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Builders Guide/02.09.22

Building Your Home With a Private Builder vs Volume Builder

What's the difference between a volume and a custom home builder?

When it comes to the differences between types of builders, it’s really about what they offer in overall service, as opposed to the home build itself (although, there are differences there too). 

Custom builders tend to not have pre-designed homes, and are relying on the significant input from their customers to create the plans for the home. Their homes are built to the specs provided independently by their home builders. 

Volume builders have home designs ready to go that have gone through an extensive vetting process before being put forward as an option to potential home builders, so it’s the home building specialists who help people choose the specs they want from the array of choices available. 

Advantages of volume home building

The advantages of a volume home builder are:

  • You have the designs prepared without additional cost, and you simply need to choose which one suits your needs and block

  • Transparent pricing and time frames due to the pre-chosen materials and highly organised processes

  • Little to no surprises on how things will go throughout the build, and in the result

  • You can literally walk through your home before it’s built with display home options

  • While most of the home has been pre-designed, upgrade options still allow for unique personal touches

  • Build time frames are a lot shorter than custom builds

  • Homes are a lot more affordable overall, without sacrificing quality

  • It is an incredibly easy way to have a brand new home built for you and your family

  • Any issues can be fixed quickly and effectively due to the very structured process

The disadvantages of a volume home builder are:

  • If you’re wanting to put a lot of your time, energy and money into ensuring you have a home that has never been built before, volume builders are probably not for you

  • There are some blocks of land that would not be suitable for volume home designs

Advantages of custom home building

The advantages of a custom home builder are:

  • The homes they build can be completely customised and customisable

  • If you have a house design plan already, they are able to build to your specifications

  • You are required for the decision making on the process throughout the entire build

The disadvantages of a custom home builder are:

  • Pricing is not fixed nor transparent, and can change unexpectedly and often

  • You are required to make the decisions throughout the entire process

  • You may be responsible for approvals and other legal requirements

  • You will have no reference for you build before it’s built (such as a display home to walk through).

  • While you may see the quality of their previous builds, there’s no assurance that it will exist with your build as different materials etc. will be required.

Is volume building cheaper than custom?

It does depend on the specific build itself, but typically a custom builder is significantly more expensive than a volume builder home, like for like. How much more expensive this can be varies, but it’s anywhere between double and ten times more expensive for a home with similar specifications. 

Aside from the build, custom homes need additional expenses such as architect fees, council approval fees and other unexpected expenses that can creep up. 

Are custom or volume builds quicker?

Again, this depends on the home and the builder you use in either category, but using Domaine Homes as a reference, volume builds are completed a lot faster than custom builders. This is due to the carefully planned process, access to quality materials and trades due to decades of close industry relationships with suppliers and the pre-planning that goes into our home designs and building process

What's the difference between customising a design and custom building?

Customising a design is to take a pre-designed home and use convenient and cost effective upgrades to create the special touches that make the home unique. 

Custom building is to have every part of the design start from scratch.  

So, which is best for you?

This is a totally personal decision only you can make! However, there are questions you should ask yourself before you make the decision on which is best for you:

  • Is your budget flexible enough to have open ended costs throughout the build? Or do you need a clearer price point? 

  • Are you ok with an open-ended timeframe, or would you prefer a tighter timeframe for your build?

  • Do you have a clear plan for a custom build? Or would you like a range of designs and floor plans to choose from as a starting point?

  • Can you find what you’re looking for, for a more affordable price, with a volume builder over a custom builder?

To answer these, research is key. Explore our home designs and display homes to get a true feel for the Domaine Home experience, and collect custom home builder quotes in your local area to start the compare process.