Some home builders, such as Schumacher Homes and Dan Ryan Builders, publish designs and floor plans for the homes they build on their websites. Buyers can choose from plans ranging in size from 1,700 to 4,800 square feet in multiple styles, explains Schumacher Homes.
Home-building companies range in production volume from smaller, regional builders to large national companies, according to Charlie Wardell for NewHomeSource.com. Companies that build houses from set designs are called production builders and offer buyers limited customization options from their library of plans. Production-built homes are generally constructed on builder-owned land in a planned community. Production building is more common outside of the Northeast in the United States. Custom builders may still offer a library of plans but allow greater structural customization to floor plans, notes Schumacher Homes, and typically allow buyers to build on their own land.
The benefits of production building are in cost, efficiency and quality, notes Wardell. Because homes are built in quick succession or simultaneously, production builders buy in bulk and save on materials. Since plans are used multiple times, companies invest in design and engineering to create well-built homes without redesigning for each new customer. In contrast, custom-built homes can be perfectly specialized to a buyer's needs without limitation, but custom building is usually more expensive than buying a production-built home.