What is the difference between a Spec Home vs. A Custom Home?

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What is a Spec Home?

A spec home is a new construction, move-in ready home constructed by a builder before a homeowner has purchased it.

The lot is bought by the builder, fully constructed by the builder, and placed on the market for purchase either near completion or when fully completed. Spec homes are move-in ready and are designed with current, appealing features that most prospective homebuyers desire in their home. In the metro Atlanta area, that includes features such as open floor plans, large, chef’s caliber kitchens, detailed trim work and upscale finishes.

The beautiful kitchen of one of our spec homes.


Architecture, floor plans, home exterior, home interior, home design, building materials, and finishes are all chosen by the homebuilder and their designers.

Infill housing refers to inserting additional homes into a pre-existing approved neighborhood or subdivision. Sometimes an existing lot may be divided to allow an additional new home build or new residential lots created by further subdivision or lot line adjustments.

Speculative homes are built in communities and neighborhoods that are sought after by homebuyers so that the value for both the builder and homeowner is a positive investment. Factors such as school districts, parks, retail, restaurants, and access to major transportation are highly considered in determining where to build speculatively.

If you’re looking for a home that doesn’t require cosmetic upgrades or expensive renovations, need to move into a new residence quickly, or do not want to be involved with the home planning process, then a new construction spec home is the way to go!

What is a Custom House?

A custom home is a home built for a particular homeowner with a contract in place. The builder works directly with the home buyer on all facets of the construction of home—architecture, floor plan design, building materials, etc. They are a fantastic way for homeowners to get exactly what they want, how they want it.

Here are some of the decisions a homeowner faces when deciding to build a custom home:

  • Lot & location — where will you build your custom home? Are there particular features of the lot/location i.e. within a specific subdivision, a corner home, on a culd-e-sac, walkability scores, school districts, or pool-friendliness that are priority?
  • Floor plan design — how many bedrooms and bathrooms, fireplaces, closet locations, ceiling heights, number of windows, etc.
  • Home exterior materials — siding, brick, stone, etc.
  • Building options and finishes — brands and styles of hardwood flooring, tile, carpet, lighting and lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, and finishes.

Building a custom home is a detail-oriented process, and new home construction takes on average 6-7 months to complete. There must be a relationship of trust and transparency between builder and homeowner to ensure that the custom home perfectly reflects the homeowner’s vision, needs, and wants.

Harrison Homes Builds Both

Harrison builds both custom homes and speculative homes. Since 2007, we’ve added over 400 new construction homes to the communities of metro Atlanta. Our extensive industry knowledge and detailed processes ensure that we deliver best-in-class homes, regardless if they are a new construction spec house or custom-built home.

Harrison Spec Homes

We typically have several speculative home projects in play at any given time and are always sourcing new lots to develop in Atlanta’s desirable communities. We can show examples of our timeless and efficient floor plans then walk you through active new construction homes so you can understand what a Harrison Home looks and feels like.

We are all about the details. Our speculative homes are designed with the same quality materials and finishes we use for custom home projects. We treat every home we build like it’s one we’re building for our family.

Harrison Custom Homes

Building a custom home allows you to get exactly what you want out of your home. Although there are many details involved with that route, our experience has allowed us to create processes and procedures that make the home building journey exciting, efficient, and enjoyable at every phase.

Regardless of whether you want to design and choose every feature of the home yourself, or want to engage with our design team for their professional guidance– it’s all up to you. We have the resources and experience to build you a quality, custom home that ultimately will exceed your expectations, on-time and on-budget.

Building a custom home allow you to pick every little detail of every room.

If you’re searching for your dream home, we’re here for you.

We are committed to structural integrity, quality workmanship, and progressive design so that the new home is absolutely stunning– and built to last. Over the years we’ve grown our business through referrals of happy homeowners.

Give us a call and we’re happy to chat with you about finding or building your dream home!

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