The Best Home Builders in Florida of 2023

For those considering building a new home in the Sunshine State, this guide on the best home builders in Florida will help.

By Tom Scalisi | Updated Apr 25, 2023 11:05 AM

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The Best Home Builders in Florida Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

Florida certainly has its perks. It has long been a destination for retirees and vacationers, but it’s also become a haven for small businesses and folks who just want to bask in the sun in an affordable state. While many folks may decide to buy a home in the Sunshine State, plenty are looking to build. And for those folks, only the best home builders in Florida should win their business.

This guide will explain everything that new-construction home shoppers—whether those who are just moving into the state or long-time residents looking for new digs—will want to consider when choosing a contractor in Florida. It will also highlight some of the top pros in the Florida home-building industry.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Southern Homes
  2. BEST CUSTOM HOMES: Ross Built Custom Homes
  3. SUSTAINABLE PICK: E2 Homes
  4. BEST FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS: KB Home
  5. BEST FOR MODULAR HOMES: Clayton Homes
The Best Home Builders in Florida Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Home Builders in Florida

Whether they’ve built before or are new to new construction, there’s a lot for homeowners to know about selecting a builder. The following are some of the most important considerations to consider when comparing companies.

Service Area

In the typical sense, a service area is usually a radius circling a company’s shop. For example, some home builders will only build homes within 50 or 75 miles of their showroom or workshop. Shoppers who find a company that catches their interest will want to check its service area to see if it overlaps with their property or where they’d like to live.

However, Florida is also a state full of developments and planned communities. In many cases, custom home builders in Florida will only work in specific communities. Conversely, some communities may only allow two or three specific contractors to build. When this is the case, shoppers will want to make sure they dig into what’s available to find a builder that can help them.

Price Range

Most home builders specialize in a price range, whether they claim it or not. For example, custom home builders might rarely build homes for less than $1 million. However, home builders in developed communities might only build homes in the $250,000 to $350,000 range because those are costs associated with the approved designs for that area. Many contractors have examples on their websites with pricing, especially those working in these communities. This should help point shoppers in the right direction.

Shoppers will want to consider their budgets and how much home they need before finding a builder. This way, they’re sure to be able to afford the home they’re building before putting any money down or even starting the design process.

Architectural Style

One of the most exciting aspects of Florida construction is the plethora of architectural design styles influenced by the rich cultures in the area. One walk through a high-end neighborhood in Florida could be a crash course in architecture. The arrays of balconies, terra-cotta roofs, stonework, and stucco highlight the varieties and options available in a coastal state like Florida. There are even tiny-home builders in Florida creating compact, energy-efficient homes and container home builders in Florida making homes from recycled shipping containers.

Shoppers will want to consider their options, as many design-and-build firms specialize in particular styles. They’ll have choices such as Mediterranean, traditional, modern, farmhouse, Victorian, coastal, Key West, and Spanish architectural styles. Some areas might have regulations on the styles of homes that can be built in a neighborhood, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Custom vs. Production Homes

Weighing the pros and cons between custom and production homes is an important aspect of home-builder shopping. Many contractors specialize in one option or the other.

The best custom home builders are typically design-and-build firms, and their homes are entirely unique. The designer works with the home buyer to develop a design and blueprint that works for their needs, and then the builder works from these plans. The options are endless at this point, but custom homes are usually more expensive on a square-foot basis and take longer to construct.

Production homes work the opposite way. The homeowner usually chooses a floor plan they like, makes some modifications with the contractors, and the contractor builds the house. These homes are much faster to build and generally cost less, but they’re much less customized to the homeowner’s needs.

Energy Efficiency

If there’s one truth about Florida, it’s that the state tends to get a little hot. It consistently ranks as the hottest state in terms of average daily high temperature. It’s also humid, so air- conditioning systems can run in the Sunshine State 10 months a year. For this reason, it’s important to find an energy-efficient home.

How does one know if their contractor builds with efficiency in mind? There are multiple agencies and programs, such as the U.S. Green Building Council, the HERS Index, and Energy Star Residential New Construction Program, that can serve as clues. Membership, partnership, or recognition from these agencies certifies a firm is building energy-efficient homes that will save owners money and rely on more sustainable energy sources, such as heat pumps and thermal heat sources.

Warranties

Home buyers need warranties on new homes. Things happen, such as material defects or craftsmanship issues. The state of Florida knows this, so it requires its contractors to provide a 10-year structural warranty and a 1-year warranty on labor, materials, and mechanical systems. Some contractors, however, go above and beyond and offer longer warranties on craftsmanship (though appliances and materials fall under manufacturer warranties).

Our Top Picks

That’s a lot of background on how to choose home builders in Florida. Some of the top-rated pros are listed below. Home buyers will want to be sure to keep the most important considerations in mind when comparing these companies.

Best Overall

The Best Home Builders in Florida Option Southern Homes
Photo: mysouthernhome.com

Why It Made the Cut: During its 25 years of experience, Southern Homes garnered multiple Best Builder awards. Its focus on energy efficiency and commitment to the community make it a standout choice.

Folks looking for homes in the affordable to mid-level price range might consider working with Southern Homes. This company has been in business for 25 years, and in that time, it has been ranked five times as Best Home Builder in Central Florida. This isn’t hard to believe, considering the company reportedly maintains a 98.6 customer satisfaction rating and is committed to the local communities, sponsoring many local nonprofits and organizations in the Central Florida area. This community involvement signals to home buyers that Southern Homes is serious about bettering the places where it does business.

Shoppers will be able to choose from a range of floor plans. Each plan offers customizable exterior, interior, and plumbing options (though building on owner-purchased land does limit the options). Also, those valuing energy efficiency over all else don’t have to settle: Southern Homes builds high-efficiency homes to save homeowners money and minimize environmental impact.
 

Specs

  • Price range: Affordable to mid-range
  • Custom vs. production homes: Production homes with personalization options
  • Warranty: 10-year structural warranty, 2-year systems warranty, 1-year labor warranty

Pros

  • 5-time Best Home Builder in central Florida
  • Wide range of personalized exterior, interior, and plumbing options
  • Range of standard and customizable energy-efficient features
  • Reported 98.6 percent customer satisfaction
  • Strong commitment to local organizations

Cons

  • Only select floor plans available for construction on owner-purchased land

Best Custom Homes

The Best Home Builders in Florida Option Ross Built Custom Homes
Photo: rossbuilt.com

Why It Made the Cut: From custom structures to custom care plans, Ross Built Custom Homes can meet almost any home buyer’s need or desire.

Folks shopping for custom luxury home builders in Florida will want to consider Ross Built Custom Homes. This company will work with the client to create a custom design and then construct it for them. The company has been ranked as a Best Custom Home Builder in Florida and won a Home of the Year award from SRQ Magazine. As a custom home builder, Ross Built’s prices are higher than for production homes, but luxury home buyers expect to spend.

While warranty information isn’t readily available, the options that Ross Built offers its customers likely eclipse the standard warranty. The brand provides its customers with a concierge service that they can use to fill the refrigerator before they come into town or to take delivery of a package if they’re not home. Also, the Ross Built Home Care program provides users with estate management, handyperson services, and security so homeowners can enjoy their homes with less worry. And for Florida’s tumultuous weather, Ross Built can help homeowners prepare their homes for storms.
 

Specs

  • Price range: Luxury
  • Custom vs. production homes: Custom homes
  • Warranty: Not specified

Pros

Cons

  • Warranty information not readily available

Sustainable Pick

The Best Home Builders in Florida Option E2 Homes
Photo: e2homes.com

Why It Made the Cut: With LEED-accredited professionals, a membership with the Florida Green Building Coalition, and more, E2 Homes’ dedication to sustainability is evident.

Mid- to luxury-range home shoppers with an eye for eco-friendly builds will want to consider a model from E2 Homes. This custom home builder carries a bevy of certifications and accolades from many sustainability-oriented organizations. The company was started by a LEED-accredited professional; this is an advanced credential that signifies expertise in green building. E2 is a partner with the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home program, which certifies that a home is so energy efficient that the renewable energy system can offset most or all of its energy consumption. The firm is also a member of the Florida Green Building Coalition, signaling a commitment to improving Florida’s environment. But E2 isn’t just a sustainable home builder—it also aims to provide a luxury experience with a client concierge service that helps manage homes with tasks such as gutter cleaning or pressure washing.

Warranty information isn’t readily available, but knowing that Florida has baseline requirements, shoppers can expect at least 10 years of structural coverage and at least a year of craftsmanship coverage. For this reason among others, there shouldn’t be any trepidation about partnering with this energy-efficient, luxury custom home builder.
 

Specs

  • Price range: Mid-range to luxury
  • Custom vs. production homes: Custom homes
  • Warranty: Not specified

Pros

Cons

  • Warranty information not readily available

Best for First-Time Buyers

The Best Home Builders in Florida Option KB Home
Photo: kbhome.com

Why It Made the Cut: Thanks to KB Home’s affordable offerings, first-time home buyers are able to buy a brand-new home that they love.

First-time home buyers aren’t pigeonholed into buying only existing homes in Florida, thanks to KB Home, which is one of the best affordable home builders in central Florida. This production home builder offers affordable homes with personalization options, allowing these folks to purchase homes that fit their needs. They’ll also benefit from a relatively low average HERS score, which means a house built by KB Home is energy efficient.

KB Home offers upgrades and custom-finish options on many production plans. While the customizations may be somewhat limited, the upgrades are relatively affordable. This alone can help home buyers afford their dream first homes. The company also offers a 10-year limited structural warranty, a 2-year limited mechanical systems warranty, and 1-year limited labor and materials warranty, helping to ease the minds of those shoppers nervous about jumping into the world of homeownership.
 

Specs

  • Price range: Affordable
  • Custom vs. production homes: Production homes with personalization options
  • Warranty: 10-year limited structural warranty, 2-year limited mechanical systems warranty, 1-year limited labor and materials warranty

Pros

  • Relatively affordable home-purchase prices
  • Relatively affordable base floor-plan upgrades
  • Relatively low average HERS score of 50

Cons

  • Upgrade and finish customizations may be somewhat limited

Best for Modular Homes

The Best Home Builders in Florida Option Clayton Homes
Photo: claytonhomes.com

Why It Made the Cut: Clayton Homes specializes in modular and manufactured homes, offering personalization options on affordably priced units.

Custom and production stick-built homes aren’t the only options, thanks to the bevy of modular home builders in Florida. Clayton Homes is at the top of that list, offering modular and manufactured homes and allowing shoppers to order a customized plan that is factory-built and delivered to the jobsite. These plans are also affordable, with some starting around $100,000.

Clayton Homes customers can choose a baseline floor plan and modify it with personalized options and finishes. Home buyers can shop through the variety of home styles on the company website, but they can also use Clayton’s land-finding tool to locate a plot to build on. While the base warranty for these homes is limited to 1 year, 5- and 10-year warranties are available for purchase.
 

Specs

  • Price range: Affordable
  • Custom vs. production homes: Production homes with personalization options
  • Warbranty: 1-year limited warranty; 5-year and 10-year warranties available for purchase

Pros

  • Builders specialize in modular and manufactured homes
  • Easy-to-use online tool to search for land for sale

Cons

  • Relatively limited base warranty of 1 year

Our Verdict

Southern Homes takes our top spot, thanks to its multiple award-winning history and near-perfect customer satisfaction rating. However, for a home that’s more custom or luxury-grade, Ross Built Custom Homes is worth considering.

How We Chose the Best Home Builders in Florida

Choosing the best home builders in Florida wasn’t a small task. In a state that’s growing quickly, there were many pros to choose from. However, we came up with some criteria to help us choose.

First, we looked for companies in all applicable price ranges to ensure there was something on this list for everyone. Then, we looked at the types of homes they built, their warranties, their energy-efficiency practices, and customization options. We balanced all of these factors to develop a list of top-tier firms. Then, we looked at their plans, customer satisfaction ratings, and the pros and cons of each of these finalists. We gave awards based on each company’s strengths, and those that didn’t offer enough value were removed from consideration.

Before You Work With One of the Best Home Builders in Florida

Before hiring one of the best home builders, there are some other points to consider. For some buyers, purchasing an existing home can be a better route. However, in markets where demand outpaces supply, those looking for an existing home can end up in bidding wars and conceding on items that matter. But building new takes longer and can be complicated; this isn’t a decision that shoppers will want to take lightly.

Also, home buyers will want to understand that Florida has some of the nation’s strictest contracting licensing and insurance laws. Going with an established, well-respected company ensures that subcontractors or tradespeople on the job have the correct compliance documentation to ensure they meet the state’s standards.

Cost of Working With One of the Best Home Builders in Florida

The cost of building a home in Florida ranges significantly from area to area. However, the average cost of a new home build in Florida ranges between $240,000 and $350,000. However, areas like Orlando, Tampa, or Miami can be considerably more expensive to build in. The influx of business owners and tax refugees moving to the state has only increased the demand in those areas. So home buyers will want to understand that money can go further in some areas of Florida than others, just like in any state. Shoppers can establish a budget first and then find homes that fit their budget in each area to determine which route to go.

The Advantages of Working With One of the Best Home Builders in Florida

The best home builders in Florida understand the licensing and insurance requirements in the state. This is important because Florida has some of the strictest regulations, and homeowners can often be held liable for hiring companies that don’t meet them.

Energy efficiency and comfort are also big factors, and going with one of the best home builders in Florida will help balance these factors. These pros know which systems to use and how to set the homes up to be as efficient and comfortable as possible.

Top-of-the-line home builders often provide their customers with warranties above and beyond what the state requires. This may also come in the form of support from the company in terms of maintenance or ongoing services.

  • The best home builders understand all of the rules and regulations around licensing in Florida.
  • These builders have a better understanding of balancing energy efficiency and comfort than a typical builder.
  • The best builders sometimes offer improved warranties or ongoing maintenance services.

FAQs

That was a whirlwind of information, but there could still be some unanswered questions about choosing the best home builders in Florida. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

Q. How do I choose a home builder in Florida?

It’s best to start by establishing a budget that you can afford. Then, you can search for contractors in the desired area who are building homes in that price range. Next, you can compare home styles and warranties to ensure the contractor you choose is the best one for the job. For example, if a buyer is interested in a modern steel home, they’ll want to look for steel home builders in Florida—not builders that work in traditional styles.

Q. How do I know if a builder is reliable?

The best way to gauge a builder’s reliability is through its past customers. It’s wise to search the internet for company details, including checking its social media pages. Upset customers flock to these outlets to tell their stories.

Q. How far in advance should I book a builder?

Every area of the country is different. Home builders in hot areas may have full backlogs for a year or two, while others might be able to start a project in under 9 months. There is no set rule, so it’s best to be patient and work on a great contractor’s timeline rather than rushing the project to work with a lower-tier company.

Q. What should I do before hiring a builder?

There are several things you’ll want to do before hiring a builder. First, you’ll need to establish a budget for the project. Then, you’ll want to start researching companies based on the area in which you want to build, as well as researching those contractors to ensure they’re reliable. After that, you can get references from the contractors and speak to those folks (ask lots of questions). Also, if possible, it’s a good idea to walk through a showroom model home to see if the style and design taste meet your needs.

Q. How long should I wait for a builder?

Contractor backlogs vary based on the region and their level of work in relation to their staffing. However, homeowners can expect to wait at least 7 months for a great home builder.

Q. How can I check the construction quality of my home?

The best way to check the construction quality of the home is to check the plans and specifications of the home before it’s built. Once the product is finished, it can be very hard to determine the quality, and this is when having a warranty becomes even more important.