The Difference Between Spec and Custom Homes

difference between spec and custom homes

Building a custom home is like investing in a tailored suit. Buying a spec home can be compared to purchasing clothes off the rack. Which one is better for you? The choice depends on your personality, schedule, and budget. We’ve outlined the difference between spec and custom homes so you can make an informed decision.

Spec Home

Spec home builders purchase a lot to build a home on and then sell it. The home may sell during construction, allowing a buyer to make changes. Spec (or speculative) homes are move-in ready houses built with the average homebuyer in mind and are ideal for those looking to purchase soon, whether they are relocating for a job or need more bedrooms for a growing family.


One advantage of a spec home is that you see exactly what your money is buying. Spec homes typically feature the same high-end materials used for custom homes and offer some opportunities for customization if the buyer requests specific finishing touches before construction is complete.

Some people get overwhelmed by all the decisions involved in building a custom home. With a spec home, you don’t have to be involved in the design and build process at all.


With a spec home, the builder determines the floor plan before breaking ground and makes many other decisions for you. The house may include features you do not want or need and is often someone else’s idea of a dream home. However, if you can find a builder with similar tastes, a spec home could be a worthwhile investment.

Custom Home

With a custom home, the buyer works directly with builder to plan, design, and choose every detail of construction, the layout, and finishes, from the floor plan to door handles. You don’t pound in the nails or lay the concrete, but you are involved with other aspects.

Custom homes are ideal for those who are financially stable and ready to settle down. If you are retiring or have a Pinterest board full of dreams and the financial security to invest in your idyllic home, this may be the option for you.


With a custom home, the possibilities are only restricted by your budget. You control the land purchase, so you have a say in your new home’s location and the orientation of the building on the lot. You can invest in features that reduce operational costs, such as energy-saving appliances, geothermal heating, or solar panel lights. Any conveniences or details you envision can be incorporated into your new home.


With the flexibility of a custom home comes extended project time and higher cost. But with an experienced custom home builder, you can avoid project delays or budget overruns. The outcome will be worth the wait and every penny you spend.

With Wooddale Builders at your side, you can enjoy the process of building your new home. Our dedicated project managers, construction experts, and designers provide a customized experience and hands-on attention to detail. We offer a variety of spec homes and models for you to get started. If you are looking for a specific neighborhood, check out our villas/townhome developments.

View our gallery to see the one-of-a-kind homes we’ve built, and contact us to customize or purchase your own.