Semi-Custom Building

February 14, 2024

While we primarily build spec homes, we also a semi-custom builder. But what is a spec home and what does semi-custom mean?

Spec homes are houses that we build and then list for sale after the home is complete. Naturally this involves some speculation (hence the word "spec") that someone will come along and buy that house. That being the case, we have to design the layout and color scheme to appeal to a broad audience. We keep ourselves updated on current trends, and we're constantly seeking and processing feedback from buyers to help us put an appealing product on the market. It's a constant mind-reading game to match a house with a future buyer.

For those buyers with specific needs and preferences and who have at least 6 months before they need a new home, we offer the option to design and build a semi-custom  house. Some people call this a build job or a pre-sale, but basically it involves selecting one of our lots, choosing one of our floor plans, and customizing the house to fit their preferences. 

We're careful to use the term semi-custom rather than simply custom. It may be simpler to describe three things custom builders do that we don't do. 

  1. We do not build on lots far away from subdivisions where we own lots. 
  2. We do not design construction plans from scratch or build other builders' or architects' plans. 
  3. We we do not make wholesale structural modifications to our existing house plans.  

To us, semi-custom is the means that you can do the following:

  • Choose a lot in or near one of our subdivisions
  • Select one of our floor plans that most closely meets your needs
  • Request minor structural modifications to the floor plan if desired
  • Choose colors and materials from our standard included features
  • Request upgrades or add-ons if desired

This approach allows our home buyers to design the home of their dreams while staying in a reasonable budget and within a short and predictable time frame. Our floor plans have been tested and proven, so we can avoid unanticipated pitfalls and cost overruns.  Because we build so many spec homes, we have a good idea of the finishes buyers want and are willing to pay for, so we use that same guidance for our standard included features for our semi-custom buyers. With very few exceptions, you can walk into one of our spec homes and everything you see will be included in the standard included features budget. We know buyers to not like being upsold during their selections appointments, and we don't like playing that game either. 

We love doing semi-custom build jobs because it allows us to interact with the home buyers on a much more personal level than we get with our spec home customers. We also love the feedback and ideas we get from our buyers. If there is a frequently requested upgrade, we take that into consideration and may add it to our standard features in the future. Some buyers have even proposed improvements to our plans that we have gladly accepted.

We hope this helps to explain our definition of semi-custom building and that you'll consider building with us in the future!

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