10 Reasons to Build a Custom Home
Updated: May 28
Everything you need to know about why you should build a custom home.
When it comes to choosing your next home, you have a few options. Usually, the easiest is buying an existing property in your preferred location. However, no matter how carefully you look, you are unlikely to find a place that suits your requirements perfectly.
Alternatively, you could choose to renovate or extend an existing property. While this gives you more control over the design and functionality, there will still be some restrictions you need to work within. This can also be quite an expensive process, particularly given you still may not end up with exactly what you want.
You could also choose to build with a volume builder. While this will give you some control over the design, you will be guided by the builder’s standard packages. This could mean paying for unnecessary space or needing to compromise on your preferred layout and materials.
Your final option is to undertake a custom build. This allows you to build what you want to your exact specifications and provides an opportunity to show off your style and creativity. It also allows you to choose where you spend your money, making it a good option for those on a set budget.
Here we look at the benefits of building custom home and why you would choose to go this route for your next home.
Reason #1: Building a custom home gives you the greatest level of control
When you build a custom home, you get to pick every single detail. Everything from the size, shape, and number of rooms to the kitchen cabinet handles (or lack thereof) is up to you. This means you can have things exactly as you want them – the only limits are the budget and your imagination!
While this may sound daunting, most find the process quite invigorating. Having contributed to the design, they feel a stronger sense of ownership over the end product. They also take great pride in the property, knowing they helped create it.
Reason #2: Building a custom home allows you to tailor the design to your specific needs
You can design your custom build to cater to your unique requirements perfectly. You can make sure everything from the layout to the fixtures fits how you want to live. There is no need to compromise or be guided by standard inclusions or previous owners’ design decisions.
You also get to include any special features you would like – or simply enjoy. For example, if you fancy yourself a bit of an art collector, you can make sure there is plenty of display space. Similarly, if you are a voracious reader, you can create your dream library.
This helps make the property feel more like your own special place. Having things just the way you want them will make the space more comfortable to live in. It can also help make daily life easier and happier.
Reason #3: Building a custom home allows you to maximise functionality
When you buy an existing home or use a volume builder, you usually need to make some compromises. Chances are that the layout will not be optimised for how you and your family live. You may even need to do without certain ‘nice to have’ features.
However, when you build custom, you can make sure all of the practical elements are ‘just right’. This means minimal wasted or unused space. It also means a comfortable and logical (to you, at least) flow between rooms and throughout the property.
Building a custom home also allows you to include features that will help your days run smoother. From small creature comforts to the latest modern conveniences, a custom home can include everything you want and need.
Reason #4: Building a custom home allows you to express your sense of style
A custom home is the perfect blank canvas for you to display your unique sense of style. This could be through impressive architectural features, unique material choices, or just a bold colour scheme. Whatever your taste may be, a custom build allows you to show it off.
You can also choose to partner with a designer who will focus on bringing your vision to life. The best designers are mostly facilitators, supporting you to make the best possible decisions. They also look for new and unique ways to achieve the feel and finish you are after.
Reason #5: Building a custom home lets you incorporate your favourite materials
One of the key design decisions you get to make when building a custom home is what materials to use. These could be standard materials you love the look of or something specialised you have a longstanding fascination with. They could also be the highest quality designer materials or more cost-conscious and environmentally friendly – the choice is yours.
This is quite different to using a volume builder, who will generally use a standard material set. These are often selected based on their cost-efficiency and ease of installation, more than aesthetic appeal. And, while you may be able to upgrade certain finishes, this usually comes with a significant cost.
Similarly, updating materials in an existing property is generally quite an expensive undertaking. It can also feel disjointed or out of place and like an afterthought to the original design. However, with a custom home, your materials are built into the design, making the choices feel more considered and resolved.
Reason #6: Building a custom home gives you more budget control – and could be cheaper
Custom builds are generally seen as the more expensive option, but this is not necessarily true. While most high-end builds are custom, it is also possible to build custom on a budget. In fact, a custom build can actually help you keep the cost down.
When you work with a volume builder, the quoted price will usually only cover basic inclusions. If you want to make any changes or upgrade any of the features and finishes, this will come at a cost. This will be set by the builder and, as it is treated as a deviation, usually attracts a premium.
By contrast, when you custom build, you can choose where to invest your money. You can set your own budget and manage the build to that. There is also no baseline to start from, meaning deviations usually cost less.
Reason #7: A custom home can be designed to make the most of the location
Building a custom home is a great way to capitalise on a unique location. Whether it is a steep block, a spectacular view, or a natural landscape you want to preserve, a custom build can be designed to suit. Moreover, with careful planning, a custom home can help highlight the unique features that first attracted you to the location.
This is a particular consideration for blocks that are not standard sizes and shapes. A custom build can take into account any topographical restrictions and work them into the design. You may even be able to compensate for some of the potential issues (like a significant slope) in your design.
It is also worth noting that many volume builders do not work with non-standard blocks. As such, if your block has an uneven surface or access issues, building custom may be your only option.
Reason #8: A custom home can be designed to have serious green credentials
If being environmentally conscious is important to you, you can design your custom home to minimise its impact. From the structure’s orientation to technologies controlling energy consumption, there are several ways to make a design greener. These can be thoughtfully included in a custom house design without significantly affecting the functionality or livability.
While many of these technologies can be retrofitted into an existing home, this usually comes at quite a cost. Also, as most homes are not designed with energy efficiency in mind, these technologies can only do so much.
Similarly, minimising the environmental impact is not a focus for most volume builders. As such, their designs usually do not account for things like the best orientation for climate control and natural ventilation. And, while features like rooftop solar can be installed, this will usually need to be managed separately.
Reason #9: A custom home allows you to future proof your design
Building a custom home gives you a chance to think about your needs, both in the short and long term. This should help you come up with a design that can change and evolve with you. For example, to cater for a growing family, you could include flex spaces that can be closed off when not in use.
It is also possible to design a custom home with future development in mind. For example, if you foresee yourself needing more space, you can create a design that can be easily built out. This helps the property stay fit-for-purpose and could save you significant time and effort in the long run.
Reason #10: A custom home is the perfect place to start the next phase of your life
Generally speaking, moving house usually means starting a new chapter in your life story. Maybe you are trading up to a larger property to house your growing family. Maybe you are downsizing to a smaller, more manageable property. Or maybe you are simply looking for a better quality of life in a more serene setting.
Whatever the change is, a custom home can give you everything you need to start this next phase. The design can be tailored to suit your exact stage of life and how you and your family want to live. And you can create a space that is the ideal setting for many new, happy memories.
Considering building a custom home?
If you want more information on building a custom home or need help developing your design, give Carmel Homes a call. As one of Melbourne’s leading custom home builders, we specialise in creating unique, high-quality homes. We also provide free design consultations and can help you bring your dream home to life.