A cost-effective way to build the perfect rural home

Living in Canberra, Ben and Johanna Langley wanted to build a Paal home, so bought acreage in Bungendore, 38km away. “I was talking to Jo about building our own house when we found Paal Kit Homes,” says Ben “We actually saw the home first, and then found a block to suit the house.”

The couple went to Paal’s display centre at Emu Plains to have a closer look and meet with Michael Christie. They chose the Elizabeth, with its four bedrooms and study, and apart from adding timber windows, made no major modifications.

Ben wanted to build the home himself, but the bank still required a builder’s quote. So, Michael organised a quote from Richard Magee, who had previously built Paal homes. When the couple saw the cost, they promptly engaged Richard for the job. “It was a good price, considering we’d be able to keep going to work and live our normal lives,” says Ben. “It wasn’t going to be as huge a saving as it would be for other Paal customers who’ve done most of it themselves, but we still probably came off about $100,000 to $150,000 better.”

The couple was very involved in the build, regularly meeting with Richard, sourcing fittings, and taking care of painting and gardening. “It’s a work-in-progress but I’m doing all the landscape gardening myself,” says Ben.

When it came to the interior, the couple found looking through the display home extremely helpful. “I knew the look I was going for and the display home was not exactly that, but very similar, which was great because I could visualise it,” says Johanna. “We used the exact paint colour for our walls because we loved it so much.”

The couple also met with Paal’s interior designer, Narelle Jarman. “We sat down with Narelle and went through a bunch of choices,” says Ben. “It was good to bring it all together on the inside.”

Overall, the build was fairly stress-free and now a year later, the couple along with baby daughter Summer, is pleased with the result. And they’re not the only ones. Many people comment on the home, especially as it blends so beautifully with the surrounding landscape.

“It’s a rural looking house in a rural town,” says Ben. “When we talk about where we live, and that it’s the weatherboard home you see coming into town, everyone says, ‘I love that house!’.”