Paal home passes the toughest bushfire test

During the recent bushfires Chris Davey and his family stood by watching in horror, waiting to see if their home would survive. One glimmer of hope was that they owned a Paal kit home with all its fire-retarding benefits

Working as Rural Fire Service volunteers in the township of Nerriga in the southern tablelands of New South Wales, the family saw the afternoon sky turn eerie red. “We basically had a fire tornado coming straight at us and we were pinned on all sides, unable to leave,” Chris said.

“Our neighbours lost their home, which went up quickly, probably from a combination of an ember attack and radiant heat coming off the fire.”

Fortunately the Daveys’ home survived, but it was definitely touch and go. “The fire captain told me that it probably wouldn’t be standing, but there wasn’t a scratch on it – just a few burnt leaves but no marks. That’s why all the neighbours are now buying Paal homes,” he said.

Four years ago, Chris was looking to build a second home on a 500-acre bush block, so that his six children could move and grow in the great outdoors.

“Because the block was so far out, we couldn’t find tradespeople who would travel without a fairly expensive quote. That’s when we decided to do a kit home. Paal came out way ahead on quality, cost and delivery.”

Chris also wanted a house with an excellent fire rating, despite the fact that there hadn’t been a blaze in the area for 72 years. “The ground cover had built up to almost knee-high with all the dead trees and debris, so I wasn’t going to take the chance.”

He chose Paal’s Kiama design, which not only suited his family’s needs, but also offered the necessary safety features.

Its steel frame, metal windows and concrete slab were ideal for minimising both fire and termite damage. The wall and ceiling insulation offered temperature control, while the Colorbond steel roof protected against ember attack.

Chris designed the interior with equally diligent preventative measures. “We opted for tiled floors, stack stone around the fire place, and no curtains or window coverings. It would be almost impossible for a fire to spread through the inside of the house.”

He completed the build in just four months with absolutely no problems. He and his family have been thrilled ever since, especially in the aftermath of the bushfires. Chris now recommends Paal to everyone in Nerriga.