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Custom Home vs. Spec Home: Which is Right for You?

by London Bay Homes

Buying a new home presents a chance to find a property that matches your elegance and desired functionality. However, choosing between the most popular new construction options, custom homes, and spec homes, can be confusing. While each option offers pros and cons, it's crucial to understand their differences to choose an option that's right for you.

What is a Custom Home?  

A custom home is a type of home that is designed and built according to the buyer's preferences. The concept behind this type of housing is to bring the buyer's ideas and visions to reality by working closely with the builder. As a result, buyers have control over all aspects of the construction, including the following:

  • Lot and location: The buyer typically selects the lot and house location based on their preferred luxury amenities, such as resort-style pools, golf courses, trail systems, themed parks, and more.

  • Floor plan designs: This involves deciding on the number of bedrooms, fireplaces, ceiling heights, closet locations, number of windows, and other relevant factors.

  • Home exterior materials: This covers materials such as stone, brick, and unique siding.

  • Interior finishes: This encompasses the brands and styles of flooring, lighting, lighting fixtures, plumbing features, cabinetry, and so on.

What is a Spec Home? 

A spec home is a move-in ready home constructed without the buyer's specifications in mind. The term "spec" stems from "speculative," implying that the builder intends to impress a broad audience. Sometimes, buyers can choose the layouts or finishes of a spec home, but this depends on whether the home is sold before its completion. 

Differences Between a Custom and Spec Home 


With a custom home, home buyers have complete control over its design, whether the architecture, floor plan, material, or finishes. With a spec home, the builder predetermines the home's overall design with minimal chances for the buyer to make changes according to their taste. 


Custom homes are usually more expensive since they allow unlimited customization to tailor them according to the buyers' refinement. Though expensive, they're worth every penny, considering they offer your desired lifestyle. For a spec home, costs are more affordable since builders construct them according to their design and usually construct several at once in a single development. 


Building a custom home may take longer to complete based on the complexity of the desired design. It also takes longer to acquire the necessary building permits and conduct inspections. With a spec home, developers usually have the necessary licenses, which speed up the construction process.

Custom Home vs Spec Home: Pros and Cons


Custom Home: The biggest perk of building a custom home is that they're made to match their owner's luxury lifestyle. You can customize every detail to your liking, including little nooks and crannies like the ceiling height, positioning of your closets, and cabinetry material. 

Spec Home: The biggest advantage of a spec home is that it's more affordable and comes with an exact cost that the developer has established. They're also move-in ready homes, allowing a quick transition for a relocating family. 


Custom Home: A custom home also comes with a few cons, including increased cost, which may not be feasible for first-time buyers. It also takes a bit longer to start and complete a custom home. 

Spec Home: Spec homes may seem like better starter homes, but they have a few flaws. To start with, their design is predetermined and may not suit your needs. You may also need to conduct a home inspection to ensure everything about it meets your standards. 

Build Your Custom Home in Southwest Florida with London Bay Homes

Custom homes are undoubtedly the best option when choosing between custom and spec homes. They offer the leeway to choose every aspect of their design based on your luxurious needs. Whether you need to fit a sauna, an infinity pool, a walk-in closet, or a fitness room, there are endless options depending on your budget. 

At London Bay Homes, we can help you build your luxury custom home in Southwest Florida with the help of our award-winning team of talented architects, interior designers, and client-relationship managers. Our unparalleled customization and exquisite craftsmanship will surpass your expectations at every step of your construction. Contact us today, and let's get started!

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