Custom or Volume Builder? What’s the difference?

When you begin the building process, two phrases will likely enter the conversation – volume builder and custom builder. As the name suggests, volume builders construct a large number of homes at once and will see you select a pre-designed plan for your block of land. With a custom builder, you’ll have the chance to design and build a completely unique home that is crafted to your exact requirements.

So which type of builder should you choose for your new home? Read on to find out the differences between the two, and whether a volume or custom builder is better for your project.

Volume Builders

Volume builders are billed as an efficient and budget-friendly way to build a brand-new house. But it isn’t always as simple and straightforward as that.

As many volume builders focus on a large number of homes at a time, the service is naturally going to be less personal. When you build with a volume builder, you’ll choose from a range of pre-designed house plans, adding in specifications and changes to the design where required. Of course, these tweaks will add to your total bill and if they come later in the design stage, they can potentially blow out your budget.

The low cost of many volume builders also comes with plenty of caveats. For one, oftentimes a volume building contract may exclude services like excavation, soil and rock removal or retaining walls. Depending on your site, this can be an expensive addition to your project.

Custom Builders

While volume builders can build hundreds of homes at any one time, a custom home will more likely come from a smaller, boutique business dedicated to quality and craftsmanship. Custom home builders will only take on a few projects throughout the year, which allows them to provide a more personal, hands-on service.

When you work with a custom builder, you’re less likely to be treated as a number and will be able to create a beautiful, unique home that reflects your lifestyle, requirements and desires. You’ll be able to workshop ideas, provide feedback on preliminary sketches and have the final say on all specifications of your design.

You’ll also be more likely to receive a detailed project proposal, including all costs relevant to your unique home design, rather than a pre-planned quote.

Who To Choose?

When you work with a volume builder, you’re less likely to have a personal relationship with those on site and you may have an account manager in charge of your project. In comparison, working with a custom builder means you’re more often than not working directly with the founder of the company. This generally means a more hands-on approach whereby they will keep you updated regularly with progress and quickly respond to any queries.

Engaging a custom builder is more likely to result in a high-quality, impeccably built home that is delivered on time and within budget. Choosing a volume builder on the other hand, could mean a home that’s finished quickly, with a less attentive service, more room for budget blowout and a standardised design.


Are you looking to work with a custom builder who can help bring your unique home design to life? Get in touch with the team at XL Built today – we’d love to chat about your ideas.


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