First, a question: what is meant by "bashing? From the context, I get the feeling it means to start with a kit, then make major structural changes to it.
My first build was the Beachside Bungalow, which I received as a gift. It was easy enough for this "mechanically challenged" newbie to build without major help. ("Mechanically challenged" means I'd never build anything, not even a birdhouse!)
Hobby Lobby is "the only game in town" for hands-on purchases of craft supplies of all sorts, especially miniatures, except for the occassional non-miniature related items that can be found at Walmart. Joann's has a few things, but that brick&mortar store is hit or miss on miniatures. There's a Michael's in Huntsville, 70 miles away, but they don't carry miniatures any more. The nearest stores dedicated to miniatures or which carry a lot of mini-related items are in Nashville, TN or Burmingham, AL, about 150+ miles away. I have issues about supporting Hobby Lobby, but I'm stuck with them here in the middle of nowhere.
Yes, I can buy most of what I need or want via the web, but it is nice to look at or hold something, to get an idea of size/scale/material. Also, online retailers add shipping & handling charges that can be ridiculous for most dollhouse & mini items.
My new dollhouse kit, Victoria's Farmhouse, was purchased at Hobby Lobby,. Last Christmas, when I decided on which dollhouse kit I wanted as a gift from my husband, we found the Victorias's Farmhouse kit at $100 less than anywhere on the web, plus the 40% off coupon - so, we paid less than half-pr!ce for it.