When we launched our #DIYMODWALL photo competition, we couldn’t wait to learn more about our DIYers and their home improvement journeys. Julia Bates, of the Whitsunday region in QLD, entered her stunning, cyclone rated wall – along with a truly incredible story.
Julia only had a brief chance to enjoy her new pool area before Cyclone Debbie ravaged her outdoor space. With her brick pool wall and DIY motivation in tatters, she began the slow process of rebuilding her home. Priority number one? Cyclone rated walls.
Q. What was most important to you when deciding on which product to use?
Julia: “The price and ease of installation – tradespeople were thin on the ground, so the more we could do by ourselves, the better. We’d still be waiting if we’d required a complete brick wall build!”
Q. What kind of challenges did you face, being in a cyclone region?
Julia: “Our original wall was filled with sand, not cement, and the weight of the brick plinths were pushed over towards the end of the 9-hour ordeal of Cyclone Debbie’s tirade. When I consulted ModularWalls, the VogueWall was the only one suited to our cyclone region, but I loved the look of it anyway – I’d have probably chosen it regardless! I love the look and the freedom to paint any colour I like.”
Q. What guided you to choose a modular wall system?
Julia: “I’d considered ModularWalls years before as a solution to a very close boundary on the other side of our property. When the insurance money came through, I had at last the money to do things properly! The cost was way below anything we could have hoped for – even freight, which is usually prohibitive, didn’t impact the job.”
Q. How did you find the DIY installation experience?
Julia: “That we could do it ourselves was such a huge boon, given that tradespeople are still few and far between, due to the scale of works resulting from the cyclone. I modelled the paint colour on a plant I have hanging against a rust-finish fireplace and am really happy with the contrast! The screens are 3mm thick coreten – tricky to lift into place, but they look amazing! The detail in the screens is because we love our bamboo, which peaks out from behind the house. It’s completely transformed our suburban block into a jungle paradise (our living area is so much nicer for it). I also love Indonesian style (I’m an Indonesian teacher), without going for a ‘hokey’ Balinese look.”
Q. Are you happy with the final result? What’s your favourite element?
Julia: “I love looking across the pool to the wall, and I especially love the contrast of the duck egg blue with the coreten rust finish. I can’t wait until the dark purple sago leaves shoot up against it too!
But a surprising treat has been coming home along our street and seeing the home lights filter through the laser-cut screens…so sigh-inducing!”
Q. How did you find working with the ModularWalls team for your cyclone rated wall?
Julia: “The ModularWalls team were wonderful, every concern I had, I just rang them and they’d have a ready answer; they were always available.
Thank you for being the one easy element to bringing our home back from the disaster, which had really belted my enthusiasm for DIY. I had invested so much (sleepless nights, skin off my knuckles, aching back) in setting up our pool area and only really had 6 months of enjoying it before it was just smashed. It has been so good for something to work so easily in the aftermath. I’ve nearly got my DIY mojo back!”