Surely a house is a house, so why does it cost so much more to build a custom home?
Firstly I would like to say there are many benefits to building a custom home and there is and should be a lot of prestige that goes with building a custom home but as people begin their journey in considering building their own home it is a common question.
In another blog I have/will discuss the pros and cons of custom building and project and volume housing but in this blog we touch on why a custom home costs so much more than a project home.
Over the years of speaking with clients about the best analogy I can use to discuss this is the “Ikea model”. Even if you have never bought a piece of furniture from Ikea I think you will understand the example…
Go back to the first time you bought a piece of furniture from Ikea, say a TV cabinet. You would have stopped to read the instructions (possibly) layout the flat pack pieces, convince yourself there is a piece missing, turn them over and around, insert C before B and then start again consulting the instructions. An hour later the TV cabinet is finished and you feel great.
Your friend visits and decides that they like the TV cabinet and decide to buy one. Not only do you give them tips and advice but you help them build it and it takes you only 30 mins.
If you were to charge for your time say $100 per hour, the first time you built the cabinet the labour cost would have been $100, the second time $50.
In this scenario the first time you built the TV cabinet this is relative to your custom home and as you see them more you build even the same piece of furniture the costs fall the more you build it, this is the same for project or volume housing.
Clearly there are more complexities to this but over the years I have found this a very simple way to explain why it costs more to build a custom home to building clients.