Meta All Microsites Pixel

The Best Spec Home Builders in the US

20 Min Read

Last updated on July 4th, 2024 at 03:08 pm

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when building a new home is choosing experienced spec home builders. The average residential project in the US costs between $150K and $400K, and sometimes even over $2M for high-end projects. These projects can take up to 30 months and need careful planning, skilled work, and reliable service to handle any challenges smoothly.

In the large field of residential construction, the choices can seem overwhelming. According to permit data from US building departments, there are 4,778 contractors specializing in residential projects nationwide. Choosing a reliable contractor is crucial, as the wrong choice can cost you time, money, and peace of mind.

In a country of about 341.8 million people with a median home value of $495K, finding a builder who matches your vision and values is essential. The average residential construction cost in the past two years has been $67.97 per square foot, reflecting the competitive construction market. In this article, we aim to help you make an informed decision, ensuring your project is managed by professionals who can bring your vision to life with precision and expertise.


Overview: The Best Spec Home Builders in the US

Contractor

Average Customer Satisfaction

Service Rating Score

Total Number of Reviews

Complaint Percentage

OnPoint Custom Homes

4.6

5

24

6.8%

JayMarc Homes

4.6

5

87

3.2%

NVHomes

4.5

5

20

7.9%

Magleby Construction

4.5

5

77

3.6%

Blue Heron

4.4

4

88

11.8%

Southern Homes

4.4

4

368

11.3%

LGI Homes

4.3

3

29

8.7%

Tim Jackson Custom Homes

4.3

5

4

10.8%

The New Home Company

4.2

3

20

7.9%

Maracay Homes

4.1

2

2

28.2%

Lennar

4.0

2

218

22.0%

Hovnanian Enterprises

3.9

2

3

37.1%

Ashton Woods

3.70

1

26

48.3%

Highland Homes

3.5

1

38

53.4%

Beazer Homes

3.5

1

17

49.9%

See Ranking Methodology at the bottom of this article to learn more. 


OnPoint Custom Homes

Website | 713-600-2422 | 3939 Essex Ln. Suite #100, Houston, TX 77027

  OnPoint Custom Homes

Year Established

2004

Services Provided

Spec home building

Areas Served

Bellaire, Bunker Hill Village, Hedwig Village, Hilshire Village, Houston, Southside Place, West University Place, Briargrove, Southampton, Upper Kirby, Rice Military, Hype Park, River Oaks, Inside the loop, Memorial

Notable Projects

Single Family Residence w/ attached garage | 6123 Valley Forge Dr, Houston, TX, 77057 $544,936.00

What Customers Are Saying

Solid and Safe Workmanship, Attention to Detail, Professional, Well-Designed, Timeliness

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.6 (24 reviews)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

6.8%

Located in Texas’s busiest metropolis, OnPoint Custom Homes is a sought-after custom home builder with a modern take on traditional home styles. Founder John Leggett believes that he has to stay on top of architectural trends to stay in Houston’s competitive housing market. Leggett also has experience in the high-stakes real estate industry. Expect the firm’s contemporary homes to be found in the best neighborhoods. The firm is known as one of the best home builders in Houston, and it has received numerous Houston Prism Awards for its custom home projects. 

OnPoint Custom Homes spec home builders

OnPoint stands out with its modern design offerings such as Southern Elegance, Upscale Blend, Urban Contemporary, and Timeless Traditional. The homes in Memorial Park and Upper Kirby are predominantly modern, with angular facades. The OnPoint team has also completed traditional multi-level farmhouse homes in Briargrove, Rice Military, and Oak Forest. 


JayMarc Homes 

Website | 425-226-9100 | 7525 SE 24th St. Suite #487, Mercer Island, WA 98040

  JayMarc Homes

Year Established

2010

Services Provided

Spec custom Homes

Areas Served

Mercer Island, WA; Bellevue, WA

Notable Projects

Single family residence (4993 sf) on vacant lot w garage (764 sf) | 8235 SE 30th St, Mercer Island, WA, 98040 No valuation details

What Customers Are Saying

Billing Transparency, Competitive Pricing, Responsiveness, Professional, Clean, Quick Delivery Schedule, Patient, High Quality Materials

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.6 (87 reviews)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

3.2%

Childhood friends Jay Mezistrano and Marc Rousso tried every business together, from DJ services to buying and selling homes. The partners finally found their niche when they established JayMarc Homes. As one of Washington’s leading luxury home builders, the firm constructs homes on Mercer Island and in the Bellevue community. Mercer Island is known for having quality education, and Bellevue is the sixth wealthiest community in Washington. JayMarc Homes has been in the spec home construction business for less than ten years, but it’s already the go-to builder for Washington’s most prestigious communities. And it consistently receives awards from the National Housing Quality Awards and the Gold Nugget Awards.

JayMarc Homes  spec home builders

The firm has a penchant for modern interpretations of the Craftsman style. The homes the firm built in family-centered Bellevue tend to be a contemporary fusion of Colonial Revival and Craftsman. Wood siding and brick exteriors are common, often accented by either columned entryways or exposed wood beams. 


NVHomes 

Website | 877-507-0057| 3410 Tennessee Dr., Alexandria, VA 22303

  NVHomes

Year Established

1979

Services Provided

Spec home building

Areas Served

Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia

Notable Projects

Single Family Home | 8708 Greenway Dr, Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA, 22553 No valuation details

What Customers Are Saying

Professional, Courteous, Good Communication, Beautiful Homes

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.5 (20 reviews)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

7.9%

NVHomes has been bringing elegance to classic home styles. It is part of NVR, one of the most established companies in the industry, and it consistently has high revenues every year. NVR provides housing and financing to homeowners needing beautiful, affordable homes. The NVHomes division, along with Ryan Homes and Heartland Homes, provides home-building services.

NVR’s homebuilding companies offer a range of styles for every kind of client, and NVHomes is the company’s upscale luxury building brand. The firm assembles prestigious communities with classic home styles and Americana styles elevated with luxurious touches. These stunning projects have earned NVHomes the honor of being the only firm with an A+ rating from Big Builder magazine. 

NVHomes  spec home builders

The firm’s portfolio includes a range of classic traditional styles, including Colonial, Tudor, and farmhouse homes. The pictured home perfectly represents the firm’s style because it’s a classic meeting of colonial and Greek revival. The solid red brick exterior gives the home the feel of a stately English country home. In 2016, this spec home builder’s project was included in an article from the Washington Post.


Magleby Construction 

Website | 801-785-9998 | 1291 West Center St., Lindon, UT 84042

  Magleby Construction

Year Established

1974

Services Provided

Custom home builder and spec home builder

Areas Served

Rose Crest, Utah; Midway, Utah;Highland, Utah

Notable Projects

Single family dwelling | 11042 E Wild Elk Mdw, Heber City, UT, 84032 $502,651.00

What Customers Are Saying

On Time and On Budget, Professional, Detail Oriented, Creative

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.5 (77 reviews)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

3.6%

Family-owned luxury builder Magleby Construction has provided Utah with the best estate communities. The firm started from humble beginnings; founder Paul Magleby used to frame homes by hand. Now, Paul receives the Lifetime Achievement award from the Utah Home Builders Association. His son, Chad, took over the business and turned it into an upscale estate community developer, but the firm still preserves the cozy rustic feel of its projects. Its distinct style has earned the firm accolades nationwide, including the ICF Builder Awards and the Denim and Diamond Awards. 

Magleby Construction  spec home builders

The Magleby Communities division is a relatively new venture for the firm, but it has already constructed some of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Utah. Its communities are near nature; the firm’s estate homes are framed around scenic views. The firm’s projects range from modern multi-level estates to traditional brick or wood homes.


Blue Heron

Website | 702-531-3000 | 1320 Villa Barolo Ave., Henderson, NV 89052

  Blue Heron

Year Established

2004

Services Provided

Spec Custom Homes

Areas Served

Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Spring Valley, Summerlin, Summerlin South

Notable Projects

New single family residence: second story with 4 bedrooms gym and attached 2 and 3 car garages | 12 Olympia Summit Dr, Las Vegas, NV, 89141 $3,119,642.00

What Customers Are Saying

Professional, Quality Work, Organized, Good Customer Service

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.4 (88 reviews)

Service Rating Score

4

Complaint Percentage

11.8%

Tyler Jones established Blue Heron to bring progressive architecture to Nevada’s prestigious home communities. As a Nevada native, he knows that the city needs a different style of home and a different style of community. The city needs, in other words, neighborhoods specifically constructed for Nevada’s distinctive landscape. Therefore, every Blue Heron community is uniquely tailored to its location. Instead of building new home communities, the firm works around existing infrastructures, increasing their livability and sustainability. Thus, Blue Heron has built a reputation in Vegas for visually stunning luxury homes that simultaneously blend into the stark desert backdrop. The firm has received more than 30 awards in Vegas and the Best Luxury Homebuilder Distinction twice in a row. 

Blue Heron spec home vs custom home

Blue Heron has one-of-a-kind home communities designed to be distinctly different from each other. The home styles found in the communities are all predominantly modern. The facades feature bold geometric lines with elevation changes that emphasize the desert mountain landscape. 


Southern Homes 

Website | 888-899-7434 | 1925 E Edgewood Dr. Suite #100, Lakeland, FL 33803

  Southern Homes

Year Established

1991

Services Provided

Spec custom Homes

Areas Served

Florida

What Customers Are Saying

Knowledgeable, Responsive, Attention to Detail, Honest and Transparent, Professional

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.4 (368 reviews)

Service Rating Score

4

Complaint Percentage

11.3%

Most of the 2019 real estate forecasts predict a huge jump in Florida’s housing rates, especially in Polk County. Given that higher housing rate, it’s best to put your trust in one of the most trusted builders in the area. Southern Homes is Polk County’s leading spec home builder, established by Greg Masters and Ed Laderer. The firm is a household name in Florida because it consistently wins prestigious local and national awards. Its most recent awards include Best New Home Builder from Haven Magazine and a spot in Professional Builder magazine’s 2016 Housing Giants list.

Southern Homes  spec home vs custom home

The firm has gained the trust of Florida’s homeowners through traditional design, building homes that are familiar and welcoming to every client. The firm favors Craftsman, but it has also completed Cape Cod and cottage-style homes. The firm favors the kind of off-whites that suit Florida sunshine and often matches that palette with earth-toned bricks. 


LGI Homes

Website | 949-478-8600 | 19520 Jamboree Rd. Suite #200, Irvine, CA 92612

One of the fastest growing companies in the industry, LGI Homes wants to simplify home building. LGI’s turnkey process assures all its clients that the home they purchase will meet their expectations and their budget. The firm has received praise specifically for its efficient business model. Chief Executive Officer Eric Lipar has been in the residential land development industry since the 90s, overseeing every step from land acquisition to completion. Now, the firm serves over 20 states, and it’s the eleventh on the 2018 Builder 100 List. 

LGI Homes spec home vs custom home

LGI Homes creates homes that are familiar to every homeowner. These classic homes range from ranch to farmhouse. The firm likes light color palettes for its exteriors and exposed brick or wood as accents. In 2015, this spec home construction builder was featured in an article from Forbes.


Tim Jackson Custom Homes 

Website | 972-562-6623 | 3201 Wyndham Ln., Richardson, TX 75082

Texas Association of Builders (TAB) President Tim Jackson wanted his name synonymous with luxury home building in his state. Tim Jackson Custom Homes was established to cater to some of the most elite communities in Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Grayson. The firm has only built over 100 luxury custom homes, as it’s very selective with its clientele. However, those residential works of art have earned as many awards as any firm could ask for: ten Associates, Remodelers, and Custom (ARC) Builders awards.

Tim Jackson Custom Homes  spec home vs custom home

Tim Jackson Custom Homes developed one of the most prestigious communities in Texas, Three Oaks Drive. Located in the lush hills of Fairview, this gated community is bordered by the Heard National Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary. The firm took extra precautions to preserve the surrounding environment, including several hundred-year-old trees that share the neighborhood. This exclusive community will only accept eleven families as it is constricted by strict building regulations put in place to shield the 289-acre nature preserve. The homes in this mini utopia are mostly traditional, multi-level brick homes that blend well with the green surroundings. 


The New Home Company

Website | 949-382-7800 | 85 Enterprise Blvd. Suite #450, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

The New Home Company is a home builder that creates family-centered communities. Founder Lawrence Webb wants the company to incorporate a conscientious decision process throughout the duration of every project. For this reason, every community has a sustainable feature that is not found in other neighborhoods. Take the Bedford in South Corona: it has its private park. In contrast, The Cannery in California has gardens that grow vegetables for the community. These innovative, sustainable communities have received awards from the Marketing And Merchandising Excellence (MAME) organization and Eliant.

The New Home Company spec home construction

The homes are beautiful, but the firm is not only about aesthetics: these homes all strive to be environmentally conscious. Like this hillside home, it’s a simple farmhouse elevated by tropical landscaping, suitable for a California home. But the firm is not limited to traditional designs; it also has completed some truly gorgeous contemporary Spanish and Mediterranean villas. The firm was mentioned in an article from The New York Times.


Maracay Homes 

Website | 480-970-6000 | 15279 N Scottsdale Rd. Suite #300, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Maracay Homes has been Arizona’s leading home builder for 25 years, and that might be down to its innovative smart home solutions. All of the firm’s projects are Energy Star and LEED certified. The firm has provided 10,000 of these homes across Arizona. The firm’s design studio and Flex Design building process provide a simplified plan for homeowners who want a sustainable home. This approach has gained the respect and trust of the firm’s clients, of course, as well as its employees. Maracay Homes was named one of Arizona’s Top Companies to Work For. It also received the Innovation Project Residential Award from the U.S. Green Building Council. 

Maracay Homes  spec home construction

The firm’s Arizona and Phoenix communities comprise beige ranch homes that blend perfectly into the desert landscape. The uniform look is comforting; it celebrates community and expresses affection for the distinctive Arizona landscape. If the exteriors are all Arizona, the interiors are cosmopolitan, modern, and chic. Some interiors, for instance, have a playful post-modern mix of hardwood flooring and Mediterranean tiles, complete with contemporary rustic furnishing. 


Lennar

Website | 305-229-6447 | 700 NW. 107th Ave., Miami, FL 33172

Lennar is a spec home builder that builds communities in 21 U.S. states. The firm has constructed specialized communities, including active adult, urban, suburban, and golf course living communities. Its wide scope of services has made Lennar the second-highest-earning home-building company in the United States. Lennar’s modern homes have earned numerous awards, including ten Synergy awards and nine FAME awards. 

Lennar creates technologically advanced houses that aim to make home life easier for its clients. The homes are engineered to be controlled remotely through the convenience of the homeowner’s phones. Additionally, its projects are more luxurious because of the cutting-edge fixtures and appliances. 

Lennar spec home construction

Even though the Lennar offers modern interiors, most of its exteriors are traditional: stone accents and wood lining. This Craftsman home features front gabled roofing and a Victorian-style porch.


K. Hovnanian Homes

Website | 732-747-7800 | 90 Matawan Rd., Matawan, NJ 07747

Originating out of Kevork Hovnanian’s early building ventures, K. Hovnanian Homes is a customer-centered home builder. Hovnanian instilled the value of customer service to everyone who worked for him, and he rightly believes that is why the firm has had numerous repeat customers for the past 60 years. Most of its repeat customers have acquired more than one Hovnanian home, which inspired the firm to begin building communities. The firm’s active adult communities have become popular nationwide because of the resort-at-home amenities offered. Its communities and custom homes have won countless awards, including 14 Fabulous Achievements in Marketing Excellence (FAME) awards.

K. Hovnanian Homes spec home construction

K. Hovnanian Homes offers a wide array of communities for every walk of life and every stage of life. The Four Seasons community was made for retired homeowners looking for a neighborhood with beautiful homes combined with an active lifestyle. The Hidden Brook community in Delaware offers two-story ranch homes with six different floor plans available for customization. 


Ashton Woods 

Website | 678-671-5764 | 1405 Old Alabama Rd., Roswell, GA 30076

Traditional exteriors with clean, modern interiors are the signature of an Ashton Woods home. The Atlanta-based firm is building a reputation for having the best design studio catering to contemporary lifestyles. Its design studio aims for functionality, but it also wants the home to be shaped by its natural surroundings. Take, for example, the Naples design studio. Its cooler color palette was inspired by its seaside location. This keen attention to design and detail has brought Ashton Woods deserved recognition, including being named on Builder magazine’s  Top 10 Private Builder List, as well as a Leadership in Housing award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Ashton Woods  are spec homes cheaper

For its 30th anniversary, Ashton Woods is looking back at how its design has progressed throughout the past three decades. In its early years, the firm’s style was a mix of rustic and country designs. Today, the firm has refined its style to a more minimalist aesthetic, but it still plays with different style elements for a fun, modern look. 


Highland Homes 

Website | 972-789-3500 | 5601 Democracy Dr. Suite #300, Plano, TX 75024 

Highland Homes started as a humble project by siblings Rod Sanders and Jean Ann Brock, but now it’s the largest private homebuilder in Texas. Only 13 homes were sold in its first month, but now it builds more than 3,000 homes yearly. Highland Homes wants to maintain its award-winning customer service and remain completely family-owned. The firm’s business model has caught the attention of many national companies and was named one of Texas Monthly magazine’s 50 Best Companies to Work For in Texas. They were named in the top 20 of Builder magazine’s 100 Best Builders List. 

Highland Homes  are spec homes cheaper

The firm’s homes are quaint Cape Cod-style cottage homes. The exteriors have the traditional features of a Cape Cod home—gabled roof, brick, and wood cladding—but the interiors are modern, with clean, neutral color palettes brought to life by complex patterns. 


Beazer Homes 

Website | 888-623-2937 | 1000 Abernathy Rd. Suite #260, Atlanta, GA 30328

Internationally known as one of the oldest home builders in the world, Beazer Homes came to the U.S., and it has now expanded to more than ten states. The company has been making functional, beautiful homes for nine generations, but it also focuses on developing neighborhoods in sites that are practical for the family. Furthermore, the firm is known for offering affordable, energy-efficient floor plans to lower utility costs. The firm’s floor plans are all Energy Star certified, and the organization has presented the firm with a Sustained Excellence Award from 2014 to 2018. The firm’s economic and practical approach to homebuilding has become popular among homebuilders in the country, and that’s likely why it has been consistently included on the Professional Builders Housing Giants list since 2013. 

Beazer Homes  are spec homes cheaper

The firm’s portfolio consists of a variety of traditional styles. Craftsman is the most commonly used style, and the firm interprets it as classic Italianate and Colonial Revival. The home pictured is a very traditional home with a shingled roof and an all-white exterior. 


Ranking Methodology

To evaluate the performance of contractors, our methodology employs a systematic approach that considers various factors contributing to customer experience and satisfaction. We focused on assessing the spec home builders in the United States area. The methodology involves assigning weightings to specific categories based on their significance in determining customer service quality. Here’s the breakdown of the categories and their respective weightings:

  • Average Customer Satisfaction (35%): This metric represents the average rating given by customers across the same review platforms as the Average Customer Satisfaction Score. A higher average rating indicates greater overall satisfaction with the service provided.
  • Service Rating Score (25%): We analyze the ratio of high (4-5 stars) to low (1-2 stars) ratings for each business across multiple review platforms: Google, Houzz, and Yelp. A higher percentage of positive reviews contributes to a higher score, reflecting better customer satisfaction.
  • Complaint Percentage (25%): We analyze the ratio of complaints to total reviews for each business. A lower complaints ratio indicates better service quality and results in a higher score.
  • Business Hours and Availability (10%): The operating hours of each business are assessed to gauge accessibility. Companies with extended operating hours are awarded a higher score, as they offer greater convenience to customers.
  • License Status (5%): We verify the licensing status of each contractor with their local licensing board to ensure legal compliance. Companies with valid licenses receive a higher score, reflecting professionalism and adherence to regulations.
  • Total Score: We determined the overall rating for every contractor by calculating a weighted average, with the category weight determining the amount the subscore contributed to the total score 

Additional Note: Service Rating Score, Average Customer Satisfaction, and Complaint Percentage are calculated with a Bayesian estimate to account for if the contractor has a low number of total reviews. A Bayesian average is a statistical method used to calculate the average of a set of data points while taking into account prior information or beliefs about the distribution of the data. It combines the observed data with a prior distribution to generate a more accurate estimate of the true average.