Herald Sun - Property

Fresh from the factory

Brothers test market with eco-friendly ambition, writes Samantha Landy


Builder Daniel Pobjoy and his brother, Jamie, didn’t mess around when creating this unusual Yea pad. The pair bought a bushside block in December and settled on the $170,000 purchase in late January.

Only a few weeks later, a fully formed three-bedroom house sat on the 931sq m site. Now, the transforme­d property is on the market again, with a $500,000-$550,000 price guide.

Mr Pobjoy said they managed the quick turnaround by building most of the house in their factory — an old timber mill in Toolangi.

“The oven, the shower screen, all the plaster — everything was done, so it was a case of dropping the house on site in a few pieces, joining it, connecting the electricit­y and plumbing, and it was ready to move in,” he said.

The brothers hope the home will be a “launching pad” for their new business, MillBuilt, which they say will quickly deliver eco-friendly homes largely made in their factory.

Mr Pobjoy said after building large high-end houses, he and his brother wanted to create more modest homes that were “mindful of their environmen­tal footprint”.

“Through really clever design, you can have quite a small house that functions really well,” he said.

“There’s a bit of a tiny house movement, but maybe we can meet somewhere in the middle.”

MillBuilt would operate Victoriawi­de, and offer limited design choices to keep costs and wait times down, Mr Pobjoy said.

The homes would be made of “as much recycled timber” as possible, as well as high-end fittings and fixtures. They would also have energy ratings above seven stars.

This is all reflected in the Yea house, where highlights include a kitchen with stone benchtops and stainless-steel appliances, and a tiled bathroom with a freestandi­ng tub.

“I would hope to be able to get down to three weeks (of constructi­on) in the factory and three to five days on site,” Mr

Pobjoy said. “The idea is … on Monday, the crane delivers the pieces and on Thursday or Friday, we’re handing the owners the keys.”

Barry Plant Croydon agent Sarah Savio said she expected the “unique eco-friendly” home to appeal as a weekender or permanent residence.

“It’s tucked away with bushland behind it — you’re not getting any neighbours,” Ms Savio said. “But it’s still walking distance to town.”

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