Is Building a Custom Home More Expensive?

Feb 28, 2022 | Custom Home Building

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to build a custom home or buy an existing home, allow us to help settle the score once and for all. One of the biggest factors that homeowners consider when making the decision to either build or buy is the cost. Many assume that building a custom home from scratch is always the more expensive option. However, in our experience, this isn’t always the case. Read on to find out whether or not building a custom home is truly more expensive, and whether or not it’s worth it for your specific needs!

Are Custom Homes More Expensive?

The short answer? It depends. No two custom homes are exactly the same, and therefore the cost to construct each build varies significantly. While in some cases a custom home may be more expensive than buying an existing property, there are ways that you can reduce the costs associated with your build that can make the price comparable to buying through the traditional real estate market.

There are a number of different factors that ultimately determine the total cost of your custom home, including:

  • Market Volatility: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of materials has risen significantly, leading to an average cost increase of roughly $35,872 per custom project, according to However, with real estate listing prices increasing by nearly 12% in the past year and triple the number of U.S. cities with an average listing price of $1 million, the current cost difference between a custom-built and move-in ready home is almost negligible.
  • Materials Selection: With a custom home, you get to decide exactly which materials are used during the build. That means, you have greater cost control over what your project price will ultimately be. Obviously, the more high-end, rare, or valuable the materials you choose, the greater the cost.
  • Home Layout: Custom homes allow you to create unique spaces that aren’t like any other house you’d find on the market. However, this can also come at a tremendous cost if the architectural elements you include are particularly complex. Choosing a simpler home layout can help you save on the total cost of your build for a custom home that’s affordable yet personalized to your specific style.
  • Land Selection: You will need to purchase a plot of land in order to build a custom home. Depending on the type of land you select, there may be additional costs associated with leveling or zoning the property in order to complete your build properly. The more difficult the terrain, the more complicated and expensive the project will be.

While prioritizing affordability is certainly important, it’s equally important not to make all of your building decisions based on price alone. Including only the least expensive materials in your build can come back to haunt you in the end as they can lead to increased repair and maintenance needs over the course of homeownership.

Is Building a Custom Home Worth It?

Choosing to build a custom home can be an incredibly worthwhile investment. Unlike purchasing a home through the traditional marketplace, building a custom home affords you the following unique benefits:

  • A newly built home adheres to the most up-to-date building codes and offer greater energy efficiency compared to existing properties that have been built years ago.
  • Since your custom home features all-new fixtures, finishes, and features, you won’t need to worry about the need for repair or replacement in the near future.
  • You don’t need to worry about competing against other homebuyers since the home is being built specifically for you.
  • Newer homes won’t use toxic materials such as asbestos or lead-based paint during construction, so you’ll have greater peace of mind that your home is toxin-free.
  • You’ll enjoy a completely custom environment that meets your precise stylistic and functional preferences rather than having to tackle a series of DIY projects to make your space your own.

The custom home you build can be your forever dream home, which is one of the biggest reasons families choose to build a home rather than buy. Once you’re settled into the forever space that fits your exact needs, the benefits gained will far outweigh the costs involved to get there.

Start Building Your Custom Home with Lee Builders!

If you’re seeking a custom home builder to help you create your dream home, Lee Builders is the team you need to get the job done right. Our custom home builders are here to help you every step of the way. We’ll guide you towards making the most cost-effective yet durable material selections so you can achieve a custom home build that’s affordable, functional, and stylish. Our team also offers financing through our long-standing relationships with the areas most trusted financing partners. Contact our custom home builders to get started with your project today!