Working With a Custom Home Builder vs. a Builder Who Customizes Spec Homes

Working With a Custom Home Builder vs. a Builder Who Customizes Spec Homes

Making the decision on whether to build a home customized to your own specifications or buy a spec home that can be customized to an extent is important. For more years than we can recall, owning a home has been the "American Dream." While some may be satisfied purchasing an already existing home, even one that has been lived in by several families over the years, some want a home that is truly their own in every sense. At B.L. Rieke, our Kansas City custom home builders want to help you make the decision of whether to build a home from the ground up, or work with a builder who customizes spec homes.

First of all, a little background on each. If you don't really know what a "spec" home is, it is a home that has been built to speculation by a builder who has no buyer identified in building the home. Essentially, it is a new home that is complete or nearly complete, sometimes leaving a few unfinished features so that a buyer can customize it to a point. A true custom home is built from the ground up, possibly on the lot or land of your choosing. These homes are built to your specifications in every aspect, so you choose the size/dimension of rooms, layout, total square footage, and are involved in every detail.

One important factor when choosing a spec home is that you do not have the option of choosing the lot, since the home is already built.

In working with a builder who customizes spec homes in the Kansas City metro area, you will find there are limits to what you can accomplish. Because the floor plan has already been determined by the builder, there may be a few customizations you can make, depending on how far into the construction process the home is when you buy it. You may be able to work with the builder in choosing flooring, cabinetry, counter tops, crown molding, or other color/design features, but you are limited in terms of layout, where doors and windows are located, and other aspects of the home.

Working with a custom home builder who build homes precisely to the homeowner's needs offers you more flexibility and input. Many builders own lots you can purchase and build on, or you can choose to build on your own lot. In building a custom home, you work with the builder and architect so that when your new home is complete, it is exactly as you had imagined and meets your needs in terms of design, color scheme, layout, size, functionality, and more. If you want an open floor plan that incorporates the living area and kitchen/dining room into a large, spacious area, no problem. Perhaps you are an active couple who enjoys fitness and would like a workout room or sauna. By working with a reputable custom home builder, you can literally bring your dreams to life.

If you don't mind sacrificing room size, features, function, or other aspects of a home, perhaps a spec home or other existing home is for you. However, for those who are passionate about endless possibilities and the opportunity to create a home that is truly suited to your unique lifestyle, consider choosing a Kansas City custom home builder who is dedicated to making your dreams come true.

26 Comments

  1. 25.05.2016 at 9:38 am
    Reply

    That’s really good to know that your customization options are limited with a spec home builder. I’ve been looking at custom home builders because I need some very specific features in my home to accommodate my family. I’ll have to keep the differences in mind as I find someone to build my future home. Thanks for the awesome info!

  2. 01.06.2016 at 1:34 pm
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    Thanks for the post. I did not realize that there was a difference between a custom home builder and a custom spec home builder. I think it makes sense. I like that they specialize in their respective field. I guess it all depends on the type of home you plan to build. Regardless, I think it is important that you do your homework, and find the best for your needs.

  3. 02.06.2016 at 3:04 pm
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    I did not know that some home builders own lots that you can purchase to build a custom home on. This may be helpful because that home builder will know the area and how best to build a home there. It may also be helpful to communicate with the builder to see if buying a lot from them would offer any benefits.

  4. 06.09.2016 at 7:10 am
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    I think there is not a very big difference between custom home builder and customized spec home builder. The great fact is that they all know how to go through their excellent work. But it is right that they have their own specific specialized area in where they can focus themselves. Overall it totally depends on a homeowner, how he wants to build his dream home. Thanks for this post.

  5. 07.09.2016 at 12:18 am
    Reply

    That’s really good to know that your customization options are limited with a spec home builder. I’ve been looking at custom home builders because I need some very specific features in my home to accommodate my family. I’ll have to keep the differences in mind as I find someone to build my future home. Thanks for the awesome info!

  6. 04.10.2016 at 2:15 pm
    Reply

    I want to be in control of every aspect of my home, so I really want to get a custom home builder. My brother has to use crutches, so I would love to make custom accessibility features that make him more comfortable when he comes over. If it’s built into the house, he won’t feel awkward about it, and I’ll feel better knowing that he’s being accommodated.

  7. 11.10.2016 at 11:21 am
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    I want to make sure that I have a home that meets my desires. I didn’t know that I could get a professional to help out with that! I feel like a custom home builder is what I need.

  8. 19.10.2016 at 5:20 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing some tips for working with a custom home builder. You make a good point about how it offers much more flexibility and input than working with someone who builds spec homes. My husband and I have a lot of ideas for how we want our house built, so I think it would be better for us to work with someone who will be able to consider our ideas and implement them into our new home.

  9. 27.10.2016 at 8:20 pm
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    Next week, my husband and I are going to be meeting with a contractor to discuss possibly building our new home. This will be the first home that we will be able to live in that was designed completely by us and so I want to make sure that everything goes as perfectly as possible. That is why I really like your idea about taking pictures of everything that we choose. I think that if I take pictures of the type of designs and features in the home that we expect, that we will definitely end up with our dream home. Maybe I will try to go to some open houses this weekend, take some pictures of the things that we would like to be included in the project and then show them to the contractor when we meet with him.

    • Savannah Rieke
      02.11.2016 at 11:19 am
      Reply

      Hi Louise!

      Yes, going to some open houses in your area is a great way to start. Websites like Houzz, Pinterest, and HGTV are great online resources for finding inspiration. Interior design blogs also offer some great visuals and ideas! For some blogs to look into, click here. Here on our blog, we talk about finding inspiration for your custom home here and here.

      Have a great week!
      Savannah Rieke & the B.L. Rieke Team

  10. 06.12.2016 at 5:22 pm
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    Really, I think that it just depends on what you want and need when you are thinking about hiring someone to build your home. To me, it is very important to be able to communicate and have input when I purchase a particular house. Do you have any tips about choosing the right company to help you? I really think it can go a long way to find the right team to build your house.

  11. 18.04.2017 at 10:49 am
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    Display homes can be a great inspiration for your dream house plans and designs. They are specially designed to utilize the real estate property, so you can get the most out of your land.
    Luxury Home Builder

  12. 19.04.2017 at 12:16 pm
    Reply

    Its really very useful info you have provided. Thanks for that,
    As you contemplate building a new home, there are several important points you have to keep in mind. One of them is to ensure that the project is handled quickly and effectively.
    Modern Home Builder

  13. 02.05.2017 at 10:01 am
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    I like the idea of having a custom home. I would like to have everything done to fit my own expectations. I would like to have a much help as possible.

  14. 16.05.2017 at 12:24 pm
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    I really like how you talked about working with a custom home builder being able to work with needs of a homeowner. My wife has wanted to design our home since before we had kids, and I think that working with a custom home builder could help us a lot with her dreams. I’m going to have to talk about having my own little man cave, but other than that, the rest of the house is up to her and the builder! Thanks for the help!

  15. 17.08.2017 at 4:47 am
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    Nice post, Good job! I think build a custom home through builder is the best option as compare to buying home. Because the builder can build our home according to our requirements in our budget.

  16. 06.03.2018 at 10:57 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing this blog. Here you describe briefly about the difference between a custom home builder and a custom spec home builder. It is also very helpful to those people they are looking for the New Homes.

  17. 19.04.2018 at 10:39 pm
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    Very enlightening. Thanks for fully explaining the distinction between the two. It may be best to consult experts about different possible options, its pros and cons, before finalizing the design.

  18. 04.05.2018 at 9:56 am
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    Great article. Some people want no limits when building their dream home, and some people are more lenient.

  19. 22.11.2018 at 6:57 am
    Reply

    Absolutely Love this article Helpful for my next project. Thanks!

  20. 28.11.2018 at 11:17 pm
    Reply

    I liked what you said about these two different types of home builders I liked that you pointed out that spec home builder isn’t building the home for a certain person. Personally, I would want to work with a builder. That way, I could get exactly want I want.

  21. 05.05.2019 at 4:05 pm
    Reply

    As far as I know, my sister wants to build a home that is customized to her own specifications. Thanks for telling me that it’s a great idea because it can offer her flexibility and input on achieving her dream home. It seems like building a spec home isn’t her cup of tea because she will have to sacrifice some things so I might look for some custom home builders for her to hire.

  22. 09.05.2019 at 8:59 am
    Reply

    My brother is currently making a decision on building a home. I think that a home builder would help him build a spec home that he wants to create. Thanks for informing me that he can still make customizations on the home so I’ll be sure to ask him what he wants so we can hire the right home builder for the job.

  23. 21.05.2019 at 10:43 am
    Reply

    I’ve heard that my brother wants to work with a residential construction service to build him a custom home. Thanks for adding that buying a home is the “American Dream” everyone wants so I’ll make sure to find someone who can make him realize that dream into a reality. This way, the home will be built precisely to his needs.

  24. 10.07.2019 at 8:58 pm
    Reply

    Great article! I love how you mentioned you do not have the option of choosing the lot with a custom spec home, since the home is already built. A lot of people dont realize that and it’s very helpful.

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