It took just three months for a $91,000 Bunnings' flat pack to become a house in Auckland's Onehunga in the new construction system launched by the national DIY home improvement and outdoor living chain.

Kitchen/living/dining inside the new flatpack home, second bedroom (L), master bedroom and bathroom (R) Photo/Dean Purcell
Kitchen/living/dining inside the new flatpack home, second bedroom (L), master bedroom and bathroom (R) Photo/Dean Purcell

In a challenge to traditional house-building methods, the Melbourne-headquartered retailer has begun selling flat pack homes into New Zealand under its own Clever Living Co. brand.

Trent Building Solutions has erected the two-bedroom 82sq m stand-alone home off Trafalgar St.

The north-facing weatherboard house is the Suffolk design of 82sq m and measures 11.4m long by 7.5m wide, has a separate laundry with walk-in linen storage cupboard, audio speakers in lightbulbs, security camera system installed within outdoor lights and bathroom with separate bath and shower.

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Builders Matt Cross and Tristin Hapelt of Trent assembled the flat packs in-situ, the large orders arriving via a series of truckloads from Bunnings Avondale Trade Centre in Rosebank Rd.

43 Pleasant St, Onehunga is nearly finished. Photo/Dean Purcell
43 Pleasant St, Onehunga is nearly finished. Photo/Dean Purcell

"You wouldn't know," said Cross, referring to the new house looking no different from those built via traditional methods or techniques. "This is the first one we've done in Auckland."

Other builders like Simon Hinds of Waikanae have put up the homes in their yards, then had them trucked to sites in Wainuiomata and elsewhere on the Kapiti Coast and in Wellington.

"It's portable and can be trucked anywhere around the country," said Cross of the almost-completed Onehunga house, yet to have some painting finished and then to be landscaped.

This area looks towards Mangere Bridge. Photo/Dean Purcell
This area looks towards Mangere Bridge. Photo/Dean Purcell

The $91,278 flat pack price does not include GST or earthworks, cost of the land, consenting costs by a territorial authority or connections to services including power, sewage and stormwater.

Cross said the project had been straight-forward and the house would be rented out on completion.

All doors and windows are double-glazed, the kitchen has a timber overlay floor, the roof slopes on an 8-degree angle and the cladding is fibre cement, he said.

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Des Bickerton, Bunnings' New Zealand commercial manager, said demand for the flat pack homes had grown in the year since the launch and more than 50 flat pack homes had been sold.

The Onehunga house had audio speakers in light bulbs, a security camera in outdoor lighting and wall insulation was higher than the North Island standard.

Kitchen drawers are soft-close, all windows are double-glazed and a Mitsubishi heat pump in on the lounge wall.

Plans for another Clever Living Co. flat pack home. Photo/Bunnings
Plans for another Clever Living Co. flat pack home. Photo/Bunnings

"A lack of quality and affordable housing options has seen the Clever Living Co. range be really well received as an affordable option," he said.

"With our partners, we have developed a number of different design packages with the Angus three-bedroom, two-bathroom 96sq m design being the most popular, particularly among retirees and first home buyers with young children," Bickerton said.

"We did a lot of homework. The early result is encouraging and as we get more feedback from customers and our builder partners, we expect to make a few subtle changes over the coming years to improve the offer," he said.