Do-it-yourself aspect of home appealed
Terry and Jenny Lemcke didn’t want to sit around in retirement.
Terry Lemcke of Bundanoon chose to build a Paal kit home because it allowed him to do nearly all the construction work himself. “I didn’t want to sit around in retirement, reading books and drinking coffee.”
Terry also liked Paal’s designs, and because he’s a design engineer by profession he could see that the home kits were very well made.
He and his wife Jenny chose Paal’s Elizabeth, extending it, adding a double garage with internal access, and totally reworking the interior layout.
They needed a house that was all on one level. “We had a fantastic home in Bundanoon, but it was on three levels, with vaulted ceilings up to eight metres high. It was becoming too much, as we’re both getting older,” he said.
The Lemckes' new home is situated on a sloping block with panoramic views over the beautiful Moreton National Park in the New South Wales Southern Highlands.
It’s finished with fawn-cream bagged bricks, Dune-coloured fascias, cedar-stained windows, and roof and gutters of Ironstone Colorbond.
“I was able to assemble and fit all the wall frames and roof trusses myself, with the help of a local chippie. A welded steel frame or pre-assembled trusses would have required a group of men with a crane to lift them into position.
They needed a house that was all on one level.
“It was fantastic the way the house all came together. The chippie who helped me with some of the work was most impressed by the quality and how the pieces fitted.”
Terry has renovated and lived in many houses, although actually building one was the biggest project he’s tackled. “I would do it again, although don’t tell my wife that! It’s what I enjoy.”
The intention was also to save money by contributing their own labour and project management skills. “I reckon we saved at least $80,000 by building ourselves.”
Terry says they're very happy with the way the new home has turned out. He and Jenny are rightly proud of their accomplishment.
Eddie delivers to Paal’s homebuyers
“Paal’s owner-builders are happy to see me arrive with their kit.”
Paal's driver Eddie Brown delivers the company's home kits to owner builders in NSW and also across the border into Queensland and Victoria.
Mostly he's transporting those materials needed to build a Paal home to lock-up stage, including steel framing, roofing, cladding and windows (whilst the materials for the internal fit out are separately delivered at a later stage).
Eddie also operates the forklift that’s carried on the truck, which means he’s able to unload the delivered materials efficiently on site and move them to where they will be stored.
“Before I leave the factory, I always discuss delivery with the customer, ensuring there’s driveway access for the truck, firm ground for unloading, and weatherproof storage for the kit parts that need it,” he said.
“Plenty of liaison at this stage makes sure there are less surprises when I get there.”
Eddie loads the truck himself before setting out, taking care that the materials are positioned correctly on the tray and well-secured for the journey, with his newly-developed tie down system.
Driving long distances to varied destinations can mean he has to now and again improvise his sleeping arrangements. “I might arrive at 1.00 am, too late to find a motel. This can leave me bedding down in my canvas swag next to the truck, occasionally waking up to sub-zero temperatures!
“When I arrive on site, I spend a good deal of time with the customer making sure the materials are deposited in the right place and in the logical order they will be needed for construction. It pays to take time thinking about this.”
Eddie has spent most of his working life as a truck driver. He owned his own transport company for many years, running a substantial fleet.
“Now I love driving for Paal. I get to travel everywhere, including places you’ve never heard of.
“Paal’s customers are always happy to see me arrive with their kit. They’ll often invite me to a barbecue, or even to stay the night, although mostly I have to head back home.
“People are grateful. I’m constantly told how well the delivery went. To be personally recognised for what you do is just as important as the dollars, it really is.”
Copyright © 2013 Paal Homes Pty Ltd.