Building a semi-custom or custom home is an experience different from having a production home built.

Building a semi-custom or custom home is an experience different from having a production home built.

Owning a semi-custom or custom-built home is often the dream of many homeowners. Indeed, those who’ve endured the building process and quality of construction — or “production” — homes tend to look forward to homes built to their exact needs, with the same personality as they have and with the attention to details that larger builders so often lack. Some important steps to reflect on when considering a semi-custom or custom-built home include:

Location. These homes are commonly built on single lots, where you’ll need to deal with zoning, septic, utilities and often design restrictions. By choosing a neighborhood in a master planned community, these issues are taken care of — lots are determined and there’s often many choices, septic, utilities and even streets are in place, and you’ll have lots of flexibility with your home’s design and appearance as multiple builders are almost always available to choose from.

Some builders will have ready-made plans available that can be adapted to your exact needs.

Some builders will have ready-made plans available that can be adapted to your exact needs.

Architect and Builder. One of the most frustrating parts of building a semi-custom or custom-built home is finding the right architect and builder. If you’re building on a single lot, you may experience a lot of interviewing, false starts and even some disappointment. Master planned communities, on the other hand, have builders available who are familiar with homes most often like the one you are interested in, have models or examples available to tour and have past customers readily available to inquire with about the builder’s reputation and process.

Time. Semi-custom or custom-built homes can take longer than production homes to design and construct. However, most builders either have plans you can adapt for your needs or work with architects who are experts at quickly determining — and developing — what you’re looking for. Remember, homes of these types require a bit of patience — listen to your builder as much as he listens to you. Be ready to discuss changes in plans, go on construction walk-throughs and be sure to keep in constant contact with your builder as far as timing and expectations.

Building a semi-custom or custom-built home is often one of the most rewarding experiences a consumer will go through. After all, you get the home of your dreams, built to your specifications and with the features, layout and finishes you desire.

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