Does building a house test your relationship?

house construction

We’ve been told by many people that’s there’s not much in life more difficult than going through the build process – especially when it comes to making compromises with your partner.

Megan and I have somewhat similar tastes when it comes to decorating and design. It has made many of the decisions we’ve had to make thus far relatively simple. When we were deciding on what style of home to build, we both knew we wanted an open plan, alfresco style home that would be comfortable during the mild Sydney winters, yet able to open up and take in the outdoors during the warm and often humid summers of Australia. We had a number of different style homes in mind when we accidentally stumbled upon a row of new model homes in “The Ponds” development out in Kellyville Ridge, just outside Sydney. We instantly knew this new model home, the Liberty by Metricon, was far better than anything we had found yet.

While most of the decisions we’ve made have been easy, there have been more than a handful where good communication and compromising is essential.

We’ve disagreed on some of the external colours, and many of Metricon’s build options – like the $16,000 double sided fireplace. Was a double sided fireplace really necessary? Not at that price (at least in my opinion), but at the end of the day, it’s just money, and it makes Megan happy (and warm). She wore a jumper during the Hawaiian evenings when we were there for our wedding.

I think the important thing to remember is that the entire build process is an adventure. Neither of us have done this before, and we’re both learning as we go – both about building a home and each other. We both have our stubborn streaks, but when we butt heads we stop, take a step back, and remember why we’re doing this. We’re not just building a house, we’re building a home for our family.

These are the ideals that seem to be helping us stay sane. What has worked for you?

About Stefan
Stefan is the regular writer for Megan & Stefan, and hails originally from San Diego, California. A resident of Australia since 2007, he write about his experiences living abroad, his love of photography, and documenting the process of building a house here in this sunburnt country he calls home. Feel free to drop him a line - he's always up for a chat.


  1. reagan says:

    Someone I used to work with had only been married like five years and had built two houses with her spouse all while she worked over forty hours and was pregnant with and gave birth to two children in the process. I didn’t understand how they could pull it off but I think she was the one who told me it puts a strain on your relationship for sure!

  2. Stefan says:

    Hey Reagan, that’s exactly what everyone has told us – it puts a strain on every relationship, no matter how good it is. But two houses and working 40 hours and pregnant!?


  3. Kriss says:

    I would say stress puts a strain on a relationship. And buying/building a house is something most people find stressful (like me).

    But, more than anything, I thought our mild version of “building” a house was good practice in compromise and respect. In the end, you can hope to come out better in both!

    I know I can always benefit from any exercise that makes me better at either.

  4. maja says:

    Building as well as remodeling. It is a good thing to go through with your partner.

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