Ditto; just had friends from south FL drop in for lunch after am 11-year absence; first words out of the smart*ss's mouth were, "Hey, I love what you've done iwth the house," after he negotiated his way past piles of rubble, boxes of stored stuff we should have tossed in 1981, stacks of trim in various stages of finish, open walls, etc.
I also stop and inspect new houses going up just to learn what the high-price contractors are doing. Most interesting to me are the new technologies, processes, and gadgets that make construction faster, cheaper, and (in some cases) better. In other cases, it's interesting to see all the corners that can be cut, clear violations of various codes, and downright sloppiness.
The most appalling thing to me is the waste. You'd almost think the dumpster company paid the construction crews to fill them up as soon and as often as possible. I got permission from one jobsite to take anything I wanted from their waste pile -- figure I saved a few hundred bucks over a couple of weeks.