What Does ‘Custom Home’ Mean?

In general, the housing industry refers to a custom home as a unique design created for a particular owner, as per their specific requests.

To me, it means a unique home that is a perfect expression of your wants, needs, and desires. It also means that all of the materials, specifications and finishes included in the home are exactly what the owners have selected.

When it comes to home plans, several options are available to potential new homeowners:

What you get
if your plans are:

There are literally thousands of building plans that can be viewed online. If you type “house plans” into Google, one of the first sites listed in the search results advertises that you can view nearly 40,000 house plans on just one website.

Some people spend countless hours searching websites looking for house plans. What generally happens is they find one that’s close to what they want, but there aren’t enough bedrooms or they are too small. Another plan is close, but there’s no dining room, or no den, maybe the laundry room has no counter and sink, or there’s no island in the kitchen. After spending fruitless hours, days or weeks, most people cannot find the perfect plan suited to their tastes or building site, and they have no idea which plans can be built within their budget.

Why mail-order plans often aren’t a good choice:

  • Mail-order plans are not designed to suit the unique characteristics of your building site, such as the view, slope of the lot, street grade, etc.
  • The specifications included in generic plans are not the ones you have chosen, leading to confusion, mistakes and additional costs.
  • Generic plan suppliers do not take responsibility for errors and omissions that can cause significant and costly mistakes.
  • Many of the plans available online are from American companies and are not suitable for use in Canada. They are not designed to meet local, provincial, or national code requirements.

A good, reputable designer can design a home to suit your tastes and lifestyle.


  • Many lack the motivation to ask all of the questions necessary to understand your requirements and the expertise to design a home to suit them.
  • Since they are not involved in construction and do not know construction costs, they cannot design within your budget.
  • Lack of construction knowledge also prevents them from designing for the most cost-effective construction methods.
  • Many lack the expertise to design a home to suit all factors related to your particular property.
  • They will not include all of the necessary specifications in the plans, creating confusion and errors.

Most architects can design to suit your tastes and lifestyle requirements. The plans drawn by architects will often show all material specifications and finishes.


  • Architects do not design to suit a budget.
  • Architects do not design for the most cost effective construction.
  • Architects typically charge high fees – as much as 20, 30, 40 or even $50K.
  • Architects typically deal with higher end housing or commercial projects and not typical homes.

What We Provide

As a Home Builder with an In-house Design Department, we provide:

  • The expertise necessary to design a home to suit your tastes and lifestyle as well as your unique building site.
  • Our knowledge of construction costs, so we are able to design a plan that can be built in the most cost-effective manner and within your overall budget.
  • The ability to educate you regarding all of the options available and the pros and cons of each, including costs.
  • As designers who also build, we include the specifications selected in the final construction drawings to ensure accuracy and eliminate confusion, mistakes and cost over-runs throughout the entire process.

Does custom cost more?

Price per square foot

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