The Difference Between a True Custom Home Builder & a Project Home Builder

Can’t find a design that ticks all the boxes? If you’ve been searching through display villages and floor plans but just haven’t found a design that speaks to you, then you might consider building with a custom home builder instead of a project home builder. So what are the main differences between the two? 

The home design

The single, most important difference between a project home builder and a custom home builder is the home design. Project home builders begin with a pre-planned home design and might make minor adjustments to that design to suit your family and lifestyle. Custom home builders such as Wincrest Bespoke will start from the ground up when it comes to your design. Each wall, window and detail of your home is designed specifically for you for a beautiful, bespoke result. It’s a little like comparing a store-bought suit that’s been adjusted to fit, versus a custom suit that’s been tailor-made to fit your style and measurements. The choice is obvious!


One of the primary reasons that clients choose Wincrest Bespoke as a custom home builder over a typical project home builder is that the client wishes to build something truly out of the ordinary, and specifically designed for their block rather than a cookie cutter type of home.

Design changes

Whether you have a complete home vision in mind or not, you’ll want your home to suit your needs.

With a project home builder, you might be able to pay more to request changes to aspects such as room size or ceiling height, but there are often some elements that are fixed – for example, you can’t simply decide to move a load-bearing wall to create an open-plan living area. With a custom home builder, the process is entirely different. You’ll sit down with your architectural designer and set out your prerequisites and preferences right at the beginning of the process. Our meticulous design process ensures your home is exactly what you’ve envisioned right from the start, therefore minimising the need for any additional changes and related costs or delays.

Designs for unique, narrow and sloping blocks

While a pre-designed floor plan from a project builder may suit a standard flat block of land, it may not suit a narrow, sloping or unusually shaped block. In that case, it might once again cost more to adapt a pre-designed plan to suit that block or the block to suit the plan. A specialist sloping block builder such as Wincrest Bespoke can design stunning double storey or split level home designs for sloping blocks that will not only save you a significant amount of money by minimising earthworks onsite, but can actually make the most of the natural views, fresh air and sunlight. Our expertise in designing and building for sloping sites and uniquely shaped blocks is another key reason that clients choose to work with Wincrest Bespoke as their custom home builder.


Many property owners will be considering the value of an architecturally designed home versus a project home. A project home builder might allow a certain scope of variations, but any significant changes can add to the final cost of building your home. This could be an expensive way to get something close to – but not quite – what you had in mind! With the right custom home builder, you can have your dream home built to your exacting standards and within the cost parameters that you’ve set for your build. For example, the in-depth design process with Wincrest Bespoke includes a clear fixed-price contract so you can expect a completely personalised design without any surprises.

There’s another key benefit when it comes to considering value for your investment, and that’s the long-term appeal of the property. A unique custom home will typically have a higher resale value than that of a project home. This can apply to rental returns too; a home we recently completed in Balgowlah Heights is fetching $2,200 per week, for example.

Inclusions, upgrades and exclusions

One of the most enjoyable parts of building a home is choosing the finishes and details of your new house. Project home builders will typically include a select number of options for things like window coverings, paint colours or floor options. Anything outside of this scope usually incurs an additional price. With custom home builders in Sydney, there are no bounds to what you can choose. If you’d like underfloor heating, a mix of floor surfaces or extra-high ceilings, we can incorporate this right into the initial design. It’s a clever way to build. Instead of being very limited in the inclusions in your home, a custom build allows you to hand-pick any fixtures, fittings and products to reflect the exquisite look and feel of your luxury home.

Building a custom home is entirely different to building a project home, and the final result will speak for itself. If you do decide to build a custom home, then working with an experienced custom home builder is key. They’ll be your true partner in designing and constructing a unique home that’s perfectly bespoke to you, your family, your land and lifestyle.

With Wincrest Bespoke you can work with your professional architectural designers, or we can bring your DA-approved architectural designs to reality. You can hear from delighted clients, and explore our services to find out more.

Your Essential Custom Home Checklist

A custom home can be designed in great detail to suit the way you live – but only if the right questions are being asked by your designer and builder. The best custom home builders in Sydney including Wincrest Bespoke will walk through these considerations with you as part of the design and build process, but you might like to walk through this checklist at any time to ensure your new home will be a perfect fit for your family and lifestyle.


Although this may seem like a long list, each factor can play an important role in your custom home design. Rest assured that we’ll help you to navigate these choices and considerations – it’s all part of the service we provide.

Land & location

  • Is your chosen block close to the important services in your life like schools, medical facilities, shops and transport?
  • Will the land require major works, for example removing trees or rocks – or can the home be designed to make the most of these features with the right builder?
  • Have you checked about the availability of electricity, gas, water and sewerage to your block?
  • Is the area prone to fires or floods? Certain building requirements might apply if so, but a good custom home builder such as Wincrest Bespoke will be able to manage these requirements.
  • If your block is narrow, sloping or uniquely shaped, have you found a custom builder with expertise in these areas?


Home and lifestyle features

  • How many bedrooms will you need, and where should these be located? It can be a great idea to factor in a quiet parent’s retreat for a busy family!
  • What kind of storage will you need in each bedroom? This might include extra hanging space or spacious walk-in wardrobes.
  • How do you use your living spaces? For example, would you like to be able to watch the kids in the garden or living room while you’re cooking in the kitchen?
  • Who in the family will be using your office and study nooks, and how many desks will you need at any one time?
  • What will make your arrival home easier? For example, a doorway from your garage to your kitchen or pantry can make groceries far simpler to unload.
  • Where would you like your kitchen appliances situated, and will you need customised cabinetry for any specific items?
  • How much kitchen prep space and pantry space will you need to suit your family’s cooking style? When it comes to kitchen bench surfaces, there really is no such thing as too much space.
  • Could you use a family electronics charging hub in the kitchen or living area?
  • How do you plan to have your home entertainment system and AV systems set up, including any TVs, media units and speakers?
  • How does your family like to share meals, and what shape and size of dining table do you prefer?
  • Would you like underfloor heating in your bathrooms or bedrooms?
  • Will you need taller shower heads or door frames for any particularly tall people in your family?
  • How would you like your outdoor entertaining areas set out, in terms of dining, barbecue location, lights and speakers?


Practical and general features

  • Have you considered high ceilings, and will the planned ceiling heights feel right for each space?
  • Will there be a good amount of natural light in all living spaces?
  • Is the house plan positioned to capture light and warmth from the sun?
  • Where will you need electrical switches and outlets? Outlets can now include USB ports, which can add convenience in office or living areas.
  • Will you need outlets in any cupboards or cabinets for your hair dryer, or your juicer in the kitchen?
  • Where will any outdoor cameras and automatic sensors be placed?
  • Is your builder considering energy efficient and sustainable choices, such as quality insulation and window glazing?
  • What are your heating and air conditioning plans, and when will these systems be installed?
  • Do you have enough storage, including built-in storage, cleaning cupboards and storage rooms?


When building with Wincrest Bespoke luxury custom home builders in Sydney, you can be confident we’ll work with you closely to ensure your beautiful new custom home is tailor-made for you and your family, as we have for many happy clients. You might choose to work with our experienced architectural designers, or to bring your DA-approved architectural plans to us.

Remember – our team is here to guide you through every step of designing your custom home and to ensure each of these important factors is considered in the process.

How Much to Build a Custom Design Home in Sydney?

Many people ask, “How much does it cost to build a custom home?” There are so many variables that go into the design of a new bespoke home, that the answer will depend on your custom requirements and what your dream home entails.

The good news is that we can give you a “ballpark” cost early in the process, to give you an idea of what’s possible and to determine whether it’s the right path for you. One of our consultants can meet you for a site inspection, and based on our extensive experience we can provide an estimate once we’ve had a discussion about your desired home.


The good news is that with over 30 years’ experience, we can give you a very accurate assessment of what the costs would be to build your home. We’ll also let you know if there are any special factors you might need to take into consideration when building your new home.

We believe that standing on the site is the best way to really get an idea of costs.

Whilst you can give someone a general guide, we know that you cannot give someone a true indication of how much it will cost to build their ideal home without standing on the land; after all, everyone’s’ block is unique.

What happens at a site inspection
One of our custom home team specialists meets you at your block of land and discusses your dream home in more detail with you. To ensure we design the right home for you, we want to know more about your family and your lifestyle. In your eyes, what does your dream home look like?

At a site inspection, we consider every aspect of the block including:

  • The slope of the land
  • Location of trees
  • Access
  • Storage space
  • Restrictions
  • Natural site drainage
  • Neighbouring properties


This information provides a better understanding of your site and its requirements, and can be used
to develop a more accurate costing on your new custom home. Once all these things are considered, you’ll have everything to help you make an informed decision moving forward.

At Wincrest Bespoke, each home we design and build is entirely custom made. This means our team of architectural designers will partner with you to design, from the ground up, a stunning one-of a-kind home that’s tailor made to meet the individual needs of your family and land. As such, the cost will depend on the exact design we develop with you, your land and the finishes you select.

Factors to consider when thinking about cost

The single most important factor when building in Sydney is the cost of the land. The projected cost of your build will be site-specific, and can depend on this and a number of other factors. This can include:

  • Site considerations such as land, soil type, sewers and services, and whether tree removal or earthworks may be required.
  • If your land is located in a flood or bushfire zone, or located close to the ocean.
  • The quality and type of fixtures and finishes that you’re seeking.
  • The time frame of when you require your home completed by.
  • Design complexity, for example the number of rooms, walls and layout of the home.
  • Whether you have a sloping site. A custom design can prove invaluable here, as your home can be designed to suit the block rather than the other way around.
  • Local council regulations, which can also have an effect on the final design and cost of the build.


A word on quality

Not only can you expect an entirely bespoke new home when building with us, but you can also expect a higher standard of quality than you might find in a typical new home. As just one example, we prefer to incorporate 75mm Autoclave Aerated Concrete (AAC) flooring. This provides excellent sound insulation for a better acoustic rating and quieter house; plus, its thermal conductivity qualities can improve the energy efficiency of your home.

The importance of experience

If you’re considering a custom home, it’s vital to speak with experienced custom home builders. A true custom builder is one who will design a home specifically for you starting with a blank piece of paper and incorporating all of the features that are important to you. Choose well, and you’ll have a true partner throughout the process.

Our end-to-end management provides the confidence your home will be completed with attention to detail, customer service and after-care. We’ll guide you throughout the design and build of your new home, including initial site inspection, approvals, landscaping, driveways, pool and more.

We also stay ahead of the industry norm to make sure there are many options available for our clients. Innovative building products and materials are constantly being developed, and these can be used to provide alternative options for the construction of your home. We work collaboratively with our team of suppliers to ensure our clients are looked after and have the best choices to select from.

Families come to us when they are looking for a step above the ordinary

Many clients come to us because they have a particular dream home in mind and they can’t find anything that ticks all of their boxes. Others may need help designing a home to suit their uniquely shaped block, or a site with over 1.5 metres of fall. We have extensive expertise building on sites with more than 7 metres of fall, and know how to maximise the outlook and layout on such a block of land.

Keeping discussions about costs clear and honest

Everyone has a build price in mind. Our aim is to be dream makers – not dream breakers, and we’re dedicated to providing high quality design, construction and workmanship to suit your parameters. The build cost only for our most recent projects has started at around $500,000 and up t 1.5 million. The right builder and architectural design team will always plan from the ground up and provide you with a fixed price for a stunning new home that meets your exact requirements.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of “how much to build a custom home?”, but the advantage of a unique build is that you can perfectly tailor your floor plan to you, your family and your requirements without compromises. It’s this approach that sees happy clients and beautifully personalised homes. With over 30 years’ experience, let the team at Wincrest Bespoke help you design and build the home you’ve always imagined.