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Volume Builder vs Custom Builder

Natalie Stevens, founder of buildinwarrnambool.com.au, recently contributed to an article on finder.com.au about how much it really costs to build a house in Australia.  Whilst we’re not sure we can vouch for all the information in the article, we think Natalie’s take on choosing between a Volume or Custom Builder is spot on.

We’ve taken her contributing section from the article to share with you here.

Volume builder vs custom builder

Although it’s not always the case, volume builders are usually nationally owned companies that have completely systemised their home-building process. Natalie Stevens, a regional residential property developer in Warrnambool and founder of buildinwarrnambool.com.au, says the main feature that attracts people to use a volume builder is their extensive range of floor plans that are already priced out, catering to budgets ranging from standard to luxury.

“Volume builders work on a standard inclusions and upgrade scale where you can add and subtract according to your budget. It’s a very simple option for people who want someone to take care of the whole process from start to finish,” she says.

However, she points out that when you choose a volume builder, every aspect of the build is typically finalised before construction starts. Every single detail is set out right down to the colour of the paint on your walls. “If you are someone who likes to improvise and change things as you go, you might be better suited to a custom build,” she says.

Custom builders are usually hands-on local tradesmen who pride themselves on the personal quality and uniqueness that they can bring to your home building experience. Custom builders suit people who like the idea of having some level of involvement in the home-building process, though that is completely optional.

If you choose a custom builder, you have the freedom and flexibility to improvise and make adjustments along the way. Although many custom builders have a range of plans available to inspire you, Stevens points out that you may have already engaged the services of an architect and/or draftsperson to create plans for your home.

“A custom builder will often work alongside clients during the design phase of their home. Otherwise, you’ll get quotes from custom builders after your designer has completed your working drawings,” she explains.


Natalie Stevens has created a free Meet your builder service to help those seeking to build in Warrnambool – Find it here and choose the builder that’s right for you.


Natalie Stevens is the Founder of Build In Oz and second generation property developer at Land In Warrnambool.  As an educator Natalie helps families build their perfect home for the best price via her Build Your Home Masterclass Series.  Natalie is also the author of the best-selling book Building Home – The 5 Step Journey to Building your Best Lifestyle and Co-Author of the international best seller Better Business Better Life Better World – The Movement.  You can learn more about Natalie Stevens here.