Custom Homes vs. Prefab Homes: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to designing and constructing your own home, not all “custom” houses are created equally. From modular buildings, to prefabricated houses, to genuinely custom creations, there’s quite a lot of variety in terms of what some building companies label as custom homes.

So how can you know which type of home is right for you? It starts with first understanding the differences presented by modular, prefabricated, and custom homes. For most buyers, budget and vision are the biggest concerns when it comes to deciding how much customization you really want in your project.

Prefabricated Homes

Prefabricated homes are usually broken into two sub-categories:

  1. Modular Homes
    Modular homes are prefabricated houses that are pre-built in a factory and assembled on-site in sections called modules. These homes do typically allow for some customization but are not considered truly custom homes because most factories can only accommodate for a certain level of customization. Modular homes from reputable builders should conform to all applicable state, local and regional building codes that are necessary for the location of the home. They’re considered a good value option for buyers look to build a new house with small customizations, but who don’t necessarily want to full control over their home’s design and layout.
  2. Manufactured Homes
    Manufactured homes are the modern-day, improved version of previously popular mobile homes. Available in single-wide, double-wide, and triple-wide sizes, new manufactured homes are built up to HUD code and can be moved from site to site with comparative ease.

Custom Homes


Custom homes, on the other hand, are exactly what they sound like—homes that builders like us plan, design, and build according to our clients’ unique plans for their homes.

At JC Smith, we specialize in providing custom homes with integrity, transparency, and partnership. We’re happy to aid in every single step of your custom home design process, from selecting the perfect site to selecting the perfect flooring. We understand how exciting and overwhelming it can be to execute such a big investment, and we are experienced with every step, beginning with the lot purchase to handing over the keys.

For more information about constructing a custom home with J.C. Smith, visit our Custom Home Building & Construction page.

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