hand chosen crews and subcontractors to do the work.  In a customized home, the corners must fit and everything must be flush, even and symmetrical. In fact, project management and attention to detail is a hallmark of a project that makes a custom home, custom.

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