Making the decision to build a home is a big one, but the choices don’t end there. One of the first major choices you’ll have to make is what type of build you want. There are two main options if you’re looking for choices and customizations- production or custom homes.
A production home is often also called a “tract” home, however, there is usually a slight difference in terms of levels of customization between the two. A production home is often built on land owned by the builder rather than the client. They tend to be based on stock plans, but often include a few plans to choose from as well as some customization.
Production builders tend to be large volume builders. They juggle multiple projects at a time, and it’s not unusual to have them build an enter neighborhood. They don’t just do single family homes though. They also do condos, townhouse, and rentals. They build for all price points, but the price tends to rise depending on how much customization one makes.
Tract homes and production homes are often used interchangeably, however, if a home is a tract built do not expect to have much room for customization. These homes are typically new builds and use very similar plans. These are often called “cookie cutter homes” because they’re all very similar.
Affordability is the main draw of tract homes. People often make the mistake of looking at the initial low price and thinking they can afford customizations. Tract builders tend to up-charge for any changes, so if you want more personalization look for a production or custom home.
Here at Sina Architectural Design, we specialize in custom homes. A custom home means that our clients get to choose every single detail. A major difference between custom and production homes are that the clients own the land it is built on, not the builder. The home plans are also unique and specific for the clients wants and needs.
Custom homes tend to be single-family homes, but some firms do townhomes or semi-detached properties as well. Custom home builders are generally small-volume builders, focusing their time and attention on a few projects at a time. These homes tend to be higher-end and more expensive, but a good custom home builder can work with any budget.
Speculative homes, commonly shortened to spec homes, are a subcategory of custom homes. These homes have all the elements of a custom home- unique designs, higher-end finishes, and built by a custom home builder. The main difference is that there is no client involved. The custom home builder is the client and builds it for a future client in mind. This means a spec home is usually built on land owned by the builder.
Spec homes can be purchased at any point. It’s not unusual for a custom home builder to sell a spec home in the middle of the design or build process. At this point, the builder will either finish the project according to the initial plan or all the new owner to step in and make some design choices.