Custom builder

What is a custom builder?

A custom builder constructs one-of-a-kind homes based on the client’s specifications, instead of building a home and then selling it. When working with a custom builder, clients make many of the design decisions. That what makes them different from homes in a housing development, where the developer makes those decisions.

Deeper definition

Custom builders build homes on the client’s land, and clients can either commission the builder to design the home or bring their own floor plan. Many custom builders handle both design and construction, while others only build homes, requiring the client to work with an architect to design the home.

To be sure, custom builders typically charge more for their services than do traditional builders, who build first and sell later, using their own floor plans instead of a client’s.

Because custom homes are sometimes built on undeveloped land, clients must research zoning laws and building code first to ensure they can build there. They also may need to develop the land and install utilities.

Unlike traditional builders that may design and build entire neighborhoods at once, custom builders work on a much smaller scale. They build each home individually, working for a single client at a time.

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Custom builder example

Tom and Sandy Miller want to build a home that’s designed to their specifications. Rather than shopping for an existing home, they hire Tom Sanders & Sons Contracting, a custom builder that has built homes in their area.

They already have land to build on. After they work with Sanders to design the house, the builder constructs their custom home on their vacant parcel to the family’s specs.

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Other Real Estate Terms

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Avigation easement

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Assessment roll

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Contiguous lots

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