Paal chosen for its after-sales support
Brendan and Karen Helmrich built their own Paal home at Little Hartley, just west of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, saving themselves more than $100,000 in builders fees.
Brendan, who is an expert rock climber and works as an outdoor recreation instructor, had some previous carpentry experience, having completed a carport and a gazebo among other things, but he’d never attempted a house before.
The couple tackled nearly all the construction work, getting help with repetitive tasks such as gyprocking and tiling. Being a climber, Brendan found he enjoyed doing the roof. With the aid of a movable scaffold, he and Karen (who used to be a climber) were able to raise the steel sheeting and complete the roof unassisted.
“We decided to buy a kit home and build it ourselves so there wouldn’t be a ridiculous mortgage. We estimate that we saved at least $100,000,” he said.
“The reason we chose Paal was that we’d heard their builder’s manual and after-sales support were really good. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist and fully utilised those services.
“John Noye at Paal was great. Building a kit home isn’t quite the same as assembling a flat pack from Ikea. I rang John a few times and once he even came out to our house to help. Awesome!”
Their new home is a classic Windsor design, which has a double-frontage, four large bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen and family/meals area, as well as a separate dining room that can become a study or home theatre.
“Normally you think of kit homes as being rather plain and boxy, but it doesn’t look like that at all.
“The Windsor is aesthetically pleasing, appears to be architecturally designed, and has really nice features.”
With he and Karen both working almost fulltime, they had just their weekends and spare hours to build the home, completing it within two years. “It’s been quite a journey,” Brendan said.
“Now it feels just amazing to be in a home that we built ourselves. We’re very excited, while other people are gobsmacked by our achievement.”