When constructing a new home, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to go with a volume home builder or a custom home builder. While they both construct residential houses, these two types of builders operate very differently, from their construction processes to the level of home customisation they offer. Choosing between a volume or custom builder will depend largely on your budget, timeline, design preferences and lifestyle needs.
In this guide, we’ll break down the key differences between volume and custom home builders across factors like design flexibility, construction, quality, timelines, pricing and resale value.
Volume home builders and custom home builders employ very different processes stemming from their underlying business models.
Volume builders focus on constructing homes efficiently and in higher quantities. Their goal is to streamline operations and reduce costs to deliver homes faster and cheaper.
In contrast, custom builders – like Aspire – are small operations constructing one-off, customised houses tailored to each client’s lifestyle needs and design preferences. Instead of pre-set house plans, they work collaboratively with homeowners to create fully personalised designs, floor plans, features, and finishes.
The level of homebuyer personalisation, construction processes, timelines, and pricing differ quite a bit between these two types of builders, so understanding their core models let you determine which approach best suits your new home build.
When assessing the difference between a volume builder and a custom builder, it’s important to remember that volume companies utilise a highly systemised approach to construct houses as quickly as possible.
Of course, they still aim to be efficient and high-quality, but the main focus is to streamline operations and reduce costs to deliver high volumes of houses at lower price points.
These builders rely heavily on standardised blueprints and modular construction techniques. Homes are built on a large scale using a limited set of pre-determined floor plans, layouts, and finishes. At the end of the day, this allows for efficient purchasing of materials, faster build times, and reduced labour costs.
Additionally, volume builders mass produce “spec homes” without a buyer lined up. These inventory homes allow buyers to purchase a completed or near-completed house. This reduces wait times but you often sacrifice any room for personalisation.
Custom home builders offer a highly personalised approach by designing and constructing unique residences tailored to each client. Their focus is creating one-of-a-kind living spaces that match homeowners’ preferences.
This is exactly the approach we employ at Aspire. The process starts with a consultation to understand the client’s lifestyle, design aesthetic, and budget. From there, we work collaboratively with architects and designers to create fully customised floor plans, features, finishes, and styling.
Custom builders are ideal for buyers who value a personalised home reflecting their unique lifestyle and design vision.
Deciding between a volume or custom home builder depends significantly on your budget, timeline, and desire for personalisation.
Volume builders offer affordability and efficiency through assembly line-style construction of standardised homes. Their cookie-cutter floorplans and limited options allow quick turnarounds and lower prices, but minimal customisation.
Meanwhile, custom builders provide a tailored, high-end experience through customised designs and finishes. Yet, this comes at a higher cost and a longer construction schedule.