Customer Story - Peter Barton-Eckett

“...the lovely Wayne Sanderson arranged to meet us on site. At the end of that meeting Peter had signed up. We couldn’t believe it could be that simple.”


(I love living) in these mountains…I came here in eighty-eight. I’m interested in all wildlife, especially butterflies, which goes back to my grandfather collecting in England and I’ve collected with my father in Africa and in New Guinea.

Within a radius of Brisbane, this is probably about as good as it gets.

Peter lost his home of 31 years (including his New Guinea butterfly collection) in the bushfires that raged across South East Queensland in late 2019.


The fire was not apparent to me but apparently if you went up to Binna Burra you could see it and the fire brigade came in and said “You must get prepared to go.” 

And I said, “Well why? There’s no fire.” And then at about five o’clock they said “You’ve got to get out.” 

I thought it was a false alarm....I thought…these people are being super cautious. I’ll spend the night in the car, it’s fairly comfortable. But in the night, the fire brigade were right. It (the fire) came up very, very quickly because it’s at the top of a cliff. The house was burnt out by morning. The house was a complete wreck. 

It’s always a shock. There was no rescuing the house. There obviously had to be another one. Then I just go on with it. How to get back quickly (to having a home). A modular house is the quickest way to get in and I was keen to get in. I checked out a few and then settled on Westbuilt.

Judith deBoer

My husband (Ted) and I are members of the Lamington National History Association which provides the rangers for Lamington National Park and Peter has been a long standing member of that. The morning of the fire, I couldn’t locate him anywhere, with lots of phone calls to everybody, we had no idea where he was. It was such a relief when we got the phone call in the afternoon. So my husband came up and got him. It made us feel useful. So we’ve been really happy to help. 

My husband came across Westbuilt on the internet and the lovely Wayne Sanderson arranged to meet us on site. At the end of that meeting Peter had signed up. We couldn’t believe it could be that simple. 


That’s why I owe so much to the deBoers’. I mean I can hardly use a computer. I was born before the war and before bloody computers. 


When you’re sitting in your living room at night watching telly, you’ll never forget this will you? Watching it (the house) coming together.


The incredible process, here’s a house…I don’t know twelve metres long or something and the posts it goes on of course, they’re all there and it all fits, and they just bolt it up and say, well there’s the house. Ah, it’s incredible how quickly it goes here and of course how quickly they build it in Warwick.


Peter had a bit of a layout of a house that he wanted to put here. He wanted it higher than the last one so that he could get that amazing view.


So I had the windows increased in size. That is the biggest single difference I think. Westbuilt obviously knew what they were doing, and I think there’s an extra one in the kitchen there. Light coloured floors, it’s a light coloured roof, it’s not pure white, which you wouldn’t want. But it’s a light (coloured) house, I don’t like to go into a cave. 


This is a BAL 40 house, which is the second highest bushfire rating. Everything on the outside is non flammable, but it also means that’s low maintenance. The doors are beautiful. The thermal glass that they used, it keeps the house snug and it keeps the house cool and quiet. 


You don’t know if it is raining. You’ve got to put your hand out the window. 


It's thermal glass, yeah. Amazing stuff. Ted and I see Peter as an absolute miracle. He’s 87 years old and it’s not even a year since everything, except for a couple of little things were destroyed and yet he’s created a whole new life for himself, but it was certainly made a lot easier with Westbuilt. And to think that he was in the house in under seven months from the day of the fire.


Westbuilt Homes are the people who built this house and Westbuilt Homes are the people that I would have no hesitation in recommending to anybody.

-Peter Barton-Eckett

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