Building own home was a rewarding challenge

Ray Davis of Aberdeen, Upper Hunter, is a man who likes to take on new challenges. So when it came to building his family home, naturally he was keen to do it himself.

"We considered a few home-builder scenarios, but our decision to go with Paal Kit Homes was threefold," he explains.

"Firstly, Paal produces country-style homes for country people and that's exactly what we wanted. We loved the look of their Derwent design. Secondly, we knew we'd be able to modify the floor plan to suit our family. And thirdly, because of the fact that we could build the home ourselves, we knew we would have control over the project."

For Ray and his wife Melissa, the third factor paid off at various stages throughout the build. "Being able to take time, walk around the house and think about things … this was priceless," he says.

He and Melissa made changes to the standard Derwent, a large and stylish home. They moved two external doors to open onto a verandah added to the back of the house. They also redesigned the master bedroom ensuite to include a double shower, double vanity, large bathtub, and a toilet behind a closed door for privacy.

"We weren't locked into any prescriptive rules and could do things the way we wanted to, incorporating our own ideas," says Ray.

Extending the size of the lounge room and adding an alfresco space that has a ceiling fan and is wired for music were further alterations to the standard plan.

"We were impressed with Paal from start to finish," he says. "Aside from some specialist trades, Melissa and I did everything ourselves, including the flooring. That's a big thing to be able to say.

"We were able to do it because the instruction manual was easy to understand, and the advice from the Paal help team was useful. You'd go far to find better service from any company."

The completed home, which has a stunning sandstone exterior, now commands centre stage in the front paddock of the family's property in Aberdeen.

"We've got our dream house now and we're really happy. I'd recommend Paal," he says with a smile. "It was really rewarding and we're proud of what we achieved."