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Woodlawn Custom Home

Do I Need a Custom Home?

Building a home is one of the most significant investments you can make in your life. Many homeowners dream of building a new home because of the opportunity to create it exactly as they want. However, when considering your options for new home construction, the question of whether to opt for a fully custom home over other alternatives can be difficult to answer.

As one of Oregon’s premiere residential contractors, Lamont Bros. Design & Construction has worked with several Portland area homeowners to create the home of their dreams. Although custom homes are often expensive and time-consuming, they can be an excellent option for homeowners who want a home that is specifically tailored to their lifestyle and needs.

The purpose of this article is to explore the advantages and disadvantages of custom homes. After reading, you’ll know more about the new home construction options available to you. With that information, you’ll be able to better understand if a custom home is what you need. The topics we’ll cover include:

What Are My Options for Building a New Home?

The process of building a home isn’t like buying one that’s already built. Whereas buying an existing home is like trying to find clothes the right size, style, and price from a thrift store, building a home is more like having your clothes made for you. There are several different ways to go about building a new home, each with its own advantages and cost categories.

1. Custom Homes

A custom home is a unique, one-of-a-kind house meticulously designed from the ground up to cater to the exact desires and specifications of the owner. Custom homes provide homeowners with an unparalleled sense of individuality, but often at a higher price and longer build time.

Woodlawn Custom Home
A custom home is an opportunity to make your home exactly as you want it.

2. Customizable Homes

Customizable homes, also known as semi-custom homes, offer homeowners a structured yet personalized experience. Typically offered by large developers and homebuilders like Renaissance or Lennar, customizable homes come as pre-designed plans. The sizes and styles of these homes range from small single-level ranch styles to large multi-story homes.

Each plan then comes with different customizability options. Depending on the offerings, you may be able to choose between several layouts within a given home design. Others only allow you a selection of options for the cabinetry, countertops, and finishes. This allows buyers to add personal touches without delving into a full custom process.

Customizable home under construction. 
Rishichhibber, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
A customizable home under construction.

3. Designer Homes

Taking it a step further than a custom home, some homeowners like the allure of designer homes by renowned architects or builders. Many recognize the work of the 20th-century home designer Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed custom homes for many high-profile clients. Today, famous architects like Swiss minimalist Peter Zumthor or Japanese designer Kengo Kuma are known to occasionally design residential homes.

What are the advantages of building a Custom Home?

The very essence of a custom home is its inherent ability to be a pure reflection of the homeowner’s personality, desires, and lifestyle.

Built around one’s lifestyle and unique needs:

Every nook and cranny of a custom home is designed keeping in mind the homeowner’s requirements. Whether it’s a large walk-in closet, a sunroom for lazy afternoons, or a specially designed reading nook, custom homes provide the opportunity to integrate unique features tailor-made for the owner.

Can cater to specific hobbies and lifestyles

For people who want to be able to enjoy specific hobbies on their own property, a custom home can provide a tailored design catered to those interests. Passionate about music? A custom home might include a state-of-the-art recording studio where you can lay down some tracks. Love hosting elaborate parties? You might want a home designed specifically for large gatherings might feature an open floor plan and expansive outdoor living space. Or maybe you love to cook and want a chef’s kitchen to foster your culinary talents. In any case, a custom home can be the solution to bringing your hobbies into your home.

Homes built with a vision and special touch:

A custom home isn’t just about functionality; it’s about realizing a stylistic dream. Whether it’s a midcentury home reminiscent of the 1960s, a French chateau, or even a medieval castle, the style of a custom home resonates with the vision and touch of those dwelling within.

Woodlawn Custom Home
The owners of this custom home wanted a built-in bookcase door.

Often serves as a long-term investment or ‘forever home’:

Given the personal and financial investment involved, many view their custom homes as a ‘forever home’ – a place where memories are created, children grow up, and golden years are spent. In fact, many people build their custom homes to live on as part of their legacy — an estate that stays in the family for generations.

What are the Advantages of a Customizable Home?

Blending efficiency with personalization, customizable homes offer a balanced approach to home building.

Offer a new home experience without complete customizability:

Homeowners can enjoy the freshness of a new home without getting overwhelmed by endless design decisions. The base structure is predetermined, but there’s room to choose finishes, colors, and certain fixtures. Some customizable homes also have limited layout customizations, such as optional home offices or basements.

Efficient in terms of cost and building time:

With a set framework in place, the construction of customizable homes is often quicker. The decision-making is streamlined, translating to potential savings in both time and money. Additionally, most of the construction teams who build customizable homes work on multiple homes of the same basic design at once. The result is that it often takes them much less time to complete the home since they have experience executing the designs already.

Allows for some customization but not every aspect:

Think of a customizable home as customizing within boundaries. While there is room for personalization, there’s also a structure in place to guide homeowners, ensuring that choices align with the home’s overall design ethos. It also means that you save time and money on design, as most of the home’s structure and layout are already determined by the builder.

Ideal for those who want a home on a specific piece of land without excessive costs:

Found the perfect plot of land with an incredible view but don’t want the extensive time and resource commitment of a fully custom home? In a situation where the land is more of a motivating factor to build than the home itself, a customizable home might be the right option. Going this route can offer a blend of personal touch with structured efficiency to build on your dream property as soon as possible.

Want to Learn More About Custom Home Construction?

Now that you understand more about the different options available for new home construction, do you feel more confident being able to decide if a custom home is what you need? If so, continue your research by downloading our free guide, “3 Steps to Choosing Your Contractor.” In it, you’ll get all the information you need to find and hire the best contractor for your new home.

Ready to start planning your new home? If so, click the link below to schedule a free consultation with a member of our design team. We’ll walk you through the process of planning and constructing your home, so you never have to face the challenges of new construction alone.