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My ‘problems’ story rang a lot of bells.

When I wrote here, a few weeks ago, under the headline “BUILD WITH US AND YOUʼLL SOON BE HAVING ONE OR TWO PROBLEMS”, I didnʼt know what to expect. My purpose was simple enough—to candidly highlight the complexity of one-off home construction and to urge patience on new-home buyers —but I was mindful that this might not be a commercially prudent message.

I need not have worried. The feedback was immediate and positive. My message—judge your home on completion, not during construction— struck a chord with many people. Calls and messages came from other builders, from trades, from the real estate sector and of course from past clients. The editor of one weekly property magazine even quoted my piece extensively in his editorial under the heading “The Drama of Building”. He noted, “Dramas, both big and small, are inevitable with any kind of construction”.

Why is this so? Well, to start with, building (as I said in my earlier piece) is a complex process. Regulatory hurdles, materialsʼ selection, supply issues, skilled tradesʼ availability and the weather are all factors.

Another issue, I feel, is the differing expectations of clients and trades. Relatively few people are ever in the position to have a home individually designed and built—for that one site, responding to specific needs for their stage of life, accommodating their own special interest and hobbies. The process is understandably special. For trades it is their place of work. They know what they are doing, where they are heading, and how the end result will look. It is familiar, everyday. The client sees mud and thinks, “thatʼs my garden.” The plumber doesnʼt notice mud at all and traipses it inside on his boots. The client sees the undressed timber of the framing and thinks, “thatʼs rough wood”. The carpenter finishes the frame and takes pride in the straightness of it all. And so it goes, through those “inevitable dramas, both big and small”.

Be patient. See it through. Settle in. Few things in life are as rewarding as living in a home designed just for you.