Kitset homes

Fraemohs Homes has been designing and manufacturing Scandinavian style kitset homes in New Zealand for over 50 years. All featuring handcrafted sustainably grown New Zealand timber. For our first thirty years we were known for our range of Solid Timber flat pack homes; in fact this is all we did. Over the last two decades however we have updated our designs and materials to match the times, applying our knowledge of flat pack home assembly systems to kit homes which feature a range of different materials. Regardless of style or price, the main constant you can expect with any of our modular kit homes is quality.

If you are wanting something small and prebuilt, we also have a range of transportable homes, built with sustainably grown New Zealand timber. See them on our house plans page.

Solid Timber self-build options

Our Solid Timber kitset homes are log cabin-style flat packs with solid timber walls. You can build these yourself if you are reasonably handy, and able to lift heavy pieces of timber. 

The walls of our Solid Timber kit homes are constructed of planks of laminated kiln-dried pine which interlock. This means they work in a similar way to that other famous Danish product, Lego! You don’t need any nails for the walls, just a sledgehammer to fit the pieces together. Each piece is numbered numerically and each wall is marked alphabetically. Laminated exposed roof beams fit neatly into pre-machined slots in the walls. The sloping ceilings in the living areas are made from solid pine sarking.

If you are not a builder we generally recommend that you get a specialist in to tackle the foundation, and roof construction.

You will need a registered plumber and electrician to do the plumbing, and electrical work in accordance with New Zealand legislation.

 

Self-build options for all other styles

All of our homes are available as kitsets. The models which are made of mixed materials are more complex to build and we would recommend engaging your local builder to assemble them. Read the next section about the ‘lock-up’ option for more information.

 

Lock-up

This is where we build the shell of your home, and hand it over to you to complete the interior and finish it off.

Lock-ups are a smart option for DIYers who want to contribute a significant amount of their own efforts toward building their new home, but would prefer full-time builders to handle all the really niggly stuff like the foundations, walls, roofs, windows and cladding.

As mentioned earlier in the page, some of our kit home designs which use mixed materials are more complicated to assemble than our Solid Timber kits (which are relatively simple), so opting for a lock-up package can be a good option to contribute your own labour to building one of our mixed material designer kit homes, and save a bunch of money in the process.

We will supply you with the essentials you need to complete your home – like your insulation and plasterboard. And choose from one of our kitchen and plumbing packages to make life even easier, or feel free to source your own. 

Balancing quality with affordability

The housing market has changed considerably over the last few decades. One of the notable effects has been the rise of building companies offering low-cost minimum quality cookie cutter houses on subdivisions. While we at Fraemohs recognise the appeal of this to a segment of the housing market, our position has always been to focus on the long-term, which means building homes that last. We don’t sell as many homes as we could with this approach, but we’d rather build fewer homes which last, than more which don’t.

A tremendous amount of time and effort goes into designing and building a home. Matching that time and effort with materials and design techniques which will ensure a home’s longevity is something we firmly believe in. It takes us a little more time and costs us a little more money to design and manufacture our kitset homes because of our attention to quality, which in turn means our clients pay a little more too. But that little bit extra paid in the short-term, makes for a longer lasting home and a far better living experience for you and your family overall.

Environmentally friendly

If a home uses timber, it’s important the timber is grown locally from sustainable forests. If the timber is grown overseas, the carbon miles used transporting the timber here for modular eco homes in New Zealand far outweigh any benefits to the environment. Even if the imported timber has been sustainably grown.

We have been using local, sustainably grown New Zealand timber since Monni Fraemohs founded our building company in 1968. Until then, New Zealand had largely been exporting its raw timber overseas for use in other markets, which Monni saw as both environmentally and economically wasteful. Time has proven him very right on both points.

 

Commonly asked questions about kitset homes

What are the benefits of kitset homes? 

Our affordable kitset homes are manufactured in New Zealand from locally sourced, sustainable timber. Each kit contains the structural elements you need to build a quality home, in less time, with less waste, and without ordering materials yourself. Kitset homes are low maintenance, earthquake-proof and durable in all weather conditions. 

 

What is the cost of a kitset home?

On average, expect to save 10-20% off the cost of a conventional build. The more work you manage yourself, the more you can save. 

Kit prices vary widely. Inclusions like joinery, fixtures, fittings, prefab kitchens can push the price up or down. Hiring your own build team can also add cost. 

 

What is the difference between kitset, transportable, modular and prefab homes? 

They’re not the same. Prefabricated, transportable and modular homes are built off-site, in one complete piece or several pieces. They generally include flooring, fixtures and furniture. You will see them transported on trucks. 

Kitset homes are built on-site, from the ground up, using prefabricated materials. There is more flexibility with transport, location and customisation. 

 

Are kitset homes environmentally-friendly? 

Our Solid Timber kitset homes are manufactured in New Zealand from locally sourced plantation pine that is renewable and sustainable. Locally sourced timber significantly reduces fuel consumption during transport, compared to imported kits. 

We use Vacsol Azure to treat timber – an eco-friendly solvent that is metal-free and biodegradable. More information on our Eco Homes page.

 

Can you customise kitset homes? 

We have two architects on our team, and nearly all of our builds are customised.

Our team design kits for family-friendly spaces including homes and granny flats. We also customise business-centric kits for hotels, churches and other organisations.

We offer a basic kitchen kit to enhance and make your own. 

 

Do kitset homes make good holiday homes? 

Kitset homes are an affordable and popular choice when building a sustainable holiday home. They’re quick and easy to build, look great and perform exceptionally well in a range of climates.

 

How do you build a kitset home? 

You can DIY most of your kitset home. We supply clear instructions with marked materials and lots of support. See a build in action.

You will need a registered plumber and electrician to complete the job, in accordance with New Zealand legislation. 

Timbermode kitsets are more challenging to build than Solid Timber sets. Owner builder experience is recommended.  

 

Why use solid timber for kitset homes? 

Timber is a natural, renewable resource that looks elegant. It has the ability to flex and move, unlike more rigid materials, making it durable and very safe during an earthquake. Timber breathes compared to man-made materials, helpful for the control of moisture levels and energy efficiency indoors

 

How are kit homes delivered and how long will it take? 

Our Solid Timber kitset homes are flat-packed, loaded onto pallets and delivered to the build site. Timbermode kitset homes are delivered as pre-nailed frames and trusses, ready for assembly.

There are a few factors that account for delivery time. Kitsets are manufactured after council consent is obtained, which can take up to 6 weeks from application. From that point, please allow 8 – 10 weeks for manufacturing and delivery. 

 

Do you manage building consent and checks? 

Yes, we can apply for the building consent on your behalf, or send you the relevant documents if you wish to arrange this yourself.

As an owner builder you are subject to the same council check as any Licenced Building Practitioner. You still require licensed tradespeople to carry out certain tasks. 

 

What are the disadvantages of kitset homes?

Kitset homes are not for everyone. If you lack time or practical skills, you may prefer a traditional building method. 

Quality and flexibility can vary between suppliers. Choose a supplier that offers design flexibility, quality materials and product warranties for peace of mind.

 

Customise your design

Because we manufacture all flat pack homes in our factory, we can create pretty much any home or building you want. In fact most of the kit homes we sell are a custom design in full or in part. Over five decades we have created kitsets for a really wide range of uses…  alpine hotels, tropical hotels, villas, churches, chalets, family homes, cabins, creches, Olympic Games accommodation…. you name it. 

It can be more cost effective to buy straight from the plan, or to base your own design on one of our existing plans with a few modifications, because this saves us a lot of time and labour. But speak with one of our team about this; there is a good chance they’ll have recent examples of kit home build experiences similar to your own situation they can share with you, demonstrating the pros and cons of certain approaches.

 

Foundations

Our standard flat pack homes prices cover the design of the home above the foundation. But we can also help make your build even more hassle-free by assisting with foundation design, and managing the building consent process on your behalf.

Kit homes for the Pacific Islands and tropical conditions

Solid Timber kit homes by Fraemohs perform exceptionally well in the tropical conditions of the Pacific Islands.

During the 50 years that we have been making Solid Timber kit houses we have exported them to many Pacific Islands, including Fiji, Samoa and Niue. As well as farther afield to Japan and throughout Asia. Our Solid Timber kitsets were selected to be used for many of the buildings at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. One of our very first projects back in the 1960s was for mining workers accommodation in New Caledonia, and our relationship with Pacific Island nations has remained strong ever since.

 

A great choice for guest accommodation

The award-winning Taveuni Island Resort and Spa in Fiji has found that Fraemohs Solid Timber kitsets make ideal luxury bures. The solid timber bures are very practical because they are easy to construct and the solid timber walls are incredibly strong, which is an important consideration in a region that can experience tropical cyclones.

The Scenic Matavai Resort on Niue’s south-western coast has also made use of Fraemohs Solid Timber kitsets for guest accommodation.

 

Cyclone and earthquake resistant

For people building a kit home in parts of the Pacific Islands exposed to tropical storms, we generally recommend opting for an upgraded door and window system to make your home cyclone proof. These relatively simple, and affordable additions will give you the assurance you want when a storm comes. Cyclone proof kit homes by Fraemohs have been proven to withstand the strongest of tropical storms. When Cyclone Ami struck Fiji with deadly force in 2003 for instance, the Taveuni Island Resort came out unscathed. Since then, further Fraemohs units have been despatched to the Resort and built on Taveuni after locals witnessed their ability to stand up to hurricane strength winds.

Solid Timber kit homes by Fraemohs are famous for their performance during even the biggest earthquakes. In the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, where 185 people sadly lost their lives and thousands of homes were destroyed, our Solid Timber homes stood strong and received widespread recognition by engineers, homeowners and the media alike.

The safety of you and your family during an earthquake is of course the priority, and our Solid Timber kit homes will assure this. Beyond safety, earthquakes have the potential to impact lives in other ways, as the people of Christchurch have discovered. Massive disruption to livelihoods, income and more come about when a home is destroyed or even damaged in an earthquake.

Building an earthquake proof kit home by Fraemohs will give you the peace of mind many Pacific Island based families do seek.

For more information on why our homes perform so well in earthquakes, as well as first hand accounts from earthquake survivors living in our homes during the massive Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, click here.

 

Ideal for remote locations

Fraemohs kitsets are very simple for anyone with some basic building skills to construct. With no need for specialist plaster board fixers and stoppers the build process is much faster. The walls are put together without any nails so where there is uncertain power supply this is a great advantage. This makes Fraemohs kit homes an ideal solution to building in remote locations.

Distance is no object and we have previously sent kit homes to a range of difficult-to-reach destinations including the Chatham Islands, Falkland Islands and Lord Howe Island, which is situated off the coast of New South Wales.

Kit homes by Fraemohs are also a very cost effective solution for people building in remote locations, owing largely to the reduced building time. For further reading on this, take a minute to read this short article on the topic.


Our kitset homes can be easily purchased through our proactive partner and distributor in Fiji, Pacific Property Solutions.
To learn more about buying your kit home through Pacific Property Solutions, please visit their website www.ppsfiji.com.

Kitset Buyers Guide

To learn about what’s involved in building a Fraemohs kitset home, download our complete guide now.

Download Guide

Here to help with your design and building needs

All of our homes are available as a kitset. Buy from the plan and save, customise it to suit your needs or design it entirely from scratch!