Custom Homes

Ask the Contractor: What is the difference between Custom vs. Production Homes?

Northfield Construction Company prides ourselves on being a high quality custom home builder. We’ve built everything from a home designed by world-renowned architect to a modern minimalist home in which we had to meet some very specific midwest terrain developments. We also have experience with building what the baby boomers have started to call their “Forever Homes” – these are homes that allow for aging-in-place (future space for an elevator, doorways that comfortably fit a wheelchair or walker, etc).

We love the unique challenge of seeing how we can both meet a customer’s needs and build a structure that falls within a specific budget. Our team is very skilled. What sets us apart from most construction companies is that we employ our team full time, year round. We complete the framing and finish carpentry work and have a supervisor on site at all times to make sure we can guarantee our projects.

We have found that there is some confusion as to what the difference is between a custom home and what the industry labels a production home. With both projects the homeowner can choose countertops and light fixtures. Both provide a beautiful NEW home for the buyers. But there are some very unique distinctions between the two.

We’ve pulled Chris Kennelly in to help us answer exactly WHAT is the difference and why Northfield Construction Company doubles down on custom homes.

Custom Homes:

Pros – the buyer chooses (and purchases) their lot so the location of their new home is completely in their control. They can design a house that clearly meets their needs, both presently and in the future. They set the budget and have a lot of control of if the project comes in above or below that number.

Cons – finding a builder that can meet their budget and timeline. You don’t get to see a “sample” of your home before it is complete. With spec homes, generally you can get an idea of what the kitchen will look like or how big the spare bedroom is. With a custom home you need to trust the plans and visualize the best you can what your home will look like once complete.

Production Homes:

Pros – you have an idea of what your home will look like because you choose one of five or so different floor plans that the builder has available in a particular neighborhood/development. The materials and finishes are generally bid per square foot so you are more familiar with the budget before getting into a project.

Cons – to meet the market and needs of a development it is common for materials and construction methods to trade quality for expense. These homes typically go up quickly in a development and resale can be difficult due to competition and market values of the homes.

At NCC we love the opportunity to work with our clients on a custom home. We believe that working closely with them and the draftsman on the design of the home produces better results. Working with the same Project Manager and Superintendent on-site throughout the entire construction process gives us the ability to deliver quality work and insures that corners are not cut. While we understand that our process isn’t always the cheapest, we deliver our value through the quality of construction.

Having been around since 1972 we are proud to stand behind our projects.