When you make the big decision to build a new home, you’ll find options to suit a wide variety of needs and motivations. The first – and undoubtedly the most important – is the builder and building method that your choose.
Your choice of builder will generally be driven by a balance between cost and flexibility.
Builders generally fall into one of two broad categories: volume builders (otherwise known as project home builders) and custom builders. Each is a viable option, depending on your situation and requirements.
Volume builders offer a catalogue of designs for a predetermined price. They are often large companies that construct hundreds of homes per year, offering a standardised service based on fixed costs, streamlined efficiencies and very little design variation.
At the other end of the scale, custom homes are specifically designed for, and with, the client. If your dream is to create a home that reflects your individual style, functional preferences and long-term needs, a custom home builder will be your best choice.
It’s a big decision, but as a general guide, there are five key areas to consider when weighing up your options.
3. Design and Customisation
5. Quality and Cost Control
The choice between volume and custom design often comes down to price.
The volume building process is structured for cost efficiencies, based around set ranges of fixtures, finishes and floorplans. However, this also has its downsides. You may end up paying for things you don’t want or need.
With a custom home build, you only pay for the features and options that are important to you. You set your own priorities and budget and can plan for future requirements such as additional space for a growing family or a pool.
A custom builder can help you ensure that your plans are best suited to your block, your neighbourhood, and your environment.
The shape and size of the block of land, for example, is a key factor in determining the type of builder, as most volume designs can’t be built on small or significantly sloping blocks. Your custom builder will begin with an assessment of the essential issues such as:
- The size and shape of the lot.
- The availability of utilities.
- Zoning issues.
- Soil quality.
- The average home value in the neighbourhood.
- How close the neighbours will be.
- The style of the other homes in the neighbourhood.
Planning takes on yet another perspective when you look further ahead. One of the lesser considered advantages of a custom build is the overall saving in the longer term.
Because you can thoroughly think through your design in advance, you won’t have to go through the financial and personal stress of extending or renovating later. Or, if you do plan future work at some stage, your floorplan and design have been predetermined for additional features. The flow of your home is maintained. And the value of your home reflects these possibilities.
The keyword here is ‘choice’. A custom home allows you to choose wisely, now and for the future.
“A custom home allows you to choose wisely, now and for the future.”
3. Design and Customisation
Design and customisation are the factors that are generally top of mind when considering a custom home.
New home builds are inspired by personal lifestyle and family priorities. Everyone’s motivation is different. You may have been attracted to a particular location. Or inspired by a visual style. Or you need more space for a growing family or office, or to create a space that reflects your individual taste and style of living.
Volume builders offer little to no flexibility when it comes to the layout or aesthetics of your home. Or, if changes are made, they come at a big price.
A custom home design, on the other hand, begins with your ideas and needs and expands on this vision, always with a close eye on the necessary cost and time efficiencies.
There are both external and internal functional decisions to consider.
Inside your home, you may be looking for features that make life easier, more comfortable, or more adaptable.
In the kitchen it could be an over-sized kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances. In the bathrooms it could be heated floors and custom wet areas. In the bedroom you might like add laundry shutes or walk-in robes.
There are also external considerations. Perhaps you’ve dreamed of huge entertaining deck or a lap pool, if not now, then down the track.
A custom home can also be as energy efficient as you would like, dramatically cutting down on heating and cooling costs.
5. Quality and Cost Control
An experienced custom builder is also your project manager. You have one point of contact, one clear avenue of communication and transparency of progress. They can pass on the efficiencies of their own relationships where necessary, while allowing you the flexibility to make your own choices when preferred.
Custom builders have strong, ongoing relationships with trades and suppliers where reliability is key, reducing any downtime and allowing the process to continue smoothly, flexibly, and quickly. The emphasis is on quality workmanship and the use of materials that last for years to come with less maintenance in the future.
Another consideration is local knowledge. If your builder is familiar with your location, they know how to work seamlessly with your council and understand the zoning restrictions, laws, and codes. These are potential pitfalls that can significantly delay progress and add to the cost of your build. This is especially relevant in bushfire prone areas, where specialised knowledge is an imperative that many builders can’t offer.
Choice of materials is also a huge advantage. You can control the style and quality of every aspect, both inside and outside the home. You may prefer to use recycled materials, or avoid certain products due to allergies in the family. You have the most flexibility to put your money into the things that are your greatest priorities.
Your home is a life changing investment that impacts you and your family for years to come. We all have our own short and long-term priorities, and we have to make choices based on value we can derive from the budget and knowledge at hand. It can be an overwhelming decision.
Make An Informed Decision
The team of Woodford Homes can help you make an informed decision with clarity and confidence.
Call us now to meet with a consultant to discuss your own particular plans and ideas. We’ll take you through your options and highlight the most important factors for consideration. It’s a conversation that could make the difference of a lifetime.