New home instead of just a renovation

By owner building, Brendon and Cherie Luke were able to build themselves a new home rather than renovate an existing property that they weren’t sure was worth the effort.

The $80,000 or so that they saved by tackling the job themselves meant they were able to knock down the existing house and have a new one erected in its place within just a few months of starting the project.

“Without that substantial saving, we simply wouldn’t have been able to build,” Brendon said.

He used a period between jobs to devote himself fulltime to the task, with the help of his father, Cherie, family and friends, plus some trades assistance for jobs such as roofing and gyprocking.

Cherie, who works as an accountant, was the “chief organiser and financial officer”, and sourced and managed the tradespeople.

“Our number one reason for choosing Paal rather than other kit home suppliers was the flexibility of their designs. We were able to modify the Shoalhaven, opening up the interior of the house and choosing an island kitchen that’s normally a feature of Paal’s larger homes,” he said.

“We have a corner block and were able to change the exterior so that the home has two frontages, as well as a verandah that extends around the front and sides.”

The couple, who live in Jamisontown near Penrith, also chose Paal because of the attractive prices and the promise of complete after-sales support.

Although still in his thirties, Brendon had thought about building his own home for 10 or 15 years. He had trade skills, but was a little hesitant.

“It turned out to be pretty straightforward. The instruction manual was very comprehensive, and if I ever rang John at Paal with a query, he had the answer straightaway.”

The couple finished the house to lock-up within nine weeks of starting the frame and kept it rolling from there.

“Cherie and I are happy with everything we’ve done. We surprised ourselves. Our new home looks better than we dared hope for.”

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