M/I Homes Vs. Pulte: A Comparison of Two Major Home Builders

When it comes to new home construction in the United States, two of the biggest names in the industry are M/I Homes and PulteGroup. As two of the nation’s largest homebuilders, M/I Homes and Pulte have each delivered tens of thousands of homes across dozens of states over the past few decades.

Both companies offer a range of home designs across single-family, townhome, and condo product lines. And they each focus primarily on move-up buyers looking for spacious, higher-end residences.

However, there are some key differences between M/I Homes and Pulte when it comes to their business models, home styles, amenities, customization options, and more.

To help you better understand how M/I Homes and Pulte stack up, here is a detailed feature-by-feature comparison:

A Brief Comparison Table

CategoryM/I HomesPulte
Year Founded19761950
HeadquartersColumbus, OHAtlanta, GA
Homes Built Annually~5,000~16,000
Primary Market SegmentsMove-up, First-timeMove-up
Avg Home Price Range$300K – $700K$400K – $900K
Key BrandsM/I HomesPulte Homes, Del Webb, Centex
Typical Home Sizes1,800 – 4,500 sq ft1,500 – 5,000+ sq ft
Home StylesTraditional, Modern FarmhouseTraditional, Craftsman, Prairie
Lot Sizes OfferedWide rangeWide range
Semi-Custom OptionsVery goodLimited
Inventory Homes AvailableYesYes
Green Home OptionsYesYes
Smart Home OptionsFairVery good
Warranty1 year workmanship, 2 year systems1 year workmanship, 2 year systems

As you can see from the table, M/I Homes and Pulte share some similarities but also have notable differences when it comes to their offerings. Now, let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of each home builder across a few key categories:

Quality and Construction Comparison of Pulte And M/I Homes

Both M/I Homes and Pulte have solid reputations when it comes to home quality and construction practices. They use quality materials from trusted national brands, implement rigorous quality assurance programs during construction, and back their homes with industry-standard one and two-year warranties.

A few details on quality for each builder:

M/I Homes

MI Homes
  • Employs local construction managers and superintendents to oversee each build
  • Has reputation for higher-end finishes and attention to detail
  • Focuses on energy efficiency and performance in their homes


  • Uses a “HyperCare” program to track quality during construction
  • Offers insulation and sealing upgrades to improve energy efficiency
  • Has been recognized for excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail

One advantage that M/I Homes has over Pulte is their willingness to build fully custom homes. While Pulte focuses more on their standard floor plans and preset options, M/I gives buyers much more flexibility to customize their new home during construction.

Design Styles and Options

Both builders offer a diverse range of architectural designs from traditional colonial or craftsman styles to more modern farmhouse or prairie plans.

M/I Homes

  • Designs tend to skew more traditional but with modern elements
  • Provides 50+ flexible floor plans across their markets
  • Allows for extensive structural customization of plans


Pulte Homes
  • Offers modern farmhouse and prairie plans not found at M/I
  • Has 100+ floor plans with multiple elevations per plan
  • Focuses more on pre-set structural options vs. customization

One of the biggest differences here is M/I’s flexibility compared to Pulte’s more rigid floor plan offerings.

M/I buyers can make structural changes to walls, add/remove rooms, adjust roof lines, and more during construction.

Pulte offers some structural customization, but generally buyers are limited to their preset options and can mainly make cosmetic interior changes.

So for buyers who want a more customized home, M/I has a clear advantage over Pulte in design flexibility.

Interior Finishes and Features

You’ll find high-end included features in homes from both M/I and Pulte. Granite kitchen counters, hardwood flooring, 42” upper cabinets and more come standard.

A few key details on included finishes:

M/I Homes

  • Higher end stainless steel kitchen appliances are included
  • 9’ ceilings on first floor and 8’ upstairs are typical
  • Wide range of cabinet colors and styles available


  • Luxury vinyl plank flooring often included over hardwood
  • Options for gourmet kitchen islands and butler’s pantries
  • Includes engineered stone bathroom counters

Pulte often edges out M/I when it comes to included technology like built-in home automation systems, structured wiring, and pre-wiring for electric vehicle chargers. But M/I offers robust technology upgrades to enable smart home additions.

Overall, buyers will find high-quality finishes from both companies with Pulte perhaps offering a few more included tech features.

Home Buying Process

M/I and Pulte also have some differences when it comes to their home buying processes.

M/I Homes

  • Builds homes in small communities, often with HOAs
  • Allows buyers to purchase homesite and select floor plan separately
  • Works directly with buyers throughout build process


  • Develops entire masterplanned communities
  • Buyers purchase home and homesite together
  • Sales team hands off to construction team after purchase

A key distinction is that M/I lets buyers purchase land separately from selecting their home plans. This allows more flexibility in homesite selection. With Pulte, you buy the land and home together in one package deal.

Both builders have inventory homes available for quick move-in. Overall the buying process is relatively similar, but M/I offers a bit more customization freedom.

Green and Sustainable Features

For environmentally conscious buyers, both M/I and Pulte offer a range of green and sustainable home features. This includes:

M/I Homes

  • Offers Energy Star certified home packages
  • ENERGY STAR rated appliances, windows, etc. available
  • Insulation, air sealing, and HVAC upgrades available


  • Many communities built to community-wide green standards
  • WaterSense and EnergyStar packages offered
  • Solar power and EV charging options available

Pulte has more formal green certification programs available in many markets. But M/I buyers can customize most any green feature into their homes during construction. For the most flexibility on green features, M/I is likely the best bet.

Smart Home Technology

Home automation systems that control lighting, climate, security and more are now popular options for many buyers. How do M/I and Pulte stack up for technology-focused buyers?

M/I Homes

  • Offers upgrade packages from providers like Savant
  • Can integrate smart home tech during construction
  • Whole-home WiFi networks available


  • Partners with Control4 for integrated smart home tech
  • Pre-wiring for Control4 automation systems included
  • Offers home automation updates after closing

Pulte has a leg up when it comes to seamless smart home tech that’s fully integrated during construction. But M/I buyers willing to customize can also achieve extensive smart home functionality. Overall Pulte has an edge, especially for buyers who want hands-off convenience.

Who Are These Builders Best Suited For?

Given the similarities and differences outlined above, which types of buyers might prefer M/I vs Pulte?

M/I Homes

  • Great for buyers wanting a fully customized home
  • Fits those who value higher-end finishes and detailing
  • Better for green/eco-conscious buyers who want flexibility


Pulte Homes
Pulte Homes
  • Ideal for buyers wanting smart home technology included
  • Good for those looking for a convenient buying experience
  • Better for buyers who prefer designer-selected finishes vs full customization

Generally, M/I is the way to go for buyers focused on customization, while Pulte fits those looking for a streamlined process with designer touches.

Both deliver quality construction and excellent value tailored to move-up and luxury buyers. It comes down to your priorities as a homeowner. Think through the areas above and consider which builder best aligns with your dream home vision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is the best home builder in USA?

There is no definitive “best” home builder in the USA given the hundreds of regional and national builders operating today. That said, Pulte and M/I are consistently ranked among the nation’s top builders for quality, value, and customer satisfaction. Other builders that often top “best of” lists include Toll Brothers, David Weekley Homes, and Taylor Morrison.

Does Pulte build in California?

Yes, PulteGroup is one of the largest home builders operating in California. They have communities across Northern and Southern California offering a range of home designs and pricing levels. Some of their notable California brands include Pulte Homes, Del Webb, and Centex.

The Bottom Line

When comparing M/I Homes and Pulte Homes, you’ll find many similarities but also some key differences that set these national builders apart. Focus on the areas above that mean the most for your home building priorities and lifestyle.

Consider visiting model homes, talking to realtors familiar with these builders locally, and researching recent customer feedback. This will help you determine whether M/I or Pulte is the better fit to construct your dream home.

Whichever builder you choose, understand all details of the purchase agreement before signing. Build timelines, warranty coverage, and allowances can vary – so read the fine print.

With smart research and planning, you can feel confident picking between home building giants M/I Homes and PulteGroup for your next move-up or luxury home.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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