On the road to recovery with Paal

Mick Thomson was still moving boxes into his newly acquired Cobargo home, just north of Bega, when bushfires hit the south coast. “The roads were cut off, we couldn’t get out,” says Mick. “We lost 95 per cent of everything.”

Fortunately, he survived – as did a one-bedroom Airbnb on the 60-acre property, which became Mick’s temporary home until he was ready to re-build. “It was a miracle,” he says. “Everything was on fire; we were dumfounded it was still there.”

While researching homebuilding options, Mick and his partner Lyn Summers turned to Paal and met with Michael Christie. They were amazed at how Michael accommodated their vision, modifying the Richmond and blending it with a house design they’d seen elsewhere. The result was an expansive home of 580sqm, including office, rumpus, huge internal living space with pitched ceiling, triple garage and alfresco area with fireplace. “We changed a lot,” says Mick. “It doesn’t look much like the Richmond anymore.”

Mick engaged a builder to carry out initial work, including steel frames and cladding, basically getting it to lock-up stage. “He’d already built Paal homes before - Michael recommended him and he was great,” says Mick. “There was so much work to do, I couldn’t imagine doing it all on my own.”

Mick was impressed by Paal’s budget which remained unchanged, despite heavy inflation. “Paal told me how much it was going to cost, locked the price in and there were no more price rises, despite all the price rises that have gone on,” he says. “Even steel had gone up 90 per cent.”

Overall, Mick found Paal’s service spot on in every way. “I thoroughly recommend Paal to anyone, I can’t praise them highly enough,” says Mick. “And Michael was excellent to work with - you ask him something and he gets back to you straightaway which is awesome.”

After a year, the build was complete, and the couple was thrilled to move into their new home. “It looks beautiful,” says Mick. “Everyone who comes here comments on how beautiful it is.”

Now there’s just the landscaping to complete, which Mick wants to be as equally magnificent. “We know it’s going to cost a lot but it’s worth it,” he says. “You don’t build a home like this and scrimp on the landscaping.”