Case Study – Halswell

Standing out from the pack

Well here’s something we don’t often get to do –  interview a retired builder who bought a home from us. Then during the build, decided he wasn’t quite ready to retire and would in fact like to work for us! The idea behind all our case studies is to be as candid as we can be; we want to provide positive stories but equally want to admonish any false precepts that building a new home is a perfectly blissful experience, in which nothing ever goes wrong. So we asked Hamish to put any loyalties to his new employer aside, in the interests of providing an accurate account of his build experience. As any of you who have met Hamish will know, sugar coating information is not his thing. So we were only ever going to get a candid account anyway 🙂

Interior Design Services - Living room

“Fraemohs were the first and only company we contacted. And a big part of the reason why, is because at every point in in the early stages we felt absolutely certain we were dealing with the right people. After my first email to them, I received a personal reply in 15 – 20 minutes from Carl. The email provided further details, and posed further questions which prompted me to engage more. We found the approach very genuine, that was the starting point. We walked through a couple of other show homes around the place but because we’d started that journey with Carl so effortlessly we didn’t feel the need to engage with anyone else. We didn’t actually have a budget when we set out so I can’t say if we went over or under anything; our process was a case of designing our dream home, then going to the bank and getting the loan. 

How and why Fraemohs?

“We started our search for a building company on the internet, looking around for floor plan ideas. Fraemohs popped up. I didn’t know much about Fraemohs but definitely knew they had a long heritage in Canterbury, which to me is a sign of a company that is well resourced, well structured and has good long-term relationships with its suppliers and contractors. Which tells me that they’re a stable company and if I give them my money they are going to deliver on what they promise. But beyond some familiarity with them, I didn’t even know about their Timbermode range (I thought they still only did Solid Timber Homes). And it was the designs of their Timbermode homes which made me contact them in the first place. The designs were really appealing; not the cookie cutter homes we see everywhere else in subdivisions. They have a clever use of different materials, good internal layouts with raked ceiling or cathedral ceiling options.”

Interior Design Services - Bedroom

It’s about the customer, not us

“Our initial intent was for me to build the house myself. I’m an incredibly fussy retired builder so just wanted to buy the kitset from Fraemohs, have them get me through the consent process and do the things I didn’t want to do – like the floor and foundation. I was going to take care of everything else. And they were fine with this – they just kept saying ‘yes’ to everything. We found a plan that we liked, but made a tonne of changes which was also just plain easy to do with them. My experience of how the building industry works is that building companies’ business models are planned around them doing absolutely everything, and extracting every last penny they can from the build. Which wasn’t the case with Fraemohs at all – they were happy to be plugged in as I needed them and work around my plans.”

Loved dealing with Carl. The economy matters though..

“As we designed the home with Fraemohs, we were given very measured support and responses from Carl. At no point were we ever made to feel like a burden or to feel stupid. If Carl disagreed or wanted to bring our attention to something, he very gently raised it and we’d usually agree to discuss it after we’d put some more thought and research in to it. It was just so easy to work with someone who was willing to be flexible. Nothing was too hard.

What happened next put a spanner in the works with regards my building the place as a kitset. In the weeks prior to approaching the lender, banks had become more risk averse toward owner-builders and wouldn’t actually give us the money if we intended building it ourself. Which is why I then had Fraemohs prepare a quote on a full build. And despite the changing circumstances they were still just really patient with us. We agreed on the price and Fraemohs went on to build the house instead.”

House - Real Estate

Timber floors home designs NZ


Pobody’s nerfect. It’s how mistakes are dealt with that matters..

“The build was incredibly smooth, I never had an instance where I was really stressed. I don’t mind when a mistake is made by somebody during a build. What I take very close notice of though is how that mistake is put right. And what I noticed with Fraemohs is that if something wasn’t quite right I would be promptly contacted with a summary of the issue, and presented with options for solutions. During the build there were 2 or 3 hiccups and each time, I was just contacted and kept well informed, right through to when it was resolved.”


How’d Fraemohs rate

“I’d give the build experience a solid 8/10. The pre-build and design process I’d give 10/10; exceptional.”


Criticism or feedback for Fraemohs Homes?

“Only thing I saw needing a bit of work was that when the Construction team got involved; the communication between them and the Sales team had a small disconnect. And the impact here was those 2 or 3 hiccups I mentioned; for instance, we changed the style of bath we were getting which, as it turned out meant we needed to tile the wall behind the bath. Somehow the message didn’t arrive and there was a small delay while we tiled that wall in the bathroom.”





Small cosy homes NZ modern design


This is a custom designed monopitch Timbermode home.

If you like this you might want to browse our Timbermode range of homes. They can be built straight from the plan, customised to suit your own needs, or even adapted from pre-existing architectural plans like this one.

Downloadable buyer guides and a full list of inclusions are available on all house design pages. And if you see something you like, simply enquire and we’ll send you further information including prices. 

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