Homebuilders come in a variety of types and focuses, and it is important for people looking to change their housing situation to make sure they are dealing with a builder who best meets their needs.
Many home building companies market themselves in a variety of different market sectors when in fact they specialize in one or the other and may lack the necessary expertise and experience in one or more of the market subgroups. The main homebuilding subgroups fall into four key categories:
• Custom Home Builders.
• Semi-custom Home Builders.
• Production Home Builders
• Remodeling Builders.
Custom home builders, generally speaking, build one-of-a-kind homes on land owned by the homeowner, with each new project designed as a site-specific design with a unique set of plans. In the homebuilding industry, truly custom homebuilders are usually categorized as low-volume, those which build fewer than 25 homes a year, many times substantially fewer than that, and which build only single-family homes. These types of homebuilders tend to concentrate on the high-end marketplace, and quite often offer a full range of benefits, including site selection, financing counseling, and turn-key design/build services. Homes built by the custom homebuilders can be built virtually anywhere.
Semi-custom home builders are most often found in in pre-platted “custom home developments,” and often come from an approved list of builders pre-selected by the developers. While these home may be substantially custom in nature, construction within these communities is often limited by community covenants which can restrict such things as size, house orientation on the lot, housing style, landscaping options, color and type choices for roofs and exterior wall treatments, and even home values. Semi-custom homebuilders are often subsidiaries of production homebuilders specializing in high-end developments, and they may build hundreds of such homes each year in many communities throughout the country.
Production home builders generally build on land they own, or within community developments where they have been pre-approved as a builder. These types of builders tend to use stock plans and designs for the homes they build, but often offer a variety of floor plans and a menu of amenity options for such things as wall and floor coverings, cabinetry, fixtures and appliances, fencing, garage size, basement finishes, windows and more.
Remodeling homebuilders are those who specialize in transforming existing homes by either extensive reconstruction or additions, or both. Remodeling homebuilders often have extensive experience with out-dated construction methods and housing codes, so they understand how older homes were built and what it takes to transform them into modern homes. Remodeling homebuilders also can be found with their own set of subgroups, with firms that specialize in one or more specific types of popular remodeling projects, such as remodeling kitchens, bathrooms and basements, for instance.
Each type of homebuilder is an important part of the homebuilding marketplace and performs valuable services for its clients. However, experts advise that potential homebuyers or remodelers do extensive research of homebuilding contractors in the specific category they are considering to ensure that the company and its personnel have a demonstrated expertise in the type of construction in question. These experts add that it is wise to check with such resources as Better Business Bureaus and previous clients to make sure there is no history of unsatisfied complaints that may cause problems in the process.