Eichler Custom or Southwestern Semi-Custom? (money is an object)
DH and I have fallen into home building accidentally, but for very good reason. We were searching for a second home close to DS and his wife and our new grand daughter when my daughter in law found two lots right next to each other in the perfect location and suggested we build next to each other. A dream come true! We now have an acre lot with river water for irrigation. We want to build a house next door to family, garden like mad, and eventually retire. But it is cheaper to buy than build so this is a stretch for our budget.
We are exploring two options and I would appreciate your thoughts!
Option one: Build a custom home with a design/build contractor who has done several remodels for friends. His style is modern - a bit more modern than our taste - but we love his design talent, indoor/outdoor sensibility, and the fact that we can arrange the house to suit the site. He would build us an Eichler style house for those of you familiar with mid century modern (simple shapes, floor to ceiling windows, post and beam ceilings).
Option two: Build a semi-custom home with a local developer who built a well regarded local development. We would use one of his pre-existing floor plans, which permits economies of scale in the price (a southwestern/spanish style). We were able to walk through one and liked it - in fact were surprised by how nice is was. This developer has more experience building homes in the area - both custom and "semi custom" - and already has had good advice for us about not building slab foundation (extreme temperature fluctuations in high desert) and incorporating anti-humidity fans into crawlspace to combat mold. He definitely is a quality builder although also did a couple of high end developments. He would provide a known product and predictable, reasonable pricing.
If money were no object I would hire an architect, interior designer and contractor, and have them draw up a completely custom home to our preferences. These two are both willing to consider cost. Eichler's were designed to be inexpensive to build post WWII because they are essentially simple shapes - ours would be three rectangles - with shed roofs. But it would be an unknown as this contractor cannot show us homes he has built from the ground up. He has done massive remodels, and these friends have recommended him highly. He also comes from a large family of multigeneration contractors.
The semi custom contractor is more experienced, also recommended by friends, and the home we saw is nice and we could modify finishes, windows, and some minor lay out changes. He will be transparent in his pricing (unlike some of these situations we've heard about where they jack up prices on "extras" like, oh, floors).
We are hoping to build a 2600-2700 sq foot single story home with an open great room, media room (for TV and musical equipment), a study, and a guestroom with bath, along with master bed/bath, powder room, laundry room.
I do love Spanish style homes that are very simple, with large windows and post and beam ceilings and wood floors and cabinets. More old world church or mission than ornate. I also love (for lack of a better term) modern rustic, which I see as natural materials with lots of light and open flow. I'm not sure I would get exactly what I want in either scenario. But cost is an object so am trying to combine practicality and preferences.
Thanks for your thoughts!