Bunnings flat-packed homes are an appealing option for people who want to build their own modern home with open plan living and in-door out-door flow.

The Australian-owned household hardware store has quietly been building flat pack homes under its Clever Living brand that are becoming increasingly popular for first home buyers.

According to the Clever Living brochure, all designs meet or exceed local building codes, making the process straightforward and relatively quick.

And if the brochure is anything to go by, many of inherent hassles of building a home are taken care of by the packs.

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The plans are fully quantity surveyed so all the costs are up-front with no surprises, it says, while the homes come ready with Coloursteel roofing, Mitsubishi heat pumps, Kaboodle Kitchens, Omega Kitchen appliances, Stein bathrooms and Sengled security cameras and lighting.

Bunnings says that all this means it can give you a fixed price to build and finish a complete home.

But that isn’t the whole picture, of course. That’s the off-the-shelf price for a Clever Living home. But what about resource consent, sub-contractors and connecting to municipal services like sewerage?

A Bunnings Clever Living, flat pack Oxford model show home.


A Bunnings Clever Living, flat pack Oxford model show home.

What does a $75,300 plus GST flat pack Clever Home actually cost you before moving in? Stuff used one of the cheapest two-bedroom models in the Clever range, the Oxford, as a benchmark with the costings supplied by Hinds Builders, one of Bunnings’ preferred builders.

Here is a breakdown:

Materials: $75,300

Building labour: $21,000

Plumbing: $5200

Electrical: $8300

Cartage: $14,500

Kitchen installation: $1500

Heat pump ducting: $900

Scaffolding: $4000

Council fees: $4000

Plastering: $4500

Painting, interior and exterior: $9800

Preliminary and general: $6000

Site works (earthworks, drainage for stormwater and septic tank, connecting to electricity and water services): $30,000

GST: $23,250

Total: $208, 250

A privately owned Bunnings Dexter home in Otaki.


A privately owned Bunnings Dexter home in Otaki.

Competitor Marc Hunter of Latitude Homes, in Pukekohe, says the company’s two-bedroom 60 square-metre, two-bedroom budget range kitset, with similar specs to Clever Living costs $58,190 including GST.

A breakdown of Latitude’s costs:

Materials: $58,190

Building consent: approximately $8000

Resource consent (if required): approximately $2000

Foundations, builders labour, roofing, electrical costs, plumbing and painting: $89,500

Site works: approximately $10,000 for earthworks, $15,000 for stormwater and septic drainage and $5,000 for service connections

Total cost: $187,690

An interior from a Bunnings Clever Living show house.


An interior from a Bunnings Clever Living show house.

Hunter said further cost savings can come from a home owner doing some, or all of the work themselves. For painting, this could be $10,000.

If the home owner project managed construction themselves – picture yourself in an episode of Grand Designs – there would be a further 10 to 15 per cent saving. For a home worth nearly $200,000, this is between $15,000 and $20,000.

To calculate the potential cost of the labour and build, a rough calculation is 2.5 to 3 times the material costs, Hunter said.

A 60 square metre, two bedroom budget home from Latitude Homes.


A 60 square metre, two bedroom budget home from Latitude Homes.

Then there is the cost of the land itself.

Hunter earmarks $200,000 for this with the obvious proviso that it will vary depending on location and size.

A rear site on an existing property could work well for a little two bedroom house, while the big cost savings come when building a larger home, because incidentals like building consent and service connections are about the same no matter the size.


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