Same with ridiculous customers who don't know what they want. The OP made it sound like building a house never actually went like "build me a house, but I don't know what I want".
There are plenty of examples of just that - in fact, more than you'd think, because by definition those people who ask someone else to build them a house want something custom (vs. developers building and then selling from pre-desgined models). Of course you have the extreme examples, where the house was basically in continuoous development (Winchester House, Hearst Castle, several of Frank Lloyd Wright's projects) for years.
Not unlike a software customer who wants a huge project implemented, doesn't really know what they want, and are willing to keep paying over and over for delays (usually seems to be related to to the government, since they are the only large entity with "investors" who keep giving them mountains of money to waste on these projects...)