Unlike many of you here, I have been in my home in Sydney for 26 years. It was supposed to be our 'first small' home but the building experience was so traumatic that we could never stand to repeat the horror. I will not bore you with the details but I can look at virtually any item in our house and tell you what trouble it caused us. We were very young and inexperienced and the highlight was when our builder left the final bill in our letter box a week after we moved in (concrete floor, missing doors, no furniture or window coverings except old sheets) and he then left on a 2 month holiday as he could not face us. The final cost was 50% more than our quote. We were not just inexperienced; we were STUPID as we had no written contract and the builder was my uncle. Imagine the trouble that caused in our family as my mother did not talk to her sister for years. Hence the desire to never build again.
However, we have reached the stage where we have to renovate our 80's house. You can imagine the style: wooden beams, colonial standstock brick internal walls and brown plastic toilet cisterns. My kitchen benches are green laminate (lorikeet green) and the cupboards red cedar. We will not move as our block of land is perfect (looking onto a bush valley) and fairly large. I have lurked for some time and I am completely envious of the lovely homes that other members are building so we will take one room at a time and try our best to modernise. I am hoping for lots of suggestions as we do this.