New standard set for kit home excellence

Perhaps more like a resort than a home, this magnificent Paal residence owner-built by Peter Wiles lays to rest the old-fashioned notion of a kit home being small and unsophisticated.

Complete with a star-ceilinged home cinema, leather-furnished study, a professional gymnasium, and a designer kitchen along with an adjoining butler’s pantry, the home in horse stud countryside east of Windsor in New South Wales is built to the highest standards of taste and luxury.

“I bought a kit home mainly so that I could build it myself. I also wanted to achieve a result that wouldn’t let down the value of this exclusive residential enclave,” Peter said. “This has been accomplished to the extent that people now say our home sets the tone for the area.

“Before my wife Kim and I decided to buy, Phillip Longhurst from Paal took the trouble to come out here and advise us on the sort of home we needed and how to position it on our land. He was amazing.”

The Castlereagh design from Paal turned out to be an obvious choice. “The timeless country look is very important to us. It’s impossible to tell when it was built, and for that reason the design will never date, which also adds value to the home.”

The house’s concrete slab is raised 700 mm above ground level to give the home stature and to make the most of commanding views across the valley and bushland.

With advice from a retired master-builder, as well as Paal’s comprehensive back-up service, Peter was able to tackle most of the project himself.

He hired help for the roofing, bricklaying and plaster-boarding, and for plumbing and electricals that require licensed tradespeople.

“I followed the Paal manual and learned as I went along. Now I feel fantastic about completing the home. It’s something I never thought I could accomplish.”

A recent family event staged by Peter, Kim and their adult children saw 200 family and guests arrive, expecting a “small, modest kit home” and being greatly surprised. When fully landscaped, the home will have a detached six-car garage, and a large outdoor pool and cabana.

Peter estimated that he saved $300,000 on the cost of a builder by contributing his own labour and project management skills, enabling him to incorporate his own design innovations and choices that have given the home its many special features.  

These include natural stone bathrooms, suspended vanity units, grey gum hardwood flooring, Control4 home automation, premium sound systems, a house-wide instant hot water system, and an exceptional 8.5 star energy rating.

Paal Operations Manager John Noye said: “This is certainly one of the best Paal homes I’ve ever seen and shows what can be achieved with both imagination and effort.”