J Turner Constructions' custom homes

A very popular topic in the Building Industry and a conversation we have with clients is: Custom vs Off-Plan – What is the difference?

Custom build and off-plan build homes are two different approaches to acquiring a new home, each with its own advantages and considerations. Let’s explore both options here:

Custom Home Builds

  • Tailored to Your Needs: Custom build homes allow you to have a say in the design process and layout of your new home. You work closely with your chosen architects, builders and designers to create a home that suits your specific requirements and preferences.
  • Unique Design: You have the opportunity to create a unique, one-of-a-kind home that reflects your personality and lifestyle. 
  • Choice of Location: In some cases, you may have more flexibility in choosing the location of your custom build home, within the limits of zoning regulations and available land.
  • Higher Price Point: Custom build homes often come at a higher cost compared to off-plan builds, and the process can be more time-consuming due to the design and planning phases. Oftentimes, the higher price point comes with a higher quality and better finishes, as well as a more customised, personalised and flexible experience. 
  • More Decision-Making: You’ll be involved in making numerous decisions, from architectural style and layout to materials and finishes. This includes having your preferences accommodated to in regards to any electrical layout requirements for your family’s needs. Also, specific design features are often included, such as rebated door sills that are flush with the concrete slab, giving a seamless and level look.
  • Communication with Builder: With a custom home builder, the volume of projects being completed at one time is usually far less than an off-plan building company. Access and communication to the Builder in charge of your project, as well as the on-site team, is usually far greater to enhance that customised experience.

Off-Plan Build Homes

  • Faster Move-In: Off-plan build homes are usually quicker to move into since the design and construction processes have already been initiated before you purchase the property, however, this is not always the case in the current building industry. Some larger scale home builders are experiencing major delays in sourcing materials and trades for projects.
  • Lower Risk: There can be less uncertainty in terms of the final product and cost since you’re buying a home with a predetermined design and price.
  • Limited Customisation: Off-plan homes come with predefined layouts, designs, and often finishes, so you have less flexibility to customise the property to your exact preferences. Changes to the plans with a fixed home builder can sometimes incur large variation fees. 
  • Location Restrictions: The location of off-plan build homes can be fixed in some cases, and you may have limited options to choose from within a specific development or community. 
  • Possibility of Hidden Issues: You may not have complete visibility into the construction quality or potential issues until the property is complete. This can be inclusive of inclusions/exclusions in the build contract that weren’t made clear at the time of signing. 
  • Limited Communication with On-Site Team: In many cases, building an off-plan home limits your interaction with the builder and on-site team. A direct line of contact to the Site/Project Manager is not commonplace with larger scale builds.
  • Design Choices: Many off-plan companies have plenty of available layouts, home designs and facades to choose from. This can take away the stress of planning for some people.


Ultimately, the choice between custom build and off-plan build homes depends on your priorities, budget, and how much control you want over the design and construction process. Custom build homes are ideal for those who want a unique, tailor-made home but are willing to invest more time and money. Off-plan build homes are a quicker and more straightforward option for those who prioritise convenience and lower risk but are willing to compromise on customisation. It’s essential when you start down the road of a new home build, to carefully evaluate your needs and preferences when deciding which approach is right for you.