Is a Custom Home Build Right for You?
One of the top questions to consider when planning to build a new home is whether you want to work with a boutique, Washington, DC custom home builder or a production builder (a higher-volume home builder associated the a national or regional company).
Answering a few other quick questions go a long way in answering whether a custom builder is in fact the right move for you?
- Are you trying to build on a specific piece of land or in an established neighborhood?
- How many decisions do you want to make about details of the house?
- How much design input do you want to have?
Key differences between a custom builder in Washington DC and high-volume, production builder are:
- Builds one-of-kind home designed to the specifics needs and wishes of the family.
- Home designs can be tailored to the buyer’s dream property and to take advantage of the topography of the land and to fit well into established neighborhoods. Windows can be placed to get the best views.
- The home buyer can have as much input to all of the details of the custom build home as they wish.
- There are no predefined options to limit your choices. Custom design builders often can help you find unique elements for the house from reclamation and restoration facilities, or special tiles from smaller ceramics houses.
- The relationship between architect/designer and builder is important to the success of the project. Design-build companies manage both the architectural design and the construction process.
- Custom builders often maintain relationships with past clients that can provide testimonial on the process and how well the relationship worked.
- Custom homes generally cost more because the home is built from scratch. End cost will depend on size of the home, complexities of the design, building materials, and home technologies.
- Production builders allow the buyer to choose a home design from library of existing home plans, with a mix of models and floor plans, that the builder has experience building.
- Plans have been tested to assure that all the elements work well together.
- Production builders typically sell home plans and land as a package, restricting the buyer to specific communities.
- Production builders usually cannot change the basic structure of the house – layout, size and location of rooms, but some customization of the room’s purpose may be considered.
- Customization of the home is generally around various home products such as trims, flooring, counters and cabinets, and appliances, as well as some exterior features such as paint color, stone work, etc.
- Lower costs are derived by eliminating the design phase, less client engagement and in the volume purchasing of building materials.
Hanlon Design Build is an architectural and custom builder based in the Palisades community of Northwest Washington, DC.