Super-granny builds own home

Angie Charlton, a 41-year-old grandmother from Holmesville, near Newcastle, modified and built Paal’s classic Camden home virtually single-handed and is justly proud of her achievement.

Daughter-in-law of another super achiever – champion snooker and billiards player the late Eddie Charlton – Angie worked on the house full time, day and night.

“Now I feel worn out, but ecstatic. My husband Edward didn’t think I could do it, but it’s all worked out,” she said.

The house will be home to Angie’s extended family of eight, including her husband, daughter, daughter’s husband and their three children, and Angie’s youngest daughter.

“Our existing home wasn’t big enough, so I looked at kit houses, inspecting about 12 before I found one that I could extend and change as I liked.

“I’ve designed homes as a hobby, but this is the first one I’ve built to my own plans. I didn’t know I could design until I sat down and tried. I love it.

“I’ve flipped over the front half of the Camden, added a billiard room and extended the back of the house,” she said.

Angie took only two months to build her home from the floor up to the lock-up stage.

“I cleared the land first. There were lots of trees and scrub. I dug out the footings myself, laid the bearers and joists, erected all the wall frames and roof trusses, and attached 400 Hebel cladding panels.”

Bearers and joists, rather than a concrete slab, were a council requirement as the house is situated on a one-in-100 year flood plain.

Angie rendered all the cladding panels herself in just three days, working non-stop because of the threat of rain.

“My stepfather is as proud as punch of me, while my brother-in-law – who’s an engineer in Sydney – loves the house and says I’ve done the best job ever. My daughters think it’s beyond belief. One of them, my 17-year-old, helped me,” she said.

Saving money was a prime reason for tackling so much of the work herself. Angie estimated the house would have cost $500,000 if a builder put it up, but she now expects to bring it in under $250,000.