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There can’t be too many 13-year-olds allowed to undertake home renovations, but Adam Dovile was born to build.

The 2014 House Rules winner and Better Homes and Gardens presenter recalls his first project was building a music studio under the Diamond Creek home he shared with dad Sam, mum Joan and two elder siblings, Lisa and Michael.

“I play drums and my brother plays the guitar and we used to jam with our mates after school in the garage. There was this section under the house that was filled with dirt and I decided to dig it out, pour a slab and make a little studio down there.

“I was 13 when I started and, by the time I was 17, the room was finished. In the end I got all my mates from school to come along and help as well, and at one point we had about four jackhammers going.”

Adam, 32, jokes the studio took a lot less time to complete than some of his dad’s projects. “We moved into the house when I was two and to this day there are things that haven’t been finished. There is this room off the bathroom that for my whole life was meant to be a sauna. You open it up and inside is just storage.”

Once Adam, his brother and cousin contemplated an unauthorised renovation after an accident with some magnesium swiped from the school science room.

“We decided to burn it and in the process a bit dropped onto the Laminex kitchen benchtop and burnt a hole in it. We remembered Dad had some offcuts downstairs. We were about to get a power saw and cut into the bench but in the end we thought, let’s just stick the kettle over the hole and no one will ever know. Needless to say we got busted.”

With so much boyish activity there were inevitably other accidents and by Adam’s calculation between 40 and 50 stitches.

“Once my brother and cousin were riding bikes and I was on Rollerblades and grabbed hold of one of the bike seats but got the wobbles and my knee collapsed into the tyre, ripping all the skin off to the bone.

“My brother and cousin went into doctor mode. So they rip off their T-shirts, my brother whips off his belt, they bandage me all up and tie it with the belt, sit me on the bike and push me home.

“They honestly thought the doctor was going to compliment them on their first aid. I still have an L-shaped scar on my knee.”


Photo: supplied
Photo: supplied

I play the drums and my brother plays guitar. My acoustic kit is pretty big and almost needs its own room, which is why it’s still at mum and dad’s and I’ve bought myself an electric kit.

Earthly pursuit

Photo: supplied
Photo: supplied

I always loved getting my hands dirty. If mum left me outside she would always find I had crawled into the closest patch of dirt.

High ideals

Photo: supplied
Photo: supplied

This is in a tree at Dromana. I was full of beans; I would climb anything or jump off anything I could.

My first … 


At the local swimming pool one summer I met this girl. I liked her and she liked me. I can’t remember her name.


It was an AC/DC CD, either The Razors Edge or Back in Black. I was a massive fan, still am. Got tickets for this year’s tour.


Concert of AC/DC at the Tennis Centre. Malcolm Young performing on stage. Photo: Sandy Scheltema
Concert of AC/DC at the Tennis Centre. Malcolm Young performing on stage. Photo: Sandy Scheltema

AC/DC at the Tennis Centre. It was the Ballbreaker concert. They had 40 semi-trailers of equipment for the show. There were walls getting broken down by this big wrecking ball on a chain, fireworks. It was insane.


My family owned a pizza shop and I started working there when I was 10 doing prep, then as I got older, in the shop. It was great fun because all the cousins worked there, friends worked there and friends of friends worked there.


A white ED Falcon. I put an exhaust on it, extractors, so it had a nice sound. It had tinted windows and mag wheels. My friends got me the number plate MADADS. It was the love of my life.

Watch Adam in action: