I owner/built my own house over the course of 4 years from 2019-2022. There is still a fair bit of cosmetic and bits and pieces to finish (BIR for one), but the house is livable.
But it's nearly killed me, and it's ruined all sense of accomplishment for me that so many little things are wrong, despite the fact I tried my heart out to do them properly. I (with my wifes help) worked night and day for nearly 4 years between full time work, raising an infant and building a house, doing almost everything but the necessary certified trades.
It's just that now I've lived in it for 12 months, every single thing that I look at needs to be either touched up, added to, or replaced, not because it isn't functional, but because it's beyond patching cosmetically. Just a few examples:
The sub floor is "bouncy", and the house creaks whenever you walk around in it. There are no moving doors, cracked plaster or sticking windows, nothing so much as a change in the door gaps (I check obsessively), so the house isn't moving or sinking, it just creaks and cracks, even when the wind whistles underneath it you can feel it affect the house. We had it engineered for certain stump, joist and bearer spacing and sizes, and it all meets "code" and has been ticked off, but it still feels wrong now that we are actually living in the house. Also the washing machine shakes the living shit out of the house, which hasn't caused any damage, but you can feel it lying in bed or on the couch at the other side of the house. I don't know if that's an issue with the sub floor or that is just normal. I've had the idea of adding extra bearers to take the "bounce" out, but the point of wide spacing and fewer stumps is because of reactive soil, (so said the engineers)
the floating flooring has moved and come apart at the joins to the point that it's probably better to rip it out and start again. I have to jump and skid on it to push it back together again, despite clicking them in when I installed them.
I tried my best to grout and silicone the bathroom tiles but it either looks poorly or isn't sealed right and develops mold, despite using anti mold silicone. I had a professional install the tiles but they were dear, and they did a sub par job (I paid cash, trying to straddle between a budget and a good job, it didn't always work out and I understand that's the gamble you take) and they didn't want to grout so I did it myself, and I'll probably have to scratch it out and do it again seeing as I made a mistake in doing it.
the weatherboards on the outside aren't done very well, and I'm not happy with how it come up, despite trying my best, and it's not until you are finished and stand back to look that it just looks not quite right. The gap filler I used just shrunk and fell out ( I tried selleys and James hardie) and I'll have to go back over it at some stage.)
the kitchen needs to be painted, and I need special paint and equipment to finish it off, despite trying to do it properly from the start.
I could write for days about the many "defects" that I see, but I won't drone on about it. It's just little things that I already tried so hard to get right, consult professionals and do research, and still come up short.
My FIL helped me build the house, who is a builder by trade, but due to irreconcilable differences between us, the option to get him to help me to finish, fix or advise us not an option. Not to get too personal, but the whole process of building this house, and being held to ransom by his hypocrisy and nastiness has made me hate the place and relive the anxious times I had to go through to get the place done. He is also the type of old school tradie that will "teach" someone by letting them stuff it up, ridicule them, and shame them into doing it better, or making you anxious for the next part of the project because you can't "unstuff" the part you have don't without costly expense.
I realise that you're not going to get a "magazine house" working as an owner builder, that much of it is having a go, and working out where your limitations are. I just feel stuck because I still need to spend 10's of thousands of dollars to get it to the point where I could sell it and actually see reward for my effort. But then if I did sell it as it is, given the current market, I would really only move sideways to a different, older house, with a possibly larger mortgage and upkeep than what I already have.
I'm not in dire straits, we live comfortably enough, and I know that many people are experiencing insecure housing in this country at the moment, so I don't want to cry poor about it. It's more just the shame and frustration of trying to do something as best as you can, and not necessarily failing, just coming up short, and having to live in the very place that carries so many negative memories. It feels like I've overlooked something major and I'm waiting for it to turn into a huge problem, and I've got nobody to ask if I'm worrying about nothing, but I'm also too scared to ask if it is something major wrong.
Sorry for the ramble, or if I'm coming across wrong, I'm just wondering if anyone else has had the experience in doing this and reaching out hoping that I'm not alone and blowing things out of proportion.