Find Out If You Should Build a Home DIY or with a Contractor

house exterior

Do you constantly worry about making the wrong choice regarding home construction? Do you want a house that truly reflects your personality and your style? You can avoid those regrets.

We’ve outlined the differences between production and custom builders so that you can make an informed decision about your project. These guidelines below will help you choose the builder that matches your needs.

Form and Function

You’ll have access to their library of plans to choose from with production builders. However, you can usually make only limited changes because they have very fixed systems for building homes in bulk. You may select programs from their catalogue that are slightly different from what your neighbours have if you can afford the price.

Otherwise, try to make changes as you like with custom builders. Instead, they will not work from a predetermined set of plans and design one suited to your lifestyle when visiting their showroom. They will prove that finding the right house doesn’t take months or years.

Output, Not Speed

Contractors promoting a new build in sixteen weeks is a strong selling point, and it can be tempting for a new homeowner. But what are you sacrificing by moving into your new home so quickly? 

When you have a significant renovation, your custom home build or renovation is not something you want to rush. Quality building processes take time, and a quick build usually compromises somewhere. There will probably be no shortcuts taken on the builder’s bottom line. 

Professional custom builders will have robust processes, worker training programs, and control checks to ensure everything is done right without compromising quality. This will mean your build time is longer than what a production home builder is quoting, but you will be able to sleep well knowing that your renovation project was built right the first time, with no shortcuts taken.

Quality, Not Quantity

Quality defects signify that your site supervisor has not adequately managed your build. Defects caused by a lack of attention to detail can be costly in the long run. A production home builder supervisor may have to manage over 30 projects at once, contributing to the high occurrence of these defects.

If processes or steps are unclear to you or you want something different from what’s listed in the selections, ask your builder to explain it or change it to reflect exactly what you need.

The Add-Ons

The insulation, electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling sections are critical in your contract. Make sure you read your warranty carefully because this is where you can be tripped up. Your selections and finishes listed may reference a standard inclusion list with little to no room to move. If you don’t have it specified in your contract, you could install a cheap like-for-like item. 

These utilities are not a concern with expert custom builders, as they allow you to choose precisely what you want in your home and have it specified in the contract to ensure you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for! Thus, since they’re starting from scratch, you should not be limited by choices in the specification list in your contract.

If their steps or processes are unclear or you want something different from what’s listed in the selections, ask your builder to explain it or change it to reflect exactly what you need.


Whether with contractors or custom builders, you should work with professionals. They’re not just building a backyard shed for you. It’s your home, one that should last decades with growing family members and new tenants in the future. Heed these words, and you’ll have a solid home!

Construct your new house with Sierra Gate Homes! We’re custom builders from Ottawa with experience in residential construction, whether adding a new area or renovating an existing one. Get quoted by us today! 

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