Chris Neil: General Contractor Announces Custom-Designed Homes with Mid-Century Flair

General Contractor Chris Neil, known for serving as general contractor to homes of the stars in Palm Springs announces custom home designs with Mid-century flair.

Palm Springs, CA, July 31, 2013 --( The name Chris Neil is well-known around the Coachella Valley on many levels: Valley native, contractor, off-road race car builder, and perhaps one that is not (yet) so well-known: innovative designer and builder. As owner of PSI builders, his client list reads like a Hollywood social column: Suzanne Sommers, attorney Roberta Conroy’s home in Rustic Canyon, a William Krisel-designed Mid-Century Modern home in Twin Palms Estates, and Bill Stewart Designs (a Wexler restoration), and David and Diane Gleason’s Wexler restoration, just to name a few. To date, he’s completed more than 300 projects in the Coachella Valley, but it’s his newest project that gives him the greatest joy: a tiny, 844 square foot energy-efficient home in the quirky little community of Snow Creek.

Built on the former site of shanty shack in the former fishing village, Neil preserved only the original rock fireplace and a rock wall. His creative energies began to flow and soon, his vision for the project began to solidify: To create an architecturally modern home that would be as beautiful as it is energy efficient and while small, contains design features that make it easily livable: a feeling of spaciousness with high ceilings, passive lighting via carefully placed clerestory windows, 9.5 inch thick efficient roof, intelligent use of space, an open floor plan, and an exterior finish that unobtrusively complements the natural desert surroundings. Neil’s interior innovations include a split-level living room that is reminiscent of Mid-Century designs and his attention to design detail is evident in both large features as well as small details. For example, conservation of floor space via the use of pocket doors, cabinetry that unobtrusively disappears into walls, and finishes that add simple sophistication.

A year in construction, Neil’s attention to detail and his passion for planning is evident at every turn with a list of features that eclipses what is normally envisioned as standard for a one-off spec home of such modest size: split-level polished concrete floors, Carrerra marble and quartz counter tops, Kohler fixtures, Eurotech custom cabinetry, whole-house water filtration system, central air conditioning and heating, wood-burning fireplace insert, Fisher-Paykel appliances, tankless water heater, dual-pane energy efficient doors and clerestory windows, just to name a few. If a feature didn’t exist Neil designed and fabricated it himself. For instance, the home features a 9-inch thick insulated foam roof with an R-value of 59. Neil explalined, “When you walk into the home, you would never know that it had been closed up all day without air-conditioning (although it has a 4-ton central air conditioning unit) and an outside temperature of 110 F.”

Snow Creek is a tiny village off of Highway 111 near I-10 nestled on an alluvial fan at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. Home to artists, outdoor enthusiasts as well as a dentist or two, the quirky, secluded neighborhood consists of just thirty-nine homes that are surrounded by the solitude of the desert’s natural environs. Interspersed with imported olive groves, cottonwood trees and desert willows, no two homes are alike. Neil adds, “Temperatures here are significantly cooler than in Palm Springs, even though it’s just a ten-minute drive, but it’s an entire world away from city life.”

In its earlier days, before modern settlers began to inch their way south east across the California deserts, many generations of the Wanikik band of the Cahuilla Indians used the site as a fishing village. Later, it evolved into a charming, remote and rustic fishing camp in the early 1900’s and over the years, a dozen or so rustic shanty shacks were built along the creek. Today, the village retains much of its charm even as it undergoes incremental changes to a more modern lifestyle. Modern amenities include a homeowner’s association that provides stewardship of the open spaces and the historic olive groves as well as trash and road maintenance.

Neil, while excited and proud of his creation, reflects, says, “I’ve had a hand in five or six home renovations in Snow Creek, and am open to more. Ideally, I would take on one new home project every year or two just to keep my creative energies flowing. I love the challenge and the freedom of having the opportunity to create someone else’s dreams, and now, I’ve had the chance to create mine.”

The home, currently on the market for $375,000 is being presented by Realtor® Kris Rain of the Paul Kaplan Group of Palm Springs. Rain says, “This custom home is ideal for someone who is looking for a unique setting that is close to everything that a big city has to offer in a secluded setting.” For more information on this home, contact The Paul Kaplan Group at 760-459-1396. To contact Neil, call 760-322-1236.
The Paul Kaplan Group
Julia Countryman: Desert PR