Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spec Housing Vs Custom Homes

Although our firm designs mostly custom homes, we design homes for builders and developers too.  This type of home is by its very nature less specialized and more generic but our stock home plans are all designed with many of the same design principals as our custom homes.   

We have designed entire sub-divisions as well as individual homes for a special infill lot.  The important difference is the home is not designed for a specific family or couple.  This presents a great design exercise for our office as we design homes in all sizes and price ranges to meet the requirements of each specific market or neighborhood.

Typically when we design a whole sub-division, we will design 4-6 floor plans with two differing elevations for each plan.  So this way, it appears that the development has a variety of 8-12 different homes.  This makes for a wonderful streetscape as the homes each have an individual look to them.    

The cost for our stock plans is also much less as the plans usually simpler and less detailed.  This is a real advantage to a developer or builder as they can purchase plans for their development for less cost than a custom home.  They often use the same finish specifications for millwork and cabinetry and even the fireplace mantels so we often do not take the time to draw these details for production housing. 

Unlike most stock plan services, we do not charge a “use fee” for our plans so many of our clients use our more successful designs in more than one development. If one plan is a huge seller, we often will be asked to develop different elevations or floor plan variations so a developer can get more use out of a runaway best seller.