If we could've witnessed the part of Jagex's office where they were working on the then named Carpentry skill, we'd see the floor around the employees working on Player Owned Houses slowly fill up with scrunched up balls of paper.
Similarly, the tender of a nearby bar must've seen some pretty interesting scribbles and doodlings on coasters and napkins alike when cleaning up after the last J-mod had been pushed into a taxi.
The first time we all learnt about it was a blurb with the intention to sell some of the property in Varrock and Falador. The eastern parts of those cities were going to have a few blocks of houses for players who could've afforded them.
Obviously there is a problem with this. The massive growth of the RS playerbase would've made it impossible for everyone to have an "address" on the world map. For anything feasible to be implemented, the game engine itself required much improvement. So even before RS2 came out, the project was shelved indefinitely.
And then, out of the blue it came: Construction.
Only announcing it when they were absolutely sure about it working, Jagex gave us our own houses. It caught most players off-guard, as the only real in-game hints at the time were the various Teak and Mahogany trees.
Like all updates, POH's were not without its childhood diseases. The poison bug is one example. Players that were poisoned in the Combat Ring would be brought to an inch of their life and then expelled from the house. The poison would remain active and the victim on low hitpoints, killing the person on the bug-abusers doorstep, dropping the items he was carrying.
When first introduced, the Greater magic cage in the Throne room had the ability to teleport anyone trapped inside it to Trollheim, just as a portal in your Portal chamber could. The entire option to teleport to Trollheim from your house was removed due to people complaining that they ended up in a dangerous area. This was before the Home Teleport was introduced.
And who could forget about Cursed You's 99 Construction party, which resulted in the infamous Falador Massacre, after lag prompted him to expel everyone from his house? My guess is that some people from QA got an ear full that day.
But since then?
Besides the Menagerie for all your pet needs and the Dark Stone additions, the only useful update has been to increase of the maximum number of rooms you can have. Although I suppose the old-style trees do make good for some of the more nostalgic amongst us.
Even these four new God Statues I can hardly call a Construction update. It's nice that you can get a chunk of XP for free once a month, even though that goes almost directly against the design of the skill itself, but it's just a simple puzzle, and it could've just as easily handed out Crafting experience instead.
I have mixed feelings that a skill of almost seven years old has had so few updates. On one side I must applaud its complexity comprehensiveness for the time it was introduced, especially considering that it was designed to drain some GP from an overheated economy. But I'm also sad that there is so much potential that is still unrealised.
Besides the obvious upgrades to existing stuff (Tool Store 6, Runecraft Case 3, more portal destinations or aligning your Chapel to Armadyl, Bandos or Zaros), you can import just about anything from the rest of RuneScape. I'll let your imaginations run wild on the discussion thread.
There is little doubt that it is high time that the skill itself needs an update as POH's are becoming obsolete. Right now it's still the best way to train Prayer and make Teleport Tablets. But the Lodestone Network made most of the teleports you built yourself somewhat redundant.
The funny thing is that none of this makes Construction unpopular. Even when considering the cost of levelling it, people rarely state that they wouldn't touch the skill with a 10-ft pole. It might have something to do with the uses it still has, but if you ask me it's something completely different.
Once you step thought that portal, you get a message that sums it all up: "There's no place like home."
And they are right. Your house is in all likelihood unlike any other house out there. You might have designed it with some practicality in mind, but that doesn't prevent you from customizing it to your liking. This tiny patch of the RuneScape world is something you built, and no one else.