I'm still unsure of if/how to proceed, so we're going to take it really slow and explore all our options. The thought of having a decent trailer/modular on the side of the property to start and then building does take some of the scariness away though. If time goes over you're not stuck with two mortgages, rent, etc.
First: Please excuse if I might use wrong vocab...
My father built his two story house (Provence style villa/bungalow) by himself, only things done by subs was the digging and pouring of the basements. The parents lived in a trailer the first time (nice thing to do in southern France
) and the first compartment that was masoned and roofed was a huge garage to store all the machines. A little insulated room for the winter was attached to this garage. Then the rest of the house was masoned and roofed during summer. He hired a subworker for this work to be faster and didnt need to get off the roof to fetch whatever. I did mason some walls as well. Its 15 years ago and the house is still solid
. For the interior finttings they took their time. Room after room according to priorities (bathroom and kitchen were first); they still slept in the trailer which meanwhile got a nice shed and porch attached. If you don't mind living in a trailer, you don't have pressure of time. How the inside will look like changed a little from the initial plans since while building the house, strolling through building shops (?) they collected many new ideas. E.g. after the cellar digging they had heaps of nice rocks. He decided to not have an iron central fireplace but to coat it with some of these rocks.