Benefits of Building Custom Home Vs Spec Home

With the vastly growing communities across Alberta, we at Kay2 Contracting understand that the need and desire to build new is becoming more demanding. Buyers and Homeowners planning for new home builds often get confused because of the different terminologies realtors and builders use to describe a home. Two of the most commonly used terms are Spec Home and Custom Home. While thinking about building your home, you are most likely to hear these two terms rather frequently. In this article, we will explain the meaning of these terms and discuss some pros and cons of both types of builds. 

Spec Home:

The term Spec is derived from Speculative; builders construct spec homes with the speculation that it will be sold one day when they find a potential buyer. Spec home building is currently the most widely adopted style of home building. These homes are often referred to as “cookie cutter” homes as they have a very limited selection of floor plans, finishing, colours and selections which are generally very similar to the neighboring houses. 

Custom Home:

A custom home is a unique residential property that has been designed and built according to the needs and demands of an individual client and not from the perspective of a community or popular design trends. A custom home is built primarily to materialize the personal ideas and preferences of the homeowner. The client is part of the entire home building process from floor plan and design to décor and finishes. Sky’s the limit!

Spec Home Vs. Custom Home- Which is better for you?

Deciding between a custom home and spec home is not too difficult because both represent a completely different style of homebuilding. Here are a few points of differences that you should keep in mind before making such a big decision.

  • If you want your home to reflect your lifestyle, personality, and personal preferences then go for a custom build instead of a spec home. Highly skilled designers and architects can help you plan and realize your family’s needs and desires while bringing your vision to life. On the other hand, if you want the builder to take care of the design, layout, and décor of your home then a spec home may be a good option.
  • Time is an important consideration while choosing between a spec home and a custom home. Whether it is a new build or a remodeling project, a custom home may take longer to be completed than the spec home since the owner is involved in all the key phases and stages of home design. Hence, the builder is required to consult the client at every level, which tends to increase the project timeline. Spec homes are built by the builders as per their own choice and the pace of construction is faster due to repeating designs and processes. Timelines may be pushed back, however, if their demand is high. Ensure that you discuss your timelines with your builder whether you chose a Spec home or Custom home.
  • A spec home plan is determined by the constructor/builder, which generally involves analysing the preferences and requirements of a particular segment of society, such as large or small families, working couples, couples with children, etc. A custom home serves the individual needs of a dedicated client and not the general public.
  • Spec homes are usually feature-rich residences because the builder wants the home to appeal to a wider scale of buyers. It is quite possible that some of the features may be useless for you but you don’t have any choice in this regard. Custom homes are different because the design and construction are customized to the personal preferences choices of the client.

Why a custom home is often better?

A custom home is often a better option than spec home because of several factors. Firstly, the homeowner is directly involved in all the stages of construction and is able to keep a check on the quality of construction materials, fittings, fixtures, and appliances installed in the home. The end product is long-lasting, trendy, and an exact replica of your wants and ideas. 

In a spec home, you will get limited selection scope and won’t be able to pick material and finishes that the builder does not offer. For example, if you had your heart set on a particular sink or railing that the builder doesn’t offer, generally you will have to pick and pay for a builder selection only to have it replaced after possession. The builder will follow one of the already approved floor plans, windows and door styles, colour pallet and construction design. This means that there is potential you could be spending a lot more on your desired fittings, which is certainly not an ideal situation.

Another important factor when building a home is the location! A major benefit of choosing to build a custom home is that it’s possible to select the location and desired neighbourhood. This is one of the main drawbacks of buying a spec home because builders locations are usually in new neighbourhoods closer to the outskirts of a city. While some builders allow approved builders to build custom homes on builder lots, this is not always the case.

Opting for a custom renovation:

In the event you want to revamp an existing building, a custom renovation can achieve almost the same results if you have the right space. In fact, with the right team of home renovators, you can completely transform the residence and increase its functionality. Moreover, you can buy an older home at a bargain and transform it into a valuable commodity. This can also serve to maximize your ROI if you decide to sell in the future.

If you are considering a custom home build or custom home renovation, the experts at Kay2 Contracting are here to help! Whether you’re located in Calgary, Canmore, Banff, Edmonton or surrounding areas, our award-winning team is highly experienced in these processes. Call us today and begin the journey towards building your dream home!