Custom Homes vs. Model Homes

Custom home or model home?

Custom homes are great, and of course we as South Florida custom home builders are not without our own opinion on this subject! But are they for everyone? Between the time, cost and energy of building a custom house, some may lean toward model homes instead.

Deciding Between Model & Custom Homes

Thanks to for providing the inspiration for this article with their own, “Buyers decide between custom or model homes.” It’s a great and unbiased piece that weighs the pros and cons of each through the real experiences of homeowners. Here’s our own extra two cents.

Model Homes

“Model homes” here refers to homes that are built from a set of pre-designed (i.e. “model”) plans. They can be just as luxurious as custom homes, while not being as time-consuming or even stressful to build. Model homes are a particularly good option for those who don’t see themselves as creative or innovative enough to dream up their own design. There’s no shame in this, although sometimes your own creativity is locked away rather than completely absent. Don’t sell yourself short — we’ve seen many potential homeowners surprise even themselves!


  • Easier, takes less time and energy
  • Standardized designs make both costs and scheduling explicit and easier to understand


  • Sometimes the land to be built on won’t allow certain home models
  • Anything your model home comes with that you don’t like, you must either live with or deal with yourself

Custom Homes

Homes that are custom built are exactly what they sound like: the designs, floor plans and engineering are all based on the customer’s personal wishes.


  • Homeowners get to customize everything — down to even the details that may seem mundane
  • Highly adaptable to any factor — be it the land or interior of the home


  • The prospect of 100% customization from the bottom-up may seem daunting
  • Often takes more time and investment than model homes
  • Fear — i.e. of the unknown, such as building something that later makes resale difficult

A Middle Ground?

The lines between building model homes and custom homes are not always so clear. For instance, model home builders still allow homeowners some flexibility in customizing the interior of their home. Indeed, even prefab homes have a part to play in custom construction.

In the news-press article, one resident expresses her fear that “We didn’t want to have to choose where every light switch goes.” Her unease is understandable. However, we know from personal experience that quality home building doesn’t put that burden on you. The best custom home builders will balance your creative vision with their expertise.