Is Building a Custom Home Better than Buying a House?

Is Building a Custom Home Better than Buying a House?

Building a custom home is often much more expensive than purchasing a house. However, depending on your goals for your home, starting from scratch with a custom build may make more sense. 

In this post, we will cover the pros and cons of building a custom home compared to if you had just bought a house already on the market. There are too many factors to cover in just one post. Still, we have included the most important considerations if you are debating between building or buying. 


Getting What You Want

The obvious consideration is the ability to get what you want. Many people have some idea of their dream home but need to fill out the specific details because they may buy something that is just satisfactory. In an ideal situation, the home you purchased would be at a reasonable market price and have most of what you wanted in your dream home. In reality, buying a house comes with many concessions. 

Building a custom home provides a unique opportunity for homeowners to get what they want in a living space. From the overall layout to the specific finishes and materials used, every aspect of a custom home can be tailored to meet the homeowner’s preferences and needs. This level of personalization is not possible when purchasing a pre-existing home, where the layout and finishes are often predetermined. Furthermore, in a custom home, the homeowner has control over the building process, making changes or adjustments along the way to ensure that the final product meets their expectations.

When purchasing an existing home, the options for customization are limited. Renovations can be made, which we will discuss later in this post. Still, these can be costly and may only sometimes achieve the desired result. Buyers may have to settle for a home that only meets some of their preferences or needs, compromising on certain features or sacrificing elements that are important to them. Additionally, finding a home that meets all of a buyer’s requirements can be challenging, and locating the perfect property may require a significant amount of time and effort. Ultimately, building a custom home offers the greatest degree of control and personalization, ensuring that homeowners get exactly what they want in a living space in a more timely manner.

Environmental Considerations

Building a custom home allows one to prioritize environmental considerations from the outset of the construction process. Using green building practices and custom homes can help reduce the overall environmental impact of residential construction. Sustainable materials and building techniques can be used, energy-efficient appliances and systems can be installed, and designs can incorporate passive solar features and natural ventilation to reduce reliance on artificial heating and cooling. Additionally, homeowners can drastically reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills by incorporating renewable energy sources like solar or wind power.

In contrast, buying a pre-existing home often means inheriting older, less efficient systems and materials. Retrofitting an older home with sustainable features can be costly and may not be feasible for some homeowners. Additionally, older homes may contain materials harmful to human health, like asbestos or lead-based paint, which must be safely removed before any green upgrades can be made. While existing homes have already been designed and built with sustainable features, finding them can be challenging, and they may only meet some of a buyer’s preferences or requirements. Building a custom home provides a unique opportunity to prioritize environmental considerations and create a more sustainable living space.


The longevity of a home is an important consideration when deciding between building a custom home and purchasing an existing home. Custom homes are built to the homeowner’s specifications, using high-quality materials and construction techniques. As a result, custom homes are often more durable and long-lasting than pre-existing homes. In addition, custom homes can be designed with future maintenance in mind, making it easier for homeowners to keep the house in good condition over time. Additionally, new homes will be constructed with superior materials than most homes already on the market. Custom builds often perform better regarding temperature regulation and resisting the elements. They are also usually greener, although this can vary from project to project. 

In contrast, pre-existing homes can vary widely in quality and durability. Older homes may have outdated systems and materials that can degrade over time, requiring costly repairs and maintenance. Furthermore, homeowners may not have the same level of control over the materials and systems used in a pre-existing home, which can limit their ability to make improvements or upgrades that would improve the home’s longevity. Ultimately, building a custom home offers the greatest potential for creating a durable and long-lasting home, providing homeowners with peace of mind and reducing the need for costly repairs and maintenance in the future.

Buying and Renovating vs Building from Scratch

Building a custom home and renovating an existing home are two ways to achieve a dream living space, but they have some key differences. We’ve covered a lot of the advantages of starting from scratch, so we’ll focus on renovating to start.  

Renovating an existing home can also offer many benefits, including preserving the character and history of an older home. With a renovation, homeowners can update the home to meet their current needs and preferences while maintaining the original space’s charm and uniqueness. Furthermore, renovations can be less disruptive than building a custom home, as the homeowner can continue living in the home while the work is completed. However, renovations can be more costly and time-consuming than building a custom home. Renovations may require additional work to address underlying issues discovered during the renovation process, and the total renovation cost can be difficult to predict. Overall, building a custom home and renovating an existing one are two different approaches to achieving a dream living space, each with advantages and drawbacks.

What Barnett Construction Ltd. Can Do For You.

Custom home building is not usually cheaper than buying a house already on the market. Still, there are numerous advantages to building a custom home. At Barnett Construction, we understand that most people are working to optimize their budgets and get the best house possible with what they have. 

If you value seeing your ideal living space come to life, using the most modern materials, building techniques, and design concepts possible, then building a custom home is probably the right route for you. Furthermore, building a custom home will likely mean greater longevity, fewer repairs, and a better environment, whether it’s the hottest day of summer or a blizzard in the winter. 

If you pursue custom home building with Barnett Construction, we will work to optimize your budget to get the most value for your dollar. Where other builders will cut corners but charge market rates or fail to do proper research and planning, Barnett Construction will charge competitive prices while using industry-leading techniques. 

With 25 years of experience building homes in the Okanagan Valley, Barnett Construction has a deep network of trades, sub-trades, suppliers and designers. We have project managers who have worked across Canada on different builds, from spec homes to massive commercial projects to custom homes. We have experience working in varied conditions, whether your home is on the lakefront or up in the surrounding hills. Barnett Construction uses industry-leading management and accounting software to increase productivity day in and day out. 

If you are interested in building the home of your dreams, then contact us on our website or using the information below:


Phone: 1.250.486.0948

Barnett Construction Ltd

Building Community, One Home at a Time. 

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