Building in cities vs building in regional areas

Hi all :).
As a person who swore that he’d never do it again after the problems we had when building our house in Sydney a few years back, I’m surprised to say I actually enjoyed it this time around here in Tamworth. I’m interested to know whether we just lucked out second time around or whether it was (as I suspect) a totally different attitude shown by the builders and other tradies here in Tamworth.

For some background info, we were surprised when visiting the many display homes from many companies scattered around Sydney, that there were some councils that builders just seemed to want to avoid like the plague (our council Canterbury was at the top of that list lol). Our first four choices were all going well until the paperwork got to the stage of “And the address of the build is?”. Our 5th choice said yes but in hindsight we wish they hadn’t lol.

We started the same routine on deciding to move to Tamworth but there was a lack of display homes in the style we wanted. We then chose the builder to approach based on their workmanship in the homes we’d visited. We gave them the room sizes and number we wanted, a very basic layout, and then played email tag with plans for a bit as we were still living in Sydney at this stage. They did a fantastic job from start to finish and the basic attitude from everyone involved (contractor tradies included) was “Would I be happy with this if I was going to live here?”.

So for those that have gone through a build before - are you happy with what you got and would you go through it again? Also for those that have gone city > country or other way around have you found a different attitude/pride in the work? I have my own thoughts and reasons on the second question but will leave that until later so as not to colour the conversation.


Tagging our @Consumer-Campaigner group in case anyone has any stories they can share.

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Built a house once, and major renovations another time, in different states. Had to go to court the first time, and through a protracted and complicated dispute process the second.

The second time we were left with renovations that leaked into the house, but the ‘umpire’ said what the builder did is at the standard required. No answer to my question “if this was up to standard, then why is there water leaking into the house where the work was done?”. Asked the builder to attempt to stop the leaks and paint over the water damage. The work done was at a handyman standard, and
I was told the ‘umpire’ could do no more. Builder absolved of responsibility, and we are left high and dry… or in this case wet! (I have written about this on other threads previously.)

Since then we have spent considerable sums trying unsuccessfully to have the leaks repaired.

Talking to others, these ‘war stories’ are all too common. It seems to me that more people have problems than not. I think the key is finding tradespeople with integrity who take pride in their work, and that is hard. Please note, I believe there are good tradespeople out there; I have just been unlucky.

So from my jaundiced point of view, I would say you actually were very lucky.


I’m reasonably happy with the standard of building work here a bit south of Tamworth, but it is taking far too long! At least there are no leaks :slight_smile: The council have been happy with the work in their inspections done so far, but the final inspection, after quite a few years, is yet to be done. Maybe later this year or next year…

owner -builder :wink:


I can only speak locally, but in Victoria nobody has or takes responsibility for dodgy builders although it could be s…l…o…w…l…y changing. Councils approve plans but then are hands off. There are commercial surveyors who are authorised to approve construction and who appear to work for the builders not the customers nor councils. Nothing like a good conflict of interest, real or imagined.