If you’re in the market to build a new home, you have a lot of essential choices in the coming days, weeks, and months, but one of your first choices is inevitably your home builder.

With so many great general contractors out there, it’s a tougher choice to make than you may think. You can do research upon research, and still be left with your arms raised – looking for answers.

When building a home, one of the first questions you can ask to eliminate some competition is whether you want to build a custom home, or a production home.

Builders typically excel at one or the other, so you want to be sure what you want aligns with who you’re looking at.

Nothing is wrong with either path you choose. You just need to make sure it’s the right one for you and your family – and aligns with the home that you want to build.

Because if you want a custom home, and you choose a production builder, your final product could leave a lot to be desired.

Likewise, if you want a production home, but choose a custom home builder, then (unless it’s discussed upfront) your cost could be out of whack with your expectations.

Below we will go through some pros and cons of each.


Production Home Builder

A production home builder builds a production home, or the same design (or designs) repeatedly. For a better picture of a production home, think about driving through neighborhoods where all the houses look similar. 

Production home builders are often large, national production style builders, but can also be local or regional.


Pros of a production home builder

speed of production home builders
Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash
  • Fixed Based Prices – With set prices and a consistent build, there’s not much that can change or go wrong to alter the prices dramatically.
  • They are Faster – No customization or changes, as well as the familiarity with the design means a faster build.
  • They are Good at What They Do – The bottom line is this – a production home builder builds a particular type of home. Repeatedly. And if you do something repeatedly, you get pretty good at it. 
  • You Know what You’re Getting – Almost precisely. You can probably see the builder’s work in another house that will be eerily similar to yours. And there’s nothing wrong with knowing exactly what you’ll be getting in the end.


Cons of a production home builder

  • Restricted to Existing Plans – What you pick is what you get, you won’t have the options to make many changes to the plans. 
  • Your Options and Customizations are Limited – Customizations and fixture choices are limited, and most will have to be made upfront. 
  • Little Collab or Teamwork – On a typical production home build, you will not collaborate much. But not much is needed. You already know what you’re getting, and things can’t really be altered once the project starts.


A production home builder may build a “cookie-cutter” home, but that’s not necessarily bad if that’s what you’re looking for.


Custom Home Builders

A custom home builder typically builds a unique and custom, or one-of-a-kind, home.

Because of the uniqueness of this home, a custom home builder usually collaborates with the architect, designer, and homeowner.

Custom home builders typically focus on a smaller local or regional market and are usually associated with higher quality work.


Pros of a custom home builder

teammwork with your custom home builder
Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash
  • Choices – You have your choice from the flooring to the ceiling fans to the doorknobs
  • You Get a Truly Unique Home – If you want your home to fit your (and your families) unique lifestyle and needs, then a custom home builder is for you.
  • You Can Choose Your Own Architect – Some custom home builders have a preferred architect and/or designer, but you can also bring your own to the table. And if you love a particular architect, you can have your plans drawn before you start with your builder.
  • More Choices Throughout – You have a lot more choices throughout the process. Do you want a specific kitchen sink? Change your mind on the flooring? Maybe you want to change the size of a bathroom. Assuming you make the decisions within a certain timeframe to avoid more effort and potential added cost. 
  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work – Working with a custom home builder is a much more collaborative effort. They typically collaborate with the architect, designer, and the homeowner throughout the entire process – so it’s like working with your own team.
  • You’ll Have More Input – Because of this teamwork like atmosphere, you have a lot more input during the design process, and even during the construction process itself.


Cons of a custom home builder

  • Less Predictable Cost – Given the uniqueness of the build and the changes that can be made as the project progresses, the cost can fluctuate. Just be sure to choose a custom home builder who has a good track record of honesty and communication. 
  • Timing – Not only is a custom home very unique, but things can change a lot along the way. All of that can lead to an extended timeline. All of which is fine, as long as you expect that this could happen upfront.


A custom home builder offers you a unique home build, with a collaborative effort with the architect, designer, and you – although that may come at a cost.

They are more flexible in constructing a home built for you and your family’s needs and lifestyle.

All of that flexibility can come at a cost – namely, price and time.


Choose Wisely

its your choice between a custom home builder and production home builder
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. 

use the information laid out above to help you to make the best decision possible.

Are you building your forever home or the home of your dreams? Do you want to be sure the house is built to suit your (and your families) unique lifestyle? Or does your location highly encourage (or even need) a customized home?

Then you should look into custom home builders in the area.

But if the price is your chief focus, or you are only planning to stay in the home temporarily, or you like what you see out of a specific production home. Then a production builder may be for you. 

The key is this – whatever you will be happy with. Because the last thing you want to do is go through a build process and be disappointed in the final product.

Good luck choosing the right path to your future home!

Choose your path in choosing a custom home builder or a production home builder
Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash


As always, if you have any questions or would like some more information, please reach out to us at h1construction@icloud.com.



H-1 Construction is consistently recognized as one of Hawaii’s best custom home builders, and we are here to help – whether working on your new home, renovation, or just helping you make the right decisions. 

If you would like more information or a free consultation, you can visit our website or email us at h1construction@icloud.com.

LIC# BC-34618 | PHONE 808.554.9462