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The benefits of building a custom home

New framing construction

What makes a house a home?

When you go searching for a home, you will find a wide and diverse inventory of properties that are move-in ready — but what if you’re looking for something more? If the houses you are considering don’t have those elements that are best suited to your needs and preferences, then the best option for you is not to find your dream home but to have it made. Read on and discover the benefits of building a custom home.

What is a custom build?

A custom build is a home designed uniquely for a client, in consideration of his or her particular preferences such as location, lot size, accessibility, layout, and exterior and interior design.

The homebuilding process is attuned to the direction and control of the client. Using plans created by an architect and a professional home designer, a custom home builder may construct on land that the client already owns, or on fully serviced lots that are sold by developers earmarked for the construction of custom homes.


A custom build is a home designed uniquely for a client, in consideration of his or her particular preferences such as location, lot size, accessibility, layout, and exterior and interior design.

The homebuilding process is attuned to the direction and control of the client. Using plans created by an architect and a professional home designer, a custom home builder may construct on land that the client already owns, or on fully serviced lots that are sold by developers earmarked for the construction of custom homes.


The decisions that go into building a custom home hinge largely on the homeowner. You have the power of choice and control the what, when, where, why, and how of it. Consider these:


Yes, a custom home is personal. It reflects the owner’s essence, their mindset, their predilections, and their priorities. These can be evident even down to the location of the property. Extroverts may want to be at the center of a vibrant community, while introverts may opt for the peace and quiet of a leafier, more secluded neighborhood.

Custom homes can become a showcase of your personal style. In collaboration with an interior designer and architectural expert, you can create a space that perfectly represents your tastes and personality.

This liberty of choice extends to the size of the home, the number of rooms in it, and how luxurious or modest it is. A bespoke house allows for control over the design, be it extravagant and grand or even austere in its minimalism. And when the home echoes the dreams of the owner, it can rightly be a place where the heart is.


Because the owner of a custom home decides on the type of materials that will be used in it, they can choose to include only the best and highest in quality. Selecting the finest materials will ensure that the home will stand the test of time and will look beautiful for years to come.
Custom builds also allow the integration of unique features into the house during the planning and design phase. For example, a piece of heirloom furniture passed down over generations can be the anchor of a living room’s aesthetic.

Energy efficiency and sustainability

One of the major drawbacks of older homes is the higher utility costs that stem from energy inefficiency, whether it’s caused by older appliances, an ineffective building envelope, or a combination of factors. Contrast this with a custom home, which provides you with the opportunity to utilize as many energy-efficient systems as possible. Unlike the cookie-cutter resale or ready-for-occupancy properties, custom builders can equip a custom home with Energy Star-rated appliances, top-of-the-line HVAC systems, and features such as high-efficiency windows, which will drastically reduce utility bills in the long run.

Modern design white frame reeded glass panel

Smart home integration

Because it is built from scratch, a custom home build is a well-suited platform for a smart home.

A smart home refers to a well-planned and efficient home setup where appliances and devices can be automatically controlled remotely from anywhere via an internet connection using a mobile or other networked device. The user can remotely control functions such as security access to the home, temperature, lighting, and even a home theater through a wireless or hardwired system.


It does take a considerable amount of time, effort, and resources to build a custom house. Thus, it is wise to future-proof that home. After all, this is a forever dream home that is expected to last even longer than the homeowner’s lifetime.

How to future proof a custom-built home:

  1. It needs to be adaptable . The home should keep up with the owners’ needs through different stages of their lives. This way, costly and disruptive renovations can be avoided in the future and the home can easily continue to be a safe and nurturing environment for all the residents, be they children, adults, and the elderly.

    For example, it would be wise to have a ground floor en-suite bathroom, or a space that can be easily converted into one, for those who are or may become mobility challenged. The width of doorways and corridors should also be ready to accommodate wheelchairs at some point. Consider as well that as small children grow into teenagers, they will need their own private spaces.

  2. It needs to have a sustainable design. A future-proof forever home should be energy efficient. This can be achieved by following Passivhaus standards as closely as possible. This means getting it as heavily insulated and as airtight as possible. The result is a home that consumes little to no energy to cool, heat, or run.

    There are plenty of ways to increase the sustainability of the custom build. Reduce its impact on the environment by using high performing, energy efficient building materials throughout the construction process.

  3. It should have flexible spaces. Owners of custom-built houses have the freedom to create spaces according to their needs. To ensure that these spaces will be able to support changing needs or preferences, it’s best to have flexibility built into the design. Open plan spaces, for example, can be divided as needed by foldaway walls or partitions.
  4. It should be technologically smart. Integrating smart technology into custom homes might seem costly at first, but it will make it a more convenient place to live for years to come. Features such as automated home security systems, smart speakers, intelligent lighting, heating and air conditioning, are worth considering as the budget allows.
  5. The custom-built home should be well-connected and wired. It may seem like a minor thing, but socket placement is an important consideration, given how much technology is used in homes. These need to be plentiful and situated where they are essential, especially for spaces that may be multi-use. You will also want your custom home to have a reliable WiFi connection throughout, with no dead spots.

Lifestyle perks

If home is where the heart is, then it should reflect the homeowner’s personality and lifestyle. And by its nature, a custom-built home is the perfect place for your uniqueness to shine. Here are some more benefits of building a custom home:

The homeowner has control over the design. Having the freedom to choose color preferences, the number of rooms, and the kind of furnishings, or the ability to design and decorate the interiors without restrictions, can be quite liberating for those who have been used to the templates of traditional spaces.

The homeowner can put their personal stamp on everything in or around their house. They have the creative freedom of self-expression to build a home that’s filled with their character. And that saves them from costly renovations as they have already furnished it with things they love.

The homeowner can choose the land where to build their home. Because custom builds are not dependent on prescribed lots in subdivisions, the homeowner can find the right land for their home.

The homeowner can enjoy a more reliable home. Because the custom house is built brand new to their specifications, time has not yet taken its toll on the space. And new custom homes will also come with warranties in most areas, so they can rest easy knowing that if something breaks, it will be fixed.

The homeowner can save on energy costs. Using newer products that are energy-efficient have environmental and financial benefits that impact their monthly living costs.

The homeowner has the opportunity for the custom home’s value to appreciate. Building a custom home requires a bit more effort than buying an existing home, but the rewards can also be more satisfying. When there is a lack of new homes in the market, custom homes are traditionally delivered at the highest price.

Suburban Houston Aerial

Financial considerations

A 2024 article estimated that “the national average cost to build a house is about $329,000, not including land. It costs on average 150 per square foot…. Lot costs range between $3,000 to $150,000, with wide variation due to size and location.”

It further noted that this cost per square foot only pertains to the house itself. Purchasing and finishing the lot are additional costs by themselves. Likewise, the number of bedrooms in the house also adds up to that cost. Naturally, custom home builds, which are on the higher end of the market, will have a higher per-square-foot price tag.

The homeowner will also want to consider the following building expenses from start to finish to guide them in preparing their budget: plot price, water and sewer inspections, house plans, construction project management fees, building permits, off-site living accommodations (1-2 years’ rent), impact fee or local charges, excavation, foundation, framing, exterior siding, roofing , exterior windows and doors, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, insulation, drywall, painting, trim and interior doors, flooring, cabinets and countertops, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, appliances, driveway, landscaping, clean-up, and contingencies.

It’s worth noting that the overall building cost will also be impacted by the size and location of the home, additional features such as a pool or special landscaping, and so on. When setting a budget, you will want to work closely with your builder. It’s also wise to pad it by around 20% to account for any future market fluctuations.

How to choose a custom house builder

To manage a project with the scope of a custom house build from the ground up, it is best to partner with a good builder. That is why choosing the right builder is one of the most important aspects of building a custom home. Ideally, the builder should perform these important tasks:

  • Work with the homeowner to finalize decisions, including the floorplan layout and all interior and exterior design selections.
  • Handle or assist them on anything related to the build, such as lot preparation.
  • Keep them updated with timely communication: sharing all the exciting progress about the build and, if something doesn’t go as expected, how it will be resolved.

When selecting a builder, you will want to:

  • Consider those who have a portfolio that’s attuned with your own design preferences.
  • Take a look at their recently built homes and examine the interiors and exterior if possible.
  • Ask for references from recent clients.


As Houston’s number one luxury custom residential builder, Layne Kelly Homes is uniquely qualified to be your partner in the creation of your custom home.

Layne Kelly Homes designs and constructs the most luxurious custom homes in Houston. Our team, led by Bradley Smith, our founder and CEO, has over 60 years of combined experience. We have redefined the luxury home market by building at a high quality and standard and on quicker timelines than any other builder. We push through expectations by exploring what’s possible. Whether building a custom home for a discerning homeowner or turning over the keys to one of our Estate Homes, your satisfaction is our only priority.

Our focus on client experience and our years of expertise are what set us apart from other home builders in Houston. The team at Layne Kelly Homes consistently shows innovative techniques, a high-level of home building experience and leaves homeowners more than satisfied.

Proof positive of our achievements is a range of custom builds that include:

2203 Looscan

A modern interpretation of a Tudor Revival in River Oaks.

2203 Looscan

2023 Drexel

A brand new build with designs by Masa Studio Architects in Oak Estates.

2023 Drexel

4018 Overbrook

A Layne Kelly, Masa Studio and Selena Mackay of Studio M home in Oak Estates.


Convinced of the benefits of building a custom home? Tell us what your dream homesite would look like, and we’ll put our experience to work finding you the perfect location for your custom home by leveraging our experience, relationships, and local knowledge. We are passionate about providing our clients with an amazing custom home experience from start to finish.

Contact our Client Liaison to discuss your custom home. Call 832.441.9884 or email us here.

Contact Our Client Liaison

Contact Our Client Liaison

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