What You Must Know Before Building a Custom Home

What You Must Know Before Building a Custom Home

Back view of worker explaining something to businessman through window with city view. Architecture concept

“A custom home is a home that is designed and built as per the needs of the customer. It is a home that is built once.” Bryan.

Before embarking on the exciting journey of building a custom home, there are essential factors you must consider. Breven Homes, your trusted custom home builder in Central Texas, serving areas such as San Antonio, Austin, Lakeway, New Braunfels, Canyon Lake, Spicewood, and Horseshoe Bay, is here to guide you through this transformative process. From understanding a custom home, design preferences, and navigating the intricacies of contracts, our aim is to simplify the complex into plain, accessible language. In this article, we will provide you with a roadmap to make your dream home a reality, ensuring that you are well-prepared for the unique adventure of building your own custom home.

What is a custom home?

A custom home, as explained by Breven Homes, is a house uniquely tailored to the specific desires and requirements of the homeowner. Unlike traditional homes with pre-designed layouts, custom homes are meticulously crafted to suit the individual’s lifestyle, preferences, and functional needs. These residences offer complete creative freedom, allowing homeowners to choose the layout, architectural style, materials, and amenities that align with their vision, resulting in a one-of-a-kind living space that reflects their personality and provides the utmost comfort and satisfaction.

The difference between production homes, semi-custom homes, and full-custom homes

Production homes

Production homes are houses that are mass-produced by construction companies in a planned community or neighborhood. These homes are typically identical or have very minor variations in design and layout. Builders create these homes based on pre-designed floor plans, which are cost-effective and efficient for mass production. The options for customization in production homes are limited, as they aim to cater to a broad market and maintain affordability. Buyers may have some choices regarding finishes and colors but will have less control over the home’s fundamental design.

Semi-custom homes

Semi-custom homes offer a middle ground between production and full-custom homes. In this category, builders typically provide a selection of pre-designed floor plans, but buyers have more flexibility to modify these plans to better suit their needs and preferences. These modifications can include adjusting room sizes, adding extra rooms, or selecting specific finishes and fixtures. Semi-custom homes allow homeowners to personalize their space to a certain extent while benefiting from cost savings and a quicker construction timeline compared to full custom homes.

Full-custom homes

Full-custom homes provide the highest level of personalization. With a full-custom home, homeowners work closely with architects and builders to create a completely unique design tailored to their specific desires and requirements. This includes everything from the home’s layout and architectural style to interior finishes and features. Full-custom homes offer nearly limitless possibilities, but they tend to be the most time-consuming and expensive option. The construction process can be lengthy due to the detailed planning and the need for skilled artisans to craft custom elements. However, the end result is a one-of-a-kind home that perfectly reflects the homeowner’s vision.


The difference between production, semi-custom, and full-custom homes lies in the level of personalization and control over the design and features. Production homes are mass-produced with limited customization, semi-custom homes offer more flexibility within existing designs, and full-custom homes allow for complete creative control from the ground up. The choice between these options depends on your budget, timeline, and the degree of personalization you desire in your new home.

Design and build custom home building model

The design and build custom home building model is a collaborative approach where the client, architect, and builder work together from the project’s inception. This model, often considered the most successful, offers several key benefits.

    1. Cost-Effectiveness: One major advantage of the design and build model is its cost-effectiveness. By involving all stakeholders from the beginning, it minimizes unexpected costs and budget overruns. The client can discuss their budget, preferences, and goals directly with the architect and builder, ensuring that the design aligns with their financial constraints. This transparency results in a more accurate cost estimation and reduces the risk of unpleasant financial surprises during the project.

  1. Zero Chances of Failing: In a traditional construction model, miscommunications and disagreements between the client, architect, and builder can lead to delays, errors, and even project failure. With the design and build model, everyone is on the same page throughout the process, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and ensuring that the project stays on track. This collaborative approach promotes efficiency, teamwork, and a shared commitment to the project’s success.

At Breven Homes, a leading custom home builder in Central Texas, we believe that the design and build model is the ideal choice for homeowners looking to create their dream homes. It not only saves money but also ensures a smoother, more successful custom home-building experience. So, if you’re planning to build your custom home, consider this approach for a stress-free and cost-effective journey.

The different contracts that custom builders and homeowners can get into

When it comes to building a custom home, there are two main types of contracts that builders and homeowners can enter into: Fixed Price Contracts and Cost Plus Contracts.

Fixed Price Contract:

In this agreement, the builder and homeowner agree on a set price for the entire project before construction begins. This price typically includes the cost of labor, materials, and the builder’s profit. Fixed Price Contracts provide predictability and protect homeowners from unexpected cost overruns. However, any unforeseen expenses or changes to the project scope are usually not covered and would be additional charges.

Cost Plus Contract:

With a Cost Plus Contract, the homeowner pays for the actual cost of construction, including materials and labor, and a predetermined percentage or fee for the builder’s profit and overhead. This type of contract offers more flexibility for changes and upgrades during the construction process but can be less predictable in terms of the final cost. Homeowners need to carefully monitor expenses to avoid budget overruns.


In conclusion, when embarking on the journey of building a custom home, it’s crucial to understand the distinctions between production homes, semi-custom homes, and full-custom homes. At Breven Homes, we specialize in crafting full-custom homes in Central Texas, ensuring that your dream home becomes a reality. By grasping these differences, you can make an informed decision and embark on a rewarding journey to create a home that perfectly suits your lifestyle and aspirations. Understanding the different contracts you can get into with home builders is crucial.


Recent Posts