Find an office near you

There is an Owner Builder Network location near you to help you get started on building your own home.

Choose a location nearest you:

Home Building Articles

Don't Buy into These 4 Myths About Custom Homes

4 myths about custom homes

It can be an exciting world of breathtaking possibilities when you have made the decision to buy a home. So many options! Do you buy new? Do you buy pre-owned? Should you design your own home? Should you invest in land? You undoubtedly have a lot of questions buzzing through your head, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to be cognizant of the facts and realities of home buying.

Specifically, there is a lot of confusion and misconceptions about designing your own custom home. For many people, this is an intimidating prospect, but only because they have preconceived notions which make the whole process look much more scary and complicated than it actually is.

Securing house plans and getting a custom home built is actually easier than you’d think if you knew the truth behind the following myths and misconceptions:

Myth: Only Rich People Can Afford Custom Homes

This is probably the biggest misconception people have about custom homes. In reality, it’s not really productive to speculate about who and who can’t afford custom homes, because there are so many options available.

Can the average, salaried Houston worker afford a custom mansion on a large plot of land? Probably not. Could they build a custom home on a modestly sized property at a scale that's consistent with their budget? Absolutely!

There are so many factors that go into a custom home’s price that they’re too numerous to list here. You’ll want to find the right house floor plan designers, a reliable general contractor, and you’ll want to settle on a design that fits your needs without being too ambitious.

While custom homes can sometimes run more expensive than established designs, that’s not always a bad thing. A lot of homeowners are happy to settle with a slightly smaller square footage count if it allows them to have an amazing house that’s designed specifically to their preferences.

At Houston Plans and Permits, one of our biggest priorities is to provide a great value to people who are looking for quality house plans. We know we can figure out a design which will work for your budget!

Myth: You Need to Hire a Architect to Design and Build Your Home.


Many people have the perception that, when they pursue a custom home, the same company has to be responsible for both the home floor plan designs and the actual construction. Not true! If it was, you’d be in trouble, because architects who provide both design and construction charge a pretty penny for their services.

In most occasions, it’s far cheaper to go to a house floor plan designer first, and then take those plans to a general contractor who can take care of the construction. Because both jobs are done independently, the workload on either side isn’t as overwhelming, and you’ll generally walking out paying a lot less than you would have with a full-blown residential architect firm.

Myth: Pre-owned Homes are Cheaper than New Homes.

To many readers, this may be the most surprising myth of all. It’s only logical that new homes should be more expensive, right? Well, not exactly. Like we mentioned above with custom homes, it’s hard to provide a blanket statement for this since it depends on such a great many factors.

Take cars, for example. No matter the situation, you can always count on a used Lamborghini costing more than a brand new Corolla. Even if the latter is brand new, the former is valuable for different reasons and it’s almost like comparing apples to oranges. Here are a few reasons why new homes are often more affordable than used homes:

Pre-Owned Homes Have Often Been Renovated and Improved: Many homeowners go through significant lengths to add value to their home, making it more desirable than it was when it was originally built, and yes, even more valuable than many new homes.

Pre-Owned Homes Often Have Follow-Up Costs: Going back to the analogy above, buying a pre-owned home is like buying a pre-owned car – while the price tag might be cheaper, you’re also inheriting its problems. You might end up investing significant amounts of money into updating old appliances, renovating the walls, and so on. With a new custom home, you’ll get it exactly how you want right out of the gate.

You Have More Options With Custom Homes: With pre-owned homes, there is little flexibility or customization, so to speak. Do you want a good amount of land, but you’re content with a tiny home? You might not find a pre-owned template that fits your desires. The point is, you can make things exactly how you want when you buy new, and that often means eliminating unnecessary expenses that you’re saddled with in a pre-owned situation.

Myth: The Permit Process for Custom Homes is a Nightmare.

We’re not going to sugarcoat it – if you’re looking to build a structure instead of moving into an existing one, it’s much more complicated. You do have to adhere to all kinds of rules, and you have to go through the Texas bureaucracy to secure the permits. It’s no walk in the park. “So,” you might be wondering, “what part of this statement is a myth?”

The answer is that the permit process doesn’t need to be complicated for you.

A big mistake that many new home buyers make is assuming that they have to be as involved as possible in every step of the process. Hold your horses! This is why professional businesses such as Houston Plans and Permits exist. In fact, one of our specialties is taking care of the entire permit process so that the house floor plan we create for you can go through without a hitch.