Building A Custom Home vs Buying A Pre-Existing Home

Build or Buy? – a question as old as time. When looking for a new home, there are two main options, buy a pre-existing home, or build a custom home. There are benefits to both as well as important factors to consider before making a decision – we’ve broken down a few of them below.


Building a custom home is a long and rewarding process. When building a custom home, the client is selecting what they want and where they want it. From floorplans, to windows, the client decides and builds exactly what they want.


With a custom home, the client is the first person to make the house a home. All the appliances are new, the floors are new, the paint is new, and the whole house is brand new. There are no costs of upgrading, no worry of needing inspections, and no hidden costs (potentially quite expensive) that may come up in the future.


Everyone is different and has different likes and needs when it comes to a home. Building a custom home provides flexibility to do whatever you (the client) wants. No need to worry about adopting a space and figuring out how to make it work for you, everything in your custom home is built tailored to your needs. When building a custom home, you have the chance to show-off your unique style and make your home, quite literally, one-of-a-kind.


As all things in life, home building is becoming more and more advanced and efficient. Materials are becoming more environmentally friendly and safer for use than they were 20, 30 or 50 years ago. Many homes in our area were built over 40 years ago and may contain materials that are toxic to people, such as lead based paint and asbestos. With a new custom built home, there is no need to worry about such things, because all materials are new and safe on the most up-to-date standards of home building. Custom homes are more energy efficient than most pre-existing homes (other than new construction “spec” homes) and allow clients to be more environmentally friendly while lowering their energy bills.


If building a custom home is too long and complicated a process, then the best option is to buy a home. Buying a home is the more “traditional” way of owning a “new” home. There is nothing wrong with buying a pre-existing home, and for some people it makes way more sense financially and life-style wise. Below are a few benefits to buying a home.


Contact your real estate agent (if you don’t have one, we suggest using these guys: Chaffey Real Estate Team), figure out what kind of home you are looking for, go tour them, see which one you like most, put in an offer and move in. Straightforward and simple. Shopping around for a home can be done in a matter of weeks, where building takes months, if not years – depending on the scope of work. For some people, visualizing something that does not yet exist is difficult. Being able to see the home, exactly where it is and where it sits may be a comforting feeling to a buyer. There are also significantly fewer decisions that need to be made when buying a pre-existing home.


Pick a neighborhood or a city and search for what’s on the market. Whether you need to be close to the office, or a particular school, purchasing a home is an easy way to plant yourself exactly where you wish to be. No need to worry about finding land or buying a home that is falling apart with the intention of building on it. 


Depending upon the home, it may be more cost-efficient to purchase something that is already built, than building your own. Seeing a house for sale means that it has a set price (which may be negotiable depending on the local market, the agents involved and inspection report) and allows you to see what kind of homes are within your budget.


There is no blanket answer that covers all people when it comes to building a custom home vs buying a pre-existing home. Depending on a person’s needs, they should figure out what makes the most sense. If customization and design are the top priority, then building a home is more likely the better option. If speed and cost are a concern, purchasing a house is likely to be the better option. If you are someone who is torn between the two and could go either way, we highly suggest reaching out to a builder to see exactly how the process goes relative to what you would have envisioned. A great custom home builder can make the process simple and fun all the way through – reach out to us if you have any questions when it comes to building a custom home!

What is a Custom Home

Have you ever walked through a house and thought to yourself, “this would be perfect for me if only it had this here, that over there was changed, we moved that wall there, and that over here”? Unless you’re in the market for a full blown fixer-upper remodel, you likely will not be looking to do major projects to restructure the house. So then, how do you get the home that you have always dreamed of, exactly the way you want it? The answer is simple, you build your own custom home!

First of all, let’s establish exactly what a custom home is. A custom home is a unique, one-off home built to the client’s specific requests. Why should you look at building a custom home? Let’s look at some of the top reasons most people build custom homes for themselves:

  1. Tailored to their wants and needs
  2. Input in how the home is shaped, layed out, square footage, and style
  3. Couldn’t find what they wanted, where they wanted it
  4. Rooms built specifically to serve a purpose
  5. Integrated technology

As strange as it may sound, not everyone likes the same design and style of a house. Where someone likes to have tons of backyard space for an elaborate garden, someone else may want almost no yard in order to optimize interior space. Whether you are a weekend entertainer needing a wide open-concept kitchen, living and dining area, or someone who wants a smaller cozier space with more rooms, a custom home is built exactly to your wants and needs.

Building a custom home gives you the freedom to be as creative as you would like (within limitations of permitting, safety and other factors) on the land that you own. A custom home gives you a chance to use the space exactly as you would like, from bedrooms to indoor green rooms and everything in between, you decide what you want and where you want it to be.

Don’t get confused between “spec” homes and custom homes and the processes involved with each. A spec home is a home that is built by a home builder with the intention of making changes when they sell the project to a client – or finish the home and sell it as new construction. A custom home is exactly as it sounds, custom. From start to finish, the client is involved and has input on how the entire project is accomplished. Spec homes tend to be projects that are already under development and thus will be completed sooner than a custom home.

How long does it take to build a custom home? Arguably the most asked question – second only to how much will it cost to build a custom home. A custom home’s timeline ranges based on the client’s requests, land ownership and permitting. Owning the land that you plan on building on reduces the timeline. Have you brought on a builder right from the beginning? Bringing in a builder right from the beginning of a project can save months of time, and in most cases thousands (if not tens or hundreds) of dollars due to their ability to influence decisions, source materials and bring their expertise to the build. Custom homes can be built inside an 18 month period (subjective to permitting, size and materials needed) or in some cases several years. Is it possible to build a custom home in less than a year? It may be – but it all depends on what the project already has, and what it needs.

Don’t let the thought of building a custom home scare you off from building your perfect dream home. Homeownership is one of the most rewarding feelings, and owning your own custom home that you helped design makes it so much sweeter. Reach out to us at (insert email) to get in touch on building your dream custom home.

Using an Interior Designer To Save You Time and Stress

The custom home building process is stressful and involves hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions. For the lucky few who know themselves and know their style to the “t”, they may be able to make all the decisions without too much time spent thinking and second guessing – for the rest of us, we might be overwhelmed and second guess ourselves every step of the way.

Luckily, there are people who specialize in design and decision making. Interior designers are instrumental in transforming a house into a home. In the custom home building process, interior designers are there to help keep a cohesive theme or style throughout the home as well as give suggestions and recommendations along the way. 

Picture the kitchen, which style of tiles would you like for the backsplash, what color, what size? Does that go with the countertops you have selected? Are the cabinets in the same design family and functionality? What kind of floor pattern would you like? Do all of these different things flow together and work? Just in those few decisions, there are several millions, literally millions, combinations and options. Imagine needing to make decisions like that in every room in a house – it can get exhausting and overwhelming real quick. An interior designer will establish what you like and help narrow those millions into a few options for you to decide.

Some builders have in-house interior designers who are readily available to help with the design. Interior designers don’t just help with the physical house design, they also help with the furniture and items inside each room. From selecting couches and beds, to little accents throughout the home, they are there to help ensure a beautiful home that you can’t wait to come home to every day!

In the long run, hiring and using an interior designer is sure to save you money. A great interior designer will ensure that each room is the correct color, all the elements of the room flow nicely and fit the space, and that you don’t have to go back and redo things until you get it right. Odds are, no matter what your budget for design, an interior designer will ensure that your dollar goes as far as possible to bring the space together.

For most people, when they walk into a house for the first time, they don’t notice how each wall is laid out or how perfect and optimized the floorplan is – they notice how the house looks and feels. The look and feel comes from a beautifully designed space with elements that work together to create a work of art. The interior designers job is to make the space beautiful and usable – why wouldn’t you bring them in for your custom home?!
At Chaffey Custom Construction we have several interior designers who are available to help transform your space into something special. They work with you and with the builder to make sure that your custom home is ready to be featured in a magazine. If you have any questions about how or why to bring in an interior designer into your custom home building process, reach out to us today!

The Custom Home Building Process

Chances are, you are used to seeing open house signs (except during COVID times) or for sale signs throughout neighborhoods. When you want to buy a house, it’s simple: see what is on the market, reach out to your agent, see the houses you like, put in an offer, move in! Easy, right?

Ok, so you know the traditional home-buying process, but do you know the custom home building process? Odds are, even if you have considered building a custom home once or twice, you probably don’t even know where to start!

When working with a builder, the process can be broken up into six simple steps:

  1. Initial Client Consultation
  2. Selecting Your Home Site
  3. Architecture & Design
  4. Interior Design & Specifications
  5. Home Construction Begins
  6. Move In and Enjoy!

The initial client consultation is an opportunity for the client to meet with the builder and figure out if they are going to be a good fit to work together. Not all builders are the same, and not all people get along! Just like any partnership or business venture – having a good relationship with the builder can make the process easier and more enjoyable for all parties involved. You’ll be spending a lot of time talking with the builder and their team throughout the process, make sure they are people that you will enjoy talking to!

The initial client consultation is where the client can layout their general idea for what the house will be. Not the exact specifications and dimensions – but the general idea of what style house they are envisioning. Some builders specialize in particular styles of homes, this is an important factor to consider when selecting your builder as well!

Clients either own the land where they plan on building their custom home, or will be in the process of searching/identifying the perfect spot for construction. Construction cannot begin until the land has been secured by the client. Bringing in a builder before selecting land can be beneficial since they may have input that can reduce cost as well as expedite the construction process. Most top builders work regularly with real estate agents who specialize in construction and identifying ideal land for your new custom home.

Once the client and the builder have had the initial consultation and secured the land, that’s when the fun really begins! The architecture & design process is when your custom home actually begins looking the way you want it! Using the information from the initial consultation, the builder and their architect will begin drawing blueprints and conceptual drawings. While the architects start their drawings, the client will be introduced to their interior designer (which we strongly recommend using!!!) who will help guide the client in the decision making process for the interior. Read more about why we suggest working with an interior designer for your custom home construction.

The interior designer’s job is to help the client navigate the endless combinations and permutations of tile, hardwoods, counter tops, and everything else inside the home. Though it is exciting and fun, there are millions of combinations and decisions to be made when constructing your custom home, having an expert on your side is instrumental to making decisions quickly and efficiently without ever being overwhelmed. Some builders offer in-house interior designers, but some clients come to the process with their own design team or interior designer.

During the interior design & specification process, the builder will establish a scope of work which is critical in completing the home on time and on budget. The client and builder will work together to create a detailed plan and ensure the project runs smoothly all the way through.

Step 5 is the most exciting part of the process! This is where the project gets underway and construction begins. The builder is the primary source of communication and they ensure that the team is working on schedule and on budget. The construction period is the longest part of the entire custom home building process. Custom homes construction ranges depending on floor plans, square footage, permitting, the builder you selected and various other factors – typically this will take between 12-24 months.

Once construction is complete, you get the keys and enter your finished custom home! The process is long, involves tons of moving pieces, different people throughout, and is culminated with your perfect, dream custom home! After you have completed your walkthrough, the builder has presented you with your homeowner’s manual and all concerns have been addressed, you are ready to make your custom home your own.
If you are interested in building your own custom home, reach out to us at schedule your initial consultation and embark on one of the most rewards adventures of your life!

Why To Bring a Builder In Early For a Custom Home

You’ve gone out and purchased the land, you’ve hired an architect to draw up and design your custom home, now you are going around and shopping for a builder to build the home. Seems like the natural order of things. But it is not necessarily the most efficient from a cost or build standpoint.

Bringing a builder in early on the custom home build is essential to having a smooth and efficient build. A truly great builder will be able to share their knowledge and experience right from the start to ensure that the design of the home is cost efficient and feasible. When architects create their drawings, they may make a beautiful and elaborate design that is worthy of a spot in a museum, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best way to build on the desired plot of land. A builder can come in and make suggestions on design that may save tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars, just by making a few adjustments here and there.

You wouldn’t design a racecar and start building it before asking an aerodynamicist to make it as aerodynamic and fast as possible. Why would you start building a custom home before bringing in a builder from the beginning?

When you work with a builder, chances are they have an entire team or staff of trusted experts who are all there to assist with the custom home build. Builders may have an in-house architect or interior designer that they offer to clients to ensure speed and communication. Building a custom home is a process that requires quick decision making and clear lines of communication – having too many different companies and entities on a project may slow down the process while everyone tries to get on the same page.

Bringing in a builder also makes the client’s life easier since they will have one point of contact throughout the entire process, the builder themselves. If they wish to get an update on the floor plan design, call the builder. If they need a progress report on installation, call the builder. If there are any questions or concerns throughout the process, call the builder. This peace of mind means that the client never has to worry about who to call to get an update about anything pertaining to the build. Consider the builder as the best project manager you will ever work with!

Builders know the details. Most established builders know the area in which they work in, which means that when it comes to zoning, permitting and build codes, they already know everything! From a client’s standpoint, the less time they are held up dealing with the small – but important – things, the quicker and more cost efficient the build will be.

If you have decided that building a custom home is the right move for you, reach out to a builder. See what they have built in the past, decide if you like them and if they are someone you could envision yourself talking to regularly for the next 18 months, and see if you trust them to bring your dream custom home into reality. Here at Chaffey Custom Construction, we are here to help every step of the way. Reach out to us to see what we can do for you!

What To Put In Your New Custom Home

Debating about building a custom home, or already made the decision to do so? The customization possibilities are endless and you are only limited to your own creativity and imagination! That being said, there are several key ingredients to make your custom home fantastic and practical. Whether you are building a luxury dream mansion, or a quaint rambler, here are a few ideas of what you could put in your new custom home.

Fully Equipped Kitchen

No matter what your culinary abilities, having a well laid out and equipped kitchen is essential for any home! On average, other than the time spent sleeping in the bedroom, people spend most of their time in the kitchen on a daily basis. From a resale value, a key decision maker for most buyers is the state of the kitchen.

A few of our favorite features for your custom home built kitchen include: double oven (a must for anyone who cooks regularly for larger groups), space efficient storage for cooking utensils, ideal height for a microwave, a large and functional kitchen island, and large countertops for easy chopping and meal prepping!

Master Suite

The master suite is one of the most overlooked aspects of a dream home. Oftentimes, people put designing their master suite off for last, just to realize it should have been a top priority. The master suite needs to be spacious to ensure enough room for a large bed, dressers, sitting area and ample closet space. Consider where your master suite will be located, if possible, add an outside patio even if it is just enough for a couple chairs. If you have a beautiful view from one part of the house, take that into account when laying out the master suite. Few things are better than waking up to a beautiful view of the lake or mountain range!

Dream Walk-In Closet

Whatever you do, DO NOT forget the closet! The walk-in closet (most likely connected to the master suite) is the perfect spot to store all the shoes, clothes, handbags, watches and accessories. A well laid out walk-in closet allows for easy access and perfect organization. Think about the small things – include a full size mirror so you can see how great you look in your outfit before you leave the closet, put in a window watch organizer drawer, ensure that you have shoe shelves that you can pull out for easy access and more storage. Find the perfect balance of beauty and functionality to ensure the best walk-in closet for your custom built home.


No matter where your home is being built, utilize the surrounding area to provide nice views from all over. It should go without saying, if you are building your custom home on a lake, make sure you have large windows to get the best views possible. Use the landscape and terrain to your advantage. Even if you are building in a residential area that has no significant views of trees or water, find something that is pleasing to the eye, such as a park, greenbelt or the nicest home on the street (other than your own of course).

Rooms with a Purpose

Think about your space and how you plan to use your home. Having bedrooms for the sake of having bedrooms may not be the best course of action. Consider putting in an office or a home gym before you lay out where each room will go. By planning ahead and knowing which rooms will serve what purpose, you can lay out a nice floorplan and prevent your gym from being right next to your master bedroom and having those gym odors creep in. Your custom home should be just that, custom! Make sure that all the rooms are best suited for how you plan to use them.

When building your custom home, there are many decisions that need to be made, some small and others large. Consider how you would like to use your home, ask your builder what they recommend, work with the interior designer to maximize space and practicality. Make sure that your custom home is built custom for you and your needs. If you have any questions about what to put in your new custom home, reach out to us!