FAQ for Wairarapa New Builds

About Thistle

Thistle is a privately owned company and not a franchise. What are the benefits of this?

  • Franchises pay head office up to $50,000.
  • Franchises are at risk if things go wrong with other franchise partners. Franchises are tied to certain sub-trades and suppliers. We prefer to choose our own local expert sub-trades, who stand by their workmanship.
  • Thistle gets the same great deals as franchise companies from suppliers as we are a well-established company.
  • Many franchises are on strict timelines and deadlines as they turn over a huge amount of houses. They may not put the same attention and care into their new homes as we do at Thistle.
  • We have a 287-point Quality Assurance Checklist, to ensure excellent quality of every final detail within a Thistle home.


Do you offer house plans?

We have over 90 beautiful architecturally designed house plans. All of our plans are easily customisable to your unique lifestyle, desires and budget. Our team of in-house architects will work closely with you to ensure your house plan is a true reflection of your dream home.

Do you only build from your own plans?

No, we also love building from our client’s own designs – all we need is a sketch to get the ball rolling. We can work together with our architectural designers to help you design your dream home. Our house plans are also fully customisable and can be a great starting point for inspiration.

I have a house designed by an architect. Do you build houses outside of your own designs?

Yes, we do build unique homes that have been designed by architects. We are happy to price and build plans provided by your architect.

What should I concentrate on first when choosing my house?

Firstly we help you decide on a floorplan, whether it is one of our pre-existing plans, an adapted version or something unique. We will work with you to help make those tricky decisions a little easier such as, how many bedrooms? how many bathrooms? Do you prefer an open-plan kitchen/living?

Then, we look at how the house will sit on your section. Will it get good sunlight, privacy, street appeal, and take advantage of any views

We will help you consider what style of house you like and any additional parts such as rooflines, window sizes, and cladding.

The hub of the home, the kitchen. We know there are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to the kitchen which is why we offer a free consultation with our kitchen designer to will help you bring your dream kitchen to life!

From choosing colours to cladding, Thistle is here to help you every step of the way.


How long will it take to build my new home?

We allow 10-16 months of construction time for your new home. This will depend on the size of your new home, your section and council consent. We will give you an agreed completion date before we start, and ensure your new home is fully insured throughout the build.

What’s your workload and capacity like?

As a boutique-sized company, we do have a limit on the number of homes under construction at any given time in the Wairarapa. This ensures we maintain a high standard and quality of our builds, by using the best builders and sub-trades. Please reach out to our team for a more detailed update on our current capacity.


How much do Thistle Homes cost?

Renowned for architectural design and exceptional quality, our homes start from $650,000. All of our pre-existing house plans can be customised to suit your specific needs and budget.

Are there any additional expenses if I have a fully serviced section and choose one of your designs?

Additional costs are typically linked to the land and council regulations. When applying for building consent, there will be associated fees. Additional considerations, like earthworks, will be contingent on the soil conditions following an engineer’s assessment. This might entail extra requirements for slab engineering. Rest assured, we can provide guidance and collaborate directly with the engineers to streamline the process.

How much deposit is required?

During the design phase, there may be a fee for draughting and pricing costs to perfect your floorplan. If you decide to build with Thistle these costs are 100% credited back to you. Upon signing a NZCB Fixed Price Contract we only require a 5% deposit to get your dream home started.

What is the payment structure?

We offer a New Zealand Certified Builders Fixed Price Contract with 7-stage payments.

The initial deposit of 5% and then progress payments are made when certain stages are completed.

  • Establishment
  • Floor down
  • Framing Erected
  • Roof on
  • Closed in
  • Kitchen and Painting
  • Final payment on Practical Completion

My Site

What is a soil report, and why do I need it?

A Geotech report assesses the ground conditions where your house will be built. It helps determine if extra support is needed for the foundation due to poor soil quality, which can increase construction costs. Solutions may involve underground piles, more concrete in the foundation, or raft foundations.

Getting a Geotech report before buying a section is wise, as it can save you money in the long run and provide clarity for your building project.

Is it possible to start earthworks in the middle of winter?

On most sites, it is possible to carry out earthworks all year round, although generally, it is a bit more difficult during periods of wet weather.

My Build

Can I make changes once construction starts?

Yes, you can make changes during construction. Non-structural changes are handled through a change order to the contract, while structural and layout changes involve a council amendment with a corresponding change order.

What products do you build my new home with?

Thistle Building Company are synonymous with quality, which is why we only partner with trusted, industry-leading New Zealand brands such as; Mitre 10, Placemakers, and Tumu, ensuring the highest of standards with great warranties in place.

Who will be responsible for constructing my new home?

Our construction team comprises top-tier builders and skilled subcontractors from across the Wairarapa region. With over 70+ years of combined industry experience, we take immense pride in our workmanship on every project we are involved in.

Can I visit the building site?

Yes, our Project Manager will arrange site visits so you can view the progress of your new home. You can also log in to our client portal anytime to view real-time photo updates of your site, great if you are building from a different region or even country! Alternatively, our team are happy to set up virtual walk-throughs for you.

What are the advantages of using our client portal?

Our user-friendly online system allows you to monitor your project’s progress with a simple click while maintaining round-the-clock communication with our team. It’s as simple as that.

With our client portal, you can easily track your project’s running total, access an updated calendar, view a shared photo album, and approve change orders with ease.

We prioritise keeping you well-informed throughout your build!


Do you guarantee your homes?

Every single home we build comes with a New Zealand Certified Builders Halo guarantee – one of the building industry’s strongest guarantees. This covers you for;

  • Non-completion of building work.
  • 10-year cover for the full contact price, for structural and non-structural defects including weather tightness issues, once the building works have been completed.
  • Fully transferable to the new owner if you sell your home.

How long does the warranty cover structure, building materials, defects etc?

Every home we build is automatically covered by the New Zealand Certified Builders Halo Ten-Year Guarantee.

How do you keep an eye on the quality of my new home?

At Thistle Building Company, we have a 287-point Quality Assurance checklist. Every step of the way we keep a close eye on the quality of your entire new home and you can too, via our client portal.

What can I expect during the house handover upon completion?

During the handover, we will conduct a final inspection alongside you to ensure you are 100% satisfied with your new home. Following our comprehensive quality assessment and thorough commercial cleaning, your home will be handed over to you in sparkling condition.

Once we obtain the code of compliance from the council, your beautiful new home will be officially handed over, accompanied by a special gift just for you! With that, all that remains is to start crafting wonderful memories in your Thistle home.

Our commitment doesn’t end once we’ve handed you your keys! For your peace of mind, we provide a complimentary after-build care program lasting 1 year. This ensures that any maintenance issues are promptly addressed, and any necessary remedial work is carried out. Additionally, you can rely on our ten-year Halo Guarantee.