Veteran builder busy making fine houses
In mid-March, Will Prull and Jodi Vevoda had 10 homes either planned or under construction. It’s a far cry from late 2008, when, after building houses in the Santa Fe market for almost a quarter century, Prull was unsure that he’d ever do one again.
The impacts of the subprime mortgage crisis and the resulting recession were immediate and widespread. “We had two homes canceled in September of ‘08 when Lehman crashed, and the phone did not ring for six months,” Prull said. “I had to let everybody go, people who had been with me for 15 years. It was really sad. I didn’t knowif I’d ever build another custom home again, but we got through that fall and winter with remodels. We ramped back up in 2009 and the next year we had two houses in the Parade of Homes.”
Since that time, Prull has collected dozens of awards for both new construction and remodeling projects. Two examples from the 2017 Haciendas— A Parade of Homes event were a “best craftsmanship” award for a Las Campanas house, and a special award “for exceptional collaboration between builder and client” for a new residence off of Tano Road. Prull was the contractor on the adaptive re-use project converting the 1927 Manderfield School to high-end condominiums, and his firm won a top award for it in last year’s Excellence in Remodeling Awards.
The styling of newhouses by Prull Custom Builders has shifted dramatically. “In the 2000s, nine out of 10 of our homes were traditional,” he said. “Of the last 10 we’ve done, nine were either soft contemporary or edgy contemporary and one was traditional design.” Nowhere is the shift more remarkable than in the tony Las Campanas subdivision, which has been known for large homes of conservative design since its inception in the early 1990s. “There’s still an element of the population here that laments the change from Santa Fe Style and Territorial Style to contemporary, but I think most people realize to keep the community vibrant and keep people coming here, that has to be expanded to what other people are wanting,” Prull said.
He has been building here since 1984; his early homes were what he nowcalls “passive-solar shoeboxes” in Eldorado. “In 1990 we built a house in La Tierra before there was a Las Campanas, then we did the first two in 1994 in Las Campanas.” Today his house tally is over one hundred. “In the old days we did three or four a year and now we’re doing about six.” He has eight full-time supervisors, an office staff of five and a field crew of about six.”
Asked about the later aesthetic evolution of his work, Prull said, “That whole move- ment in the 1990s was the sort of Tuscan period, that Mediterranean influencewith dark wood and smaller windows, every-
Views of the Prull/Vevoda home exterior and kitchen