The Weekly Wine Down – The stresses of building

WITH Laura still away, I figured it was my turn to have a crack at writing her Wine Down column.

I’ve opted to talk about something that many people my age will face sooner or later – and that is buying, or building, their first home.

So, here it goes.

When my girlfriend, Rebecca, and I made the decision to build our first home, instead of buying established, I was met with a sea of people my age lauding our decision.

Fast-forward to today and the trenches of our future home have been dug, with a concrete slab pour not too far away on the horizon.

The main question Rebecca and I have been met with since the build began has been ‘what is it going to look like?’

I can confidently say… I have no idea.

The stresses of picking the style, and colours, of cupboards, tiles, doors and kitchen benchtops has left me feeling anxious about our creation.

Will the tile colour match the bathroom cupboards?

What sort of colour palette have we concocted?

Don’t even get me started on how the paint colour, which I selected from a five centimetre colour sample, will look when it’s rolled onto a seven-metre wide wall, which supports a 2.7-metre ceiling.

It doesn’t matter how many examples I look at, I just cannot envisage it.

The point I’m trying to make here is building our house has been an adventure, and walking through it for the first time is going to be an even greater adventure – partly because I haven’t got a clue how it’s going to look.

One constant theme of the build process so far that has angered me is the amount of people who have previous building experience, and are not afraid to pass on their ‘expertise’.

I get it, they’re just trying to help, but I’m talking about those people who flag the horror stories of lazy builders with you.

I’ve already got a million things I’m worried about looking bad, don’t scare me further by saying the builder is going to turn our dream home into a horror pit.

Nonetheless, we’re excited.

So excited, in fact, that Rebecca has already planned an afternoon where family and friends visit our new area and eat pizza on our soon-to-be concrete slab.

Admittedly, this was a planning process which I was deemed ill-equipped to be involved in.

Building a house is hard, but building a house when you have no idea what you’re doing is even harder.

But, it will all, no doubt, be worth it when it’s completed.

Tom Staggard


Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.