Custom builders are generally hands-on local tradesmen who pride themselves on the personal quality and uniqueness that they can bring to your home building experience. When using a custom builder, the person who sells you their services is usually the same person who is building your home. They'll be your go-to person from start to finish. Custom builders suit those of us who like the idea of having some level of exposure to the home building process, though that is totally optional. A custom builder should delight in the idea of you 'popping in' to say hi to see how things are going. It's a more personal experience where you should feel welcome to share in the excitement of your dream coming to life.
One of the greatest advantages of using a custom builder is having the ability to improvise and make adjustments along the way. While it’s common for custom builders to have a small range of plans to inspire you, we recommend having your home designed independently. Working with a designer or choosing from an extensive range of quality floorplans and having them adjusted to suit is the safest way to maintain control of your experience and your budget. It gives you the freedom to take your home design to three builders and have your plans quoted. If you use builders plans you are bound to use that builder as they own the copyright to their own plans. You can't take the plans to be quoted from another builder and this can leave people feeling stuck.
Volume builders are usually, but not always, nationally owned companies that have completely systemised their entire home building process. They utilise modern sales and marketing strategies to sell their homes. It is a highly competitive market. The main feature that attracts people to a volume builder is their nicely presented range of floorplans and their knockout display homes. Volume builders work on a standard inclusions-plus-upgrade system where you can add features according to your budget. It’s a very simple option for people who want someone to take care of the whole process from start to finish and who are happy to have minimal exposure during the building phase. Volume builders generally advertise homes at the very minimum base price and offer upgrades in the form of promotional packages. They often partner with land owners to market House and Land Packages which are advertised for a bare minimum price. In most cases, packages are put together for demonstrative purposes only. Unless the block itself is owned directly by the builder, you are free to purchase the block and put any house on it you wish and it can be built by any builder. You can learn more about House and Land Packages here.
One thing to keep in mind when using a volume builder is that everything is finalised before you start. Every single detail is set out right down to the colour of the paint on your walls. Volume Builders generally won't allow changes to their floorplans without extra costs for the privilege and it's costly to make even cosmetic changes once you've had your selection consultation. If you are someone who would like to be involved during the construction phase or who might like to improvise and make minor changes to things as you go, you might be better suited to a custom builder.