Bunnings Team Members FAQ

 What is a pre-cut pergola?

A pre-cut pergola is a gable-roofed pergola that has had almost all of the timbers cut to size and angle. Sort of like Ikea furniture, a pre-cut pergola takes out a lot of the hassles of building with timber because the customer can simply follow the instructions provided and assemble the pergola without the difficult tasks of measuring and cutting timbers to angles. Pre-cutting a structure saves the customer both time and money and results in an extremely well put together pergola. If the customer doesn’t want to build the pergola themselves they will save money on installation by providing their tradesperson with a pre-cut kit.

What are the deck kits?

The deck kits consist of a series of pre-cut and pre-drilled subframes plus pre-made decking board panels. The panels are design to be attached to each other in order to build a deck to whatever size is required. They are modifiable in order to fit in specific areas if necessary.

The decking board panels are pre-assembled in runs of four boards. They come in various lengths in a predetermined layout and they make the installation easier and quicker and therefore are a great DIY solution.

What are the pergola options provided to the customer?

The customer can make the following choices;
• The length and width of their pergola.
• Whether the pergola is to be attached to their home or freestanding.
• The type and colour of roofing for their pergola (a choice between Colorbond roof sheeting, Suntuf Standard or Suntuf Solarsmart).
• The colour of other metal items on their pergola (gutters, ridge cap, barge cap).

What are the deck options provided to the customer?

The customer can make the following choices;
• The length and width of their deck.
• The type of decking board timber (a choice between treated pine or merbau)
• The width of the decking boards if choosing merbau (90mm or 140mm wide)

Can the customer order any other products from Softwoods?

Yes, Softwoods can provide quotes and kits for a wide array of structures so if the customer would like a quote on a non-standard kit we are more than happy to draw one up. If you would like a price on any of these items simply contact us and we will be more than happy to help. If possible please try to contact us with the customer present as there may be some questions we have in order to make the quote as accurate as possible. Please note that non-standard kits may come without comprehensive instructions to accompany them, however we will provide as much information as we can to simplify the process for the customer.

What is provided in the pergola and deck kits ordered by the customer?

The kits contain all of the timber and hardware plus roof cladding, flashings and gutters for pergola kits. The only extra materials the customer will need to purchase are concrete for the footings and paint or stain/oil.

How do I explain the Project Planner to the customer?

The Project Planner is essentially an order sheet for the customer to fill out. Customers should be encouraged to take the Project Planner home and fill out every section on the sheet as accurately as possible. These details provided here will dictate what is in their kit so it is important they are accurate. The information on this sheet is also very important in helping to provide an accurate set of plans for a council application (where applicable). Once the customer has filled out the Project Planner they can return it to the store and order their kit using all of the information that they have gathered.

How does a customer order a pergola?

When the customer first asks about a pergola you should give them a copy of the Project Planner which is available at www.softwoods.com.au/planner. They should then go home and fill out the Project Planner, making sure to fill in every section as this information will be the basis for their order. When the completed sheet is returned to store you can take a deposit and email a purchase order along with the Project Planner to Softwoods (bunnings@softwoods.com.au). Before you do this you must check to see that every section of the Project Planner has been filled out. Softwoods will then provide confirmation of acceptance of the order and will get in contact with the customer with an introductory letter and the customer’s council plans.

How do I process the order and send it to Softwoods?

Upon taking a deposit you should create an order for the correct product from the information provided by the customer. The correct Item Number can be found in the Softwoods Pergola and Deck Reference Folder and there are four parameters that determine which Item Number is used:
• Attached or freestanding
• Length
• Width
• Roofing type
The product descriptions provided look like the following:
PERGOLA KIT ATTACHED SOFTWOODS++4.2X5.5M COLORBOND ROOF
The attachment method will be either freestanding or attached. The measurements represent the length followed by the width with the roofing type after that. In this example the structure is an attached 4.2m x 5.5m pergola with a colorbond roof.

Once you have all of this information and have found the correct Item Number, you can create an order for the kit and take the customer’s deposit. The next step is to email the order and the customer’s completed Project Planner to Softwoods. Please note that the Project Planner must be completed in full for the order to be processed.

What happens once I have sent the order?

Once you have sent the order and received notification of its acceptance from Softwoods, we will generate the council plans for the customer and send the plans directly to the customer with a letter advising them as to exactly how the process will take place from there.

What happens when the customer receives council approval?

When the customer’s job has been approved by council they will notify you, come into the store and pay the balance owing for the kit. The next step from here is for you to pass on this notification to Softwoods in the form of an email to bunnings@softwoods.com.au. We will then produce and deliver the order to the Bunnings store within 14-21 days depending on your location.

How long will delivery take and who will organise it?

Delivery will take 14-21 days on average from notification of council approval. Softwoods will organise for the materials to be delivered to the Bunnings store that placed the order or, alternatively, a transport depot as close as we can to the customer’s house. Transport from the Bunnings store or transport depot is the responsibility of the customer and can be negotiated with Bunnings if required. In some cases Softwoods may elect to have roofing and colorbond items delivered direct to the customer’s house and both Bunnings and the customer will be advised if this is going to be the case.

Are the pergolas suitable for all wind speed ratings?

No, Softwoods pergolas are engineered to a maximum wind speed rating of N2 (33m/s). If the customer requires that their pergola be engineered to a higher wind speed rating, please contact us and we will provide a quoted price for them.

Are the deck kits suitable for heights over 800mm?

No, Softwoods deck kits will require modification for heights above 800mm and these can be quoted as necessary. Balustrades, bracing and further engineering may be required depending on the situation. If you are in doubt please give us a call for clarification.

What do I do if the customer wants any variations to the project (posts etc?)

If the customer wants variations to the kit we can provide these for them. In addition to small variations to Gable roof pergola kits we can also provide flat roof structures as well as Gable pergolas with hip ends. To organise any variations please get in touch with us and we will let you know the additional costs involved in the provision of any extra/different materials. When ordering variations to kits please be very sure to charge the amended price and make the variations very clear on the order form.

Is there anything else the customer will need?

The only things that the customer will need in addition to those provided are concrete and paint/stain as mentioned above and possibly some tools. The question below provides a guide as to how much concrete will be required and both the Customer FAQ and the instruction book have a guide as to what tools will be required to successfully complete the job.

How much concrete will the customer need?

The amount of concrete that you will require varies per structure. To work out many bags you will need you first need to check the footing size listed on your plans and calculate how many cubic metres of footings your structure has. To do that calculate the volume of each footing (length x width x depth) in metres then multiply that by the number of posts/stumps you have to get the total cubic metres required. Multiply the final figure by 100 and that is approximately how many 20kg bags of concrete you will need. For example, if your plans state a footing size of 400x400x600mm and you have 5 posts your calculations are as follows;
(0.4 x 0.4 x 0.6) x 5 = 0.48m³
0.48 x 100 = 48 bags

What do I do if the customer receives damaged goods?

If the customer receives damaged goods please refer them to us and we will do our utmost to rectify the problem. Please ask the customer to call us on (08) 8340 9888.

What do I do if the customer receives incorrect goods?

It is very unlikely that the customer will receive incorrect goods as we will have triple-checked every item in the kit. However if the incorrect goods are delivered, please refer the customer to us and ask them to call us on (08) 8340 9888.

What do I do if the customer has a shortage of goods?

Again, it is unlikely that a shortage of goods will be provided due to the need to cut all of the timbers provided, however if this does occur please refer the customer to us and we will attempt to rectify the problem.

Do you have any information on CCA timber?

Below is a description of the treatment process that all timber undergoes, followed by a description of the chemicals used and the possible risks involved in dealing with treated pine. As almost all of the timber we use in our kits is treated pine and as there is a wealth of misinformation about this product, it is important to have a good knowledge of the process and treatment of timber and the chemical makeup of the treatments in order to provide better customer service.

The first step in the treatment process is the logging of the timber. All of our timber is plantation grown. Once the timber has been logged it is cut into workable sizes in the mill. Once the timber has been cut it is ready to undergo treatment. If left untreated, pine that is placed directly into the ground will rot within 12 months, however treated pine will last for up to 30 years. Prior to treatment the timber is kiln-dried to remove moisture and allow for better absorption of the treatment solution. Timber is dried to 15 per cent of its moisture content before the treatment begins. Once suitably dried it is subjected to a vacuum to extract as much air as possible. The next step is to pump preservative into the vacuum where pressure is applied until the appropriate uptake of solution into the timber has occurred. When the correct level of preservative has been absorbed, the solution is pumped from the tank and the vacuum is reapplied to extract any excess solution. At this point the treatment process is complete and the timber is once again kiln-dried to return its moisture content to 15 per cent. The timber is then packed and shipped.

Timber treatment types
There are several different treatments available for timber. Each of them is applied in the same manner, however each has a different chemical solution with differing properties.

The most common of these is known as CCA treatment. CCA-treated timber is pressure treated and designed for use in outdoor areas or areas of increased moisture or insect habitation. CCA stands for copper (23-25%), chrome (38-45%) and arsenic (30-37%). This solution is waterborne and is designed to protect timber from rotting, attacks from fungus, termites and other wood-boring insects. Within the solution, copper acts as a guard against rotting and decay, arsenic is used as a pesticide to ward off insects and chromium is used to bind these two agents together and make the treatment insoluble, and in doing so prevents the solution from leaching from the timber. Once treated with a CCA solution, pine will have a slight greenish tinge. CCA treatment will guard against decay and insects, however natural discolouration will still occur if the timber is left unpainted or unstained. In Australia CCA timber is approved for use for pergolas, decks and other outdoor structures.

The other main form of timber treatment is known as LOSP or Light Organic Solvent Preservative. LOSP is a treatment that is usually a white-spirit-based solvent that contains copper naphthenates and synthetic pyrethroids as well as other chemicals to provide protection from insects and decay. LOSP treated pine is usually treated after being machined to its finished size. The LOSP treatment process also occurs under pressure. LOSP timber must not go directly into the ground, and if the timber is cut the cut ends must be resealed with a suitable sealant. Like CCA the timber will weather and discolour if not stained or painted.

Our treated pine decking boards have an approved treatment process called ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quaternary). ACQ treatment is based on the well established effectiveness of Copper combined with an organic quaternary compound and is applied
to wood by pressure treatment. Copper and quaternary compounds are effective fungicides and termiticides. Together they provide protection against a broad spectrum of decay fungi, borer and termites. The active ingredients, Copper and a Quaternary compound, are dissolved in an Alkaline carrier. ACQ treated pine is an effective alternative to CCA treated pine and is approved for areas where CCA is banned (see below).

Has CCA treated timber been banned?

No, not for the purposes that we use it for.  In accordance with an APVMA (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority) recommendation of March 2005, CCA-treated timber is no longer be used in the production of garden furniture, picnic tables, exterior seating, children’s play equipment, decking boards and handrails.  As you can see, treated pine has been phased out for uses in these areas where there is a risk that children could come into regular direct contact with timber.  However there is full government approval to use CCA timber for the purposes used in our kits and the treated pine decking boards we use are the approved ACQ treated pine product.

Is there anything else I should know?

That pretty much covers it, though it would be a very good idea to go and read through the Customer FAQ so that you can see what types of questions your customers may have so that you can be better prepared to help them. Thanks for taking the time to read and inform yourself about our product. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can be sure we will do our very best to help you with any problems or questions that arise.