Heading to Bunnings at the weekend to pick up something for the house or garden is about as Australian as it gets. But with so much on offer, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?
From the hardcore DIY enthusiast to the home renovators and gardeners, the hardware giant will usually have whatever you’re looking for.
But the enormous green warehouses can be a bit intimidating. And with so many options, it can be hard to know exactly what you’re looking for.
Which is why consumer group CHOICE has done the hard work for you, highlighting what you need to look out for in a number of popular home product categories – barbecues, plants, garden tools, carpet cleaners and flat-pack kitchens.
They even gave the sausages a tick – for the concept not the nutrition.
Australians love a barbecue, and if you’re in the market for a new one, Bunnings has a massive range, with all the big brands such as Weber, BeefEater and Everdure.
There are also two brands that are exclusive to Bunnings stores – Matador and Jumbuck, which are a bit cheaper than other brands. CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair says that while they’re not terrible, they’re not great either.
“Most of the Jumbuck and Matador barbecues we have tested seem to be flimsily made and difficult to assemble, with thermostats that may not be accurate. They’re basically poor quality and may not last the distance,” she said.
Maybe those brands are the chief culprit when you see all those barbecues on nature strips during hard rubbish collections!
Bunnings’ nursery section is a veritable jungle of plant options, with a wide selection of flowers, climbing plants, ferns, bulbs and vegetables on offer – in plant and seed form.
CHOICE gives the garden section a big thumbs-up.
Garden reviewer Stacy said she was pleasantly surprised by the variety of plants on offer.
“I underestimated the quality of pots and plants from Bunnings. It is actually excellent,” she said.
“I bought a box to grow mushrooms and the fresh mushrooms were delicious.”
If you’ve ever set foot in a Bunnings store, you’ll be familiar with Ozito, a brand that’s exclusive to Bunnings. CHOICE has tested a range of Ozito products, including electric mowers, line trimmers, lawn edgers, blower vacs and hedge trimmers, and the general verdict on whether they’re a good buy is ‘maybe, but buy carefully’.
A few of them impressed the experts, but the rest were among the lowest scoring in their categories. But they’re also the cheapest in each category, so make of that what you will.
A CHOICE Community member says an Ozito cordless lawnmower changed their life.
“I have some respiratory issues so the lack of exhaust fumes made the purchase worthwhile,” they reported.
“I also have a lower back complaint which was aggravated by pulling the cord starter on my petrol mower. The cordless unit negates that problem.”
While you can hire Britex or Rug Doctor carpet cleaners from Bunnings, they also sell a number of models.
CHOICE recommends the Vax Compact Power Carpet Washer ($239) and the Bissell CleanView PowerBrush ($399) as the best value for money.
The CHOICE verdict on these was ‘maybe (but you might need some help)’.
We’d all love a brand-new kitchen, but the cost can be astronomical. Unless you get yourself a flat-pack kitchen. Similar to flat-pack furniture from Ikea, Bunnings offers modular kitchen cabinetry and countertops in a range of styles and sizes.
There’s an instore and online 3D planning tool you can use to map out the exact design you want. If you’re not really sure what you want, Bunnings offers an instore design service for $49 or home service for $99.
Depending on size and the materials you choose, a Bunnings flat-pack kitchen can cost anywhere from $5000 up to $10,000.
A few things can affect the price: the size and number of cabinets, the finish you use for the cabinet fronts and also the hardware you choose (hinges, drawer runners and handles).
Have you been to Bunnings recently? Have you spotted any other bargains? Let us know in the comments section below.