True Owner-Builders

Brad Lawrence and his partner Lisa Cottle chose a Paal kit home because it was the best home for the owner-builder and they could tackle most of the work themselves.

The couple found a 55 acre block in Peechelba, near Wangaratta, and moved up there to build a house and farm the land. Brad had already renovated a house before and knew he had good handyman skills.

Although Brad and Lisa were working fulltime, they tackled most of the construction tasks, devoting their evenings, weekends and holidays to the project.

The pair had initially decided to go with Paal because they liked the display home in Bayswater, Melbourne, which is the same Hawkesbury design as their own. “It was great to walk through and see what the completed home looks like. It felt so spacious and luxurious,” he said.

Other kit home providers catered more for the professional builder than the owner-builder, Brad discovered during his research.

For him and Lisa, another great thing about buying from Paal was that the home kit included everything. There were no surprising “extras”, which meant that he knew exactly how much it was going to cost and could work to a budget, without unexpected over-runs.

Friends and family helped with construction, and Brad hired some labour for the roofing and gyprocking. Paal’s after-sales support was always there during the building process.

“A couple of times I rang Paal and they quickly got back to me with an answer - within the hour,” he said.

Their home is finished in light-brown painted Hebel panels and grey Colorbond roofing. “A lot of people can’t believe it’s a kit home. You simply wouldn’t know.”

Saving money was a factor in the couple’s decision to build themselves. “I reckon we saved $100,000. We’ve now got a big house on a big block, a much larger home than if we hadn’t contributed our own labour,” he said.

“We’re thrilled with our new home. Others love it too. A lot of people drive past and say, ‘Wow’. I’ve already recommended Paal to other home builders.”