Case study – Kaikoura

The ultimate lockdown DIY project

If you’re ever heading Kaikoura way and are looking for somewhere very warm and cosy to stay, keep an eye out for these little beauties on the holiday rental websites. They were both designed and assembled by our clients John and Gina as accommodation for holiday makers. John – an experienced builder – provides a practical account of his experience working with our Solid Timber kitsets.




Wheelchair ramp on eco friendly holliday home in Kaikoura

“I’ve been a builder for 40 years and have built other timber kitsets before. I like the alpine timber look and did consider some of the other options, but having built timber kitsets from the other suppliers in New Zealand I knew how they were setup, and wasn’t impressed by how they went together. That’s largely why I chose Fraemohs over the others – the way the timber is assembled is the strongest. And in an earthquake there’s nothing to split or break which to a degree also guided our decision to run with them. They’re warm as toast too, we put a heat pump in them anyway as a booster; hot as hell but they certainly hold the heat. And the buildings are great – we’re thrilled. They look bloody sharp.”

– John, Kaikoura




A better grade for us, but still room to improve

“Well it didn’t get off to the best of starts, as there were a few boards missing and then the COVID lockdown began meaning we couldn’t start until April when the boards could be sent up. We’ve built a Fraemohs kitset a few years ago, and when we did that first one it wasn’t great to be honest – there were boards missing which meant lots of delays to the build process. They’ve certainly improved their processes since then though, it was a lot smoother this time.”




Guest room in kitset timber home

Working with the local council

“The plans were pretty straightforward, but our local council had some really high demands which had the potential to mothball the entire project, as they would have made it cost prohibitive. Amanda (General Manager, Fraemohs) was great though – she dealt with the council and pretty well saved the project by dealing with them.”




How’d we do?

“If I were giving ratings then overall the buildings themselves I’d give a 9/10. They came out how we wanted and we’re really happy with them. There was some leaking in the early stages, which is what I’ve dropped a marked there for. Then for the process itself, I’d give that an 8/10 – there were a few niggly things in the beginning relating to those missing boards. Other than that though, yeah it was a good experience, I’d do it again.”









“We’ve now started advertising the places on Air Bnb and the interest levels are very good. We got our first booking the other day and there are also plenty of people coming through asking us about them saying they want to build their own, we just give them Fraemohs’ details.”

Solid Timber

These are one-off custom designed homes in our Solid Timber style. Designed and assembled as a kitset by our client.

If you like this you might want to browse our full range of homes. They can be built straight from the plan, customised to suit your own needs, or even designed entirely from scratch like these ones.

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 promptly send you further information including prices. 

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