Pros and Cons of Building a Home
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Published by TOP4 Team
Thinking of building a home, but don't know where to start? Building a home can be an exciting (and stressful) time. Check out this helpful guide to choosing the right type of builder home for your budget and lifestyle.
There are 4 types of builder homes:
• A spec home is one that has not been built for a specific buyer. Generally, the builder plans to sell this kind of home shortly after construction.
• Depending on the stage of construction, you may be able to request some customization.
• Spec homes require the least amount of decision-making and time investment.
PROS: can be inexpensive, already constructed or close to being finished, easy process for the buyer, you may be able to afford a home in a neighbourhood you previously thought unaffordable.
CONS: can be expensive depending on type of home, limited to no customization, builder often uses lower-end products
• A production home is one of a group of homes that are similar in size and style within a planned subdivision.
• The same floor plan (or similar) is used for each house.
• The style and grate of cabinets, plumbing, flooring, etc. of the home are predetermined using stock items.
• Should you want different items, you may choose to upgrade. Many production home builders have their own showrooms/selection centres where you can choose one of their upgrades, typically from the same manufacturer.
PROS: less expensive than a semi-custom home, quick to build, the cost of stock items included in base price, easier building process than a semi-custom or custom home.
CONS: upgrading items can be expensive, little to no customization, limited choice in product upgrades.
• A semi-custom home begins with a standard floor plan, which is then somewhat modified to fit your needs.
• The builder establishes an allowance for each room/category, such as lighting or plumbing.
• The total amount of the allowance is determined by the neighbourhood, size of the house, and price of the house based on the final blueprints.
PROS: the ability to modify floor plan, option to select appliances, plumbing fixtures, lighting, etc., generally less involved than a custom home.
CONS: more expensive than a production home, very easy to exceed the allowance, can be limited in design.
• A custom home is one that is designed by an architect, just for you.
• All structural requirements, including plumbing, heating, and ventilation, must be decided before the final plans are drawn—so really think about what you want! It helps to have knowledge of home construction and every part of a home, not just the aesthetics.
• Avoid making changes to the final blueprints. Every change must be redrawn and resubmitted to your local building department for approval and inspection. Even seemingly minor changes may create additional expenses and construction delays.
• If you’re sticking to a budget, have your builder develop an allowance for each room of your home. When you visit individual showrooms and dealers, make sure the salespeople are aware of your budget.
PROS: endless customization options, ability to create the dream home, because you are in control of the entire building process, the home is built to your standards.
CONS: typically the most costly type of home, lengthy build times, requires daily involvement and knowledge of construction and home building processes.