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Building a holiday home was perfect retirement project

Johnny & Ann sitting on new home porch

For Johnny and Ann Kaye, building a Met-Kit home from Paal on their two acre rural block in Queensland was the ideal retirement project. They’re delighted with their new house, saying it’s everything they wanted and more.

The couple originally purchased the rural land at Glenwood, near Gympie, as an investment. Once they decided to build a weekender, to live in whenever Anne has time off from working as a midwife at Toowoomba Hospital, they followed up a friend’s recommendation to consider Paal.

Johnny had no building experience, but as a retired cabinet maker, considered himself fairly handy. At 69 years young and healthy, he was looking forward to the project.

Ann and he selected the Hastings 3 design from Paal’s Met-Kit range. The couple wanted to redesign parts of the home and met with Paal’s Caboolture housing consultants Phillip Longhurst and Mauree Grace.

“Mauree modified the plans on her computer during our meeting,” Johnny recalled. “We couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was to make the changes to suit our needs.”

The redesign involved swapping bedrooms, removing walls and creating a large open-plan lounge room, kitchen and dining area.

Hastings 3 kit home built.
New modern kitchen in Hastings 3 kit home.

Apart from hiring local tradespeople to lay the roof and do gyprocking and cornicing, Johnny tackled the structural work himself. Ann helped when she wasn’t working at the hospital.

“The entire build was self-explanatory, with easy to follow instructions for guidance,” he said. “It was straightforward and stress free. If I was concerned about anything, I’d phone the Paal office and they would respond immediately.

“The staff were friendly, professional and helpful. Wonderful people – I can’t stress that enough.”

By contributing his own labour to the build, Johnny estimated he saved at least $20,000.

His advice to anyone of his age bracket who’s considering building a holiday or retirement house? “If you’re healthy you cannot go wrong.”

The project was completed in just under 12 months and the couple couldn’t be happier with the result. “There’s nothing Ann and I would change. It’s a brilliant country home. Everything we wanted, plus more,” he said.