Big home project tackled with confidence

Owner-building an enlarged version of one of Paal’s biggest homes could be considered ambitious, but Tom and Donna Cole felt confident and completed the project in just a few months.

“My son saw Paal’s ad on the back page of The Land. He fell in love with the design and said: Mum, this is the house you have to have,” according to Donna.

The couple had owned land outside of Orange for years. This was to be their last home, so they didn’t hold back, extending Paal’s Castlereagh design from 46 squares under-roof to more than 60 squares.

“We chose to build a kit home because you could alter the design and have it just the way you wanted. Paal Kit Homes were very good at making our changes,” she said.

Tom and Donna extended one of the wings, substituted a double garage for the rumpus room, reversed the front and back of the house, moved the verandahs, and changed some of the internal spaces.

They intended building at weekends and evenings, but on getting into the project, the Coles decided to hire a subcontractor who would ensure that construction moved along, even when they were at work.

“Paal were very obliging and sorted out anything that needed help along the way. We moved in 6-7 months after starting the framing, which is good going for such a big house.”

It’s finished in rendered Hebel board with a Colorbond roof. Ivory-coloured floor tiles are used throughout the interior. Reverse cycle air conditioning is installed, and both hot water and photovoltaic solar panels are fitted.

“The house is cool in summer and warm in winter. The Hebel panels insulate, plus we get a breeze right through the house in summer. It’s great,” Donna said.

“We both love the finished home, which has really lived up to our expectations.”