">Customer FAQ - Softwoods

Bunnings customer FAQ

Do I need to be an experienced handyman to build a pergola myself?

If you haven’t picked up tools and worked around the house we would probably recommend that you organise for a tradesperson or handyman friends to build or help you build your pergola for you.   However if you are a competent handyman and you follow our instructions you should have no problems.   Our detailed instructions have been carefully formulated over a long period of time using all of our experience and knowledge.   They will provide you with a great deal of detail to assist you in the hassle free construction of your pergola.


Is there anything else I will have to buy?

Your kit contains everything you will need to build your pergola, with the exception of concrete for the post footings and paint for your pergola.   Also if you don’t already have them, you will need to purchase some tools.   The tools you may need are shown below.


Do I need to contact somebody about underground services at my house before I dig?

If you unsure if your home’s yard contains underground services it is better to be safe and find out if this is the case than to go ahead and potentially cause major problems.  The simplest method of gathering this information is via the free online service Dial Before You Dig (www.1100.com.au).


How do I know how much concrete I will 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


Can I get longer posts? If so how much will it cost?

Yes, you can get longer posts.  The posts provided with your kit are 2.4 metres long, and we will provide up to 2.7 metre long posts at no extra charge (this must be specified on the project planner and to your Bunnings Team Member).  If you would like longer posts than these we can provide them, however there will be an extra charge applied so please consult your Bunnings Team Member for pricing.  Please note that once your posts exceed 3 metres in length, further engineering and materials may be required (such as knee bracing) and will possibly incur a further charge.


How do I work out my price from the Project Planner?

The prices in the Project Planner are in a simple grid layout.  To obtain a price all you need to do is cross reference the length column and the width row and that will be your price including GST.  If your required length and width differ from what is on the price list use the next size up.  For pergolas it is important to ensure your project planner has the actual size you want your kit as these are the measurements we pre-cut the timber to.


What is the maximum height for deck kits?

Standard deck kits have a maximum height of 800mm.  Decks higher than 800mm can be quoted, please speak to a Special Orders Team Member for further details.


What is the minimum height for deck kits?

Deck kits require at least 200mm clearance.  If you have less than 200mm clearance you can dig the area out, but be sure to take into account the need for water run off (i.e. don’t dig a perfectly flat area, create some fall away from your house).


Standard decking kits have only treated pine and merbau as decking board options.  Can I get any other species?

In a standard kit, no, but we can quote a custom kit for you.  Please speak to a Special Orders Team Member for further details.


How do I order friezes, balustrades and stairs?

These items are non-standard and will need to be quoted.  Please speak to a Special Orders Team Member for further details.


Can I change any of the items in the kit? If so how much will it cost?

If you wish to make changes to the kit we can help you with these.  We are very flexible in terms of providing exactly what you would like in your kit.  However changes to the standard kits will likely incur charges relating to any different items included.  To order a kit with some differences to the standard, please specify the changes you would like to be made to the kit to your Bunnings Team Member and we/they will organise an amended price for the items you require.


Can I get a quote for a non-standard deck or pergola kit?

Yes.  Ask a Special Orders Team Member for further information.  In some cases these structures cannot be pre-cut, however we can still provide plans, bill of materials and sometimes a cutting list to help during the building process.


Do I need to apply for planning and building approval from my council?

As different states have some different planning and building requirements it is wise to always check with your local council to see if you need approval for your structure.  Penalties can be applied and insurance potentially affected if you have unapproved structures so we recommend that you don’t run the risk by avoiding council approval when it’s required.


How do I apply to council?

Once you have paid your deposit handed in your completed Project Planner, your council plans and elevations will be created by Softwoods.  These plans and elevations will be emailed to you with an information sheet and you are then free to submit your application to your local council.  To do this you will need the plans that have been provided as well as other documents such as a site plan (to scale) showing the location of the proposed structure and all existing structures on your block.  It would be wise to check exactly what you need with your local council prior to lodging your application.  You will need to pay the applicable fees to your council for your application.


What should I do if the council asks for clarification/variations to my plans?

If your local council requires more information or an alteration to your plans please contact us and we will take care of it for you  In some cases this will involve a further charge, for example if extra engineering is required or significant changes need to be made to the structure.


What do I do once I have received council approval?

Once you have received approval to build by mail from your council you should inform your Bunnings Team Member and settle the balance due on your account with Bunnings.  Once this is done your order will be forwarded to Softwoods and your kit will be prepared, packed and delivered to the Bunnings store within approximately 14 to 21 days depending on your location.


How will I get my kit from the Bunnings store to my home?

This should be discussed with your Bunnings Team Member prior to the kit arriving at the store.  Many Bunnings stores can arrange delivery to your home with a local transport company for a fee.  Alternatively, you can pick the kit up if you have the appropriate vehicle.


How do I attach a pergola to my house?

Attaching a pergola to your house is done using fascia brackets.  They are attached to the rafters of your house with extra timbers called rafter stiffeners.  They are designed to take the load of the structure back into the house roof and not to place the load on to the house fascia.  It is very important to install the fascia bracket correctly to ensure sufficient structural support.  Installing your fascia brackets involves peeling back your roof sheets/tiles and nailing the rafter stiffeners to your rafters, followed by cutting a slot into your house fascia, inserting the bracket and bolting it onto the rafter stiffeners.  This procedure is covered in detail in the instructions provided.


Can I get somebody to attach the pergola to my house?

Yes.  The installation of the fascia brackets and fascia beam is by far the most difficult part of building your pre-cut pergola.  If you are not confident in this part of the project you can get a local tradesman to do this for you for a fee.  To give you a rough guide of what this may cost we estimate that it will take a good tradesman approximately half an hour per bracket.


How do I attach a deck to my house?

Due to pest control requirements some decks cannot be attached to the house.  It is best to check with your local council prior to commencing construction to see whether or not you are able to attach your deck.  If you are not able to attach then building a freestanding deck is an easy alternative but you may be required to leave a 25mm inspection gap between the deck and your house.  If you are able to attach then the most common method is to attach a ledger with masonry anchors or coach screws.  Details on how to do this are covered in the instructions.  Please note: all deck kits are supplied as free standing kits so any extra hardware required to attach to your home will need to be purchased.


How are my posts anchored to the ground?

For pergolas the posts will be fixed to the ground using a bracket called a post shoe.  Post shoes are made of hot-dipped galvanised iron, are resistant to rust and will not break down in the ground.  They will keep the posts of the structure off the ground and ensure no decay occurs.  Post shoes are anchored in concrete and provide an extremely secure fastening method.  For decks stumps are concreted directly into the concrete footing.



How long will it take me to build my pergola or deck?

While it depends largely on your skill level and the speed at which you work, we have seen through experience that it will take an average to good handyman and an accomplice two days to build a 6×4 metre attached pergola and approximately one and a half days for a freestanding deck.


Do you provide instructions to help me build?

Yes, we will provide comprehensive instructions to guide you through every step of the process.  This document has been refined over several years to provide the most clear, well informed and concise instructions possible.


How will I know which piece of timber is for what?

For pergolas each piece of timber will be marked with a stamp that can be seen after the timber is painted but not once the structure is built.  These identification stamps are clearly explained in the instruction book.


Should I paint my pergola?

Yes, you should certainly paint your pergola timber.  The application of paint to treated pine greatly prolongs the life of the timber and protects the timber from parasites and decay.  If you choose not to paint your structure you are quite simply asking for trouble with it in years to come.  We recommend that you paint your structure with two full coats before construction.


Should I stain or oil my deck?

Absolutely.  Applying good quality stain or oil to your deck will prolong the life of the decking boards and keep your deck looking excellent.  Decking boards are exposed to the elements more than pergolas plus sustain foot traffic so protecting your decking boards is crucial.


How often do I need to apply stain or oil to my deck?

Maintaining your oil or stain on your deck is extremely important.  As soon as your stain or oil is showing signs of losing its colour or is drying out it is time to reapply it.  This timespan varies on a deck by deck basis so keeping a close eye on the state of your stain or oil is highly recommended and don’t delay if it is showing signs of needing to be recoated.


Are all the hardware items galvanised?

Yes, with the exception of decking screws which are stainless steel.


Are there any items I will need to cut on my pergola or deck?

The only thing that you will need to cut on your pergola is the length of the posts.  For decks, you may need to trim some of the panels in order to get the exact size you are after.  In both cases the instructions guide you through how to go about this.


Is there somebody I can call if I am not sure of something when building?

Yes.  If you any questions while building your structure feel free to call our team between 8.30am and 5.30pm AEST Monday to Friday on (08) 83409888.  We have a great deal of experience with most issues that arise in the construction of pergolas and decks and should be able to quickly help you resolve any problems you may be having.


What kind of timber do you use in your kits?

In our pergola kits the posts are LOSP treated pine, and the beams, rafters and roofing members are CCA treated pine.  For decks the substructure is CCA treated pine and the decking boards are either ACQ treated pine or merbau.


Are there any risks associated with the use of CCA treated pine?

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.

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West Perth WA 6005

1300 737 465