As you plan to hire an outdoor kitchen company, one of the first things in this process is researching outdoor kitchen contractors in your area. You’ll need to decide if you’re going the prefabricated kitchen route or hiring a custom builder?
If hiring a custom builder, you’ll need to understand the difference between a production builder and custom builder. Contractors are not known for their creativity when it comes to marketing. Many production builders will use the word “custom” in their marketing when that really isn’t the case entirely.
We break down how to spot production builders posing as custom builders.
What Is A Production Builder?
This is typically a term used to describe home builders. In simple terms, a production builder builds outdoor kitchens in a similar style using a few layouts that they can adapt to each space. Generally, there is not a lot of opportunity to change things. The goal of a production builder is volume. They’re focused on building faster, not quality.
What Is A Custom Builder?
Exactly what it sounds like. A custom builder creates one-of-a-kind spaces that are unique to your lifestyle, budget and ideas. These projects offer greater range of materials and products. The goal of a custom builder is quality, not volume.
How To Spot A Production Builder
When you know what to look for, it’s easy to spot a production builder from custom builder. There are two main ways to figure this out without having to ask.
- Portfolio: a production builders portfolio is going to look very similar. You won’t notice a lot of variety in their projects. Some portfolios are expansive, but the projects blend together.
- Materials & Products: To keep costs down, production builders generally work with a few select vendors to purchase materials in bulk. Rather than allowing the homeowner to have a say, they’re dictating your options while making it seem like you’re choosing custom options. You can generally tell this by looking at the materials and products used in projects found on their portfolio.
How Does This Affect Me?
Choosing a production builder when your goal is to hire a custom builder affects the quality of the finished product. This isn’t to say that a production builder will do a bad job. Production builders could be skilled at installing a select handful of materials and products they work with frequently. That same skill might not extend to custom items they rarely touch or work with.
A custom builder has the experience and necessary skills to work with virtually all materials and products. And if they don’t, they’ll find someone that does to ensure the installation is high quality. This is different than a production builder that will most likely say it’s out of their wheelhouse and try to persuade you to use something else they’re more comfortable with.
Working with a custom builder will also ensure that your space is built to your standards and requirements.
Which Type Of Builder Should I Work With?
That’s going to depend on the type of project you want and a decision only you can make as a homeowner. The information in this post should help you distinguish between outdoor kitchen builders in your area as many like to confuse consumers with their “me-too” marketing. If you’re looking for more ways to help narrow down an outdoor kitchen builder to work with, we share helpful tips in Five Things To Look For When Hiring An Outdoor Kitchen Builder.