"The house is a really good design and the result is beyond our expectations."

David and Jenny Marshman of South Australia tackled one of Paal's large homes in the true owner-builder spirit, carried out most of the work themselves, and achieved an excellent result on their 3.5 acres near Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills.

The couple used Paal's proven building system, supported by the detailed instruction manual and second-to-none customer service that backed them up all the way.

David said they never felt daunted building their own home, and always felt it was within their capabilities.

He and Jenny had a practical background, including being based in Alice Springs where David enjoyed a long career as a pilot, and then for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in the Territory.

The Marshmans had the confidence to extensively modify the original Hawkesbury design, with Paal's help.

"None of the design changes were difficult. We lengthened the house, created bigger bedrooms and modified the mid-section. The kitchen and lounge areas were switched over, so the kitchen and house-front face north," David said.

"We added a double garage to the rear, preserving the front profile, and requiring a change to the laundry location. Now we have a toilet that can be accessed through the garage and don't have to walk into the house in muddy boots."

Tradespeople were used to lay the concrete slab and underfloor plumbing, while David managed the "second fix" visible plumbing himself. A qualified electrician, he was able to tackle the house wiring, although used a local tradesman to issue a certificate of compliance and connect the mains.

He contracted a roofing gang to lay the Colorbond sheets and employed help to fit the exterior Hebel panels.

"Everything was supplied in the kit. There was no skimping by Paal on items such as bolts and screws. As well as not putting the homebuilder to the inconvenience of running out, this has a psychological benefit. It feels good.

"When special materials were required for a section of the roof, Paal came up with a solution within an hour and reimbursed the cost, with no questions or doubts raised. This is a sign of an excellent company."

Along the way, the Marshmans were well supported by Paal's staff - Robyn in the Melbourne office and John in Sydney - ensuring that if they ever had a problem, they weren't on their own.

"Their back-up was fantastic. I rang John several times and he was extremely helpful, and Robyn was involved from start to finish," David said.

"We've been congratulated on the job we've done. We'd recommend the project to other people. The house is a really good design and the finished result is beyond our expectations."