Bretts timber sawmill at Windsor, Brisbane circa 1920's
Bretts today, let's talk about tradition! Over 100 years talking timber and hardware, these days, Bretts is structured around five major divisions, each one stemming from our timber and hardware origins.
Bretts has been part of the Queensland building landscape for over a century. Brisbane Sawmills, founded in 1912, was one of the largest sawmills that operated on the former site of Bretts Timber & Hardware on Newmarket Road in Windsor. In 1918 B.C Brett & Co was established and acquired full interest in The Brisbane Sawmills.
In addition to providing a superb timber and hardware offering which includes Queensland's largest range of door furniture, specialist paint and timber products plus our bathware and appliance trade selection centre featuring leading appliance and bathroom brands; Bretts also manufacture 4 ranges of aluminium doors and windows, timber & steel prefabricated house frames and trusses.
Bretts draws on the experience and knowledge built up over the past 100 years, to offer builders and tradespeople comprehensive advice and a different hardware experience. More than just a store, Bretts is a Brisbane institution. And to position Bretts for the next 100 years...
Bretts are on an expansion phase once again, now with trade stores at Browns Plains, Caboolture, Coorparoo, Geebung, Narangba, Chermside and Wynnum, new stores are planned to satisfy the growing demand for Bretts trade. Bretts remains a staunch independent in the local market. And while flexible enough to diversify where necessary Bretts sticks rigidly to values that reflect the importance of tradition, quality and family.
Trade Timber & Hardware
Bretts offers one of the largest ranges of building products and general hardware in Brisbane. We're talking everything from kitchen and bathroom products, windows and doors, decking and flooring, door handles and locks, to major electrical appliances, paint, trade tools, fasteners and sealants, structural and decorative timber and other building materials.
For more than 100 years, Bretts has supplied the domestic and commercial building industry with a vast range of building materials, Of course, we also have specialist staff available who will be happy to talk you through your options - from slab hardware through to roofing and everything in-between.
Operating from seven sites, Geebung is home to our manufacturing facility and our trade distribution centre. We also operate our six trade stores and a dedicated plumbing business at Narangba.
Read more about our trade products, Bretts Trade
Trade Plumbing Supplies
Bretts are members of Plumbing Plus a national plumbing supply group with over 160 plumbing stores across Australia. Bretts trade plumbing business at Narangba offers solutions to plumbers and builders for residential, commercial and civil projects. Products are sourced from around the world to bring a very competitive mix to suit any project budget.
Bretts Trade Selection centre, a dedicated resource for architects, builders and developers is open by appointment. The selection centre incorporates the very best in bathroom fittings and appliances. Including iconic brands like: Fisher & Paykel, Liebherr, Ilve, Villeroy & Boch, Caroma, Hansa, Clark, Dorf, Astra Walker, Decina to name a few.
Read more about our bathware and appliance products, Bathware and Appliances
Commercial Hardware & Locksmiths
For more than 60 years, Bretts Architectural Hardware has supplied the domestic and commercial building industry with a vast range of architecturally designed hardware products. Everything required for a door in the way of locks and hardware fittings, including full Locksmith workshop and team of qualified Locksmiths. In addition to this the commercial hardware division can also supply a full complement of washroom equipment and PWD hardware. We also have specialist Architectural staff available to walk you through the myriad of options and act in a supply management capacity for larger commercial projects.
Read more about our commercial hardware products, Commercial Hardware
Also featured is the Bretts manufactured aluminium joinery, with a full range of doors and windows in a working display. Our showroom provides Brisbane with the only complete architectural product selection centre.
Aluminium Windows & Doors
Bretts manufactures high-quality, made-to-order aluminium joinery products for a wide range of applications. Our aluminium doors and windows are extremely low maintenance, never needing to be painted or stained. And they're not going to warp or shrink either. Aluminium joinery also offers the security of superb strength, through quality materials and method of manufacture. This ensures greater resistance to wind pressure and building movement, and helps combat forced entry or damage.
You can select from an endless choice of colours, sizes and styles, depending on the design application you have in mind.
We manufacture four ranges; Our own Brettstar affordable windows and doors, Vantage architectural bespoke windows and doors, Sky-Frame windows and doors and Elevate commercial glazing
Windows and doors include: Sliding, Stacking, Double Hung, Awning, Casement, Bi-fold, Louvre, Box, Bay and Garden Windows. Or you can custom design your own door and window products.
Read more about our aluminium joinery products, Windows and Doors
Believe it or not, the more timber you use in your new home, the greener it will be. The production of timber products used to build a house actually results in far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than in the manufacture of comparative concrete, steel, brick, tile or aluminium components. And trees store carbon too. So by building as much timber as possible into a home, you are actually sequestering carbon and preventing it from escaping as harmful CO2.
Bretts continue to commission new equipment for the Bretts Frame & Truss plant to keep up with demand and ensure we are operating a modern, state-of-the-art plant with leading edge technology. With a dedicated estimating and detailing team on site, you can also be sure that plan take-offs are accurately and seamlessly transferred into quotation, and ultimately, finished products.
Read more about our timber frame and truss products, Frame & Truss
Bretts also offer a total solution for steel construction, we utilise the latest technology to pre-fabricate house frames and trusses for residential and commercial applications. A building frame manufactured by Bretts from TRUECORE® steel is strong, straight and precise, won’t twist or warp over time and won’t catch fire. What's more it is termite and borer proof.
Our machinery is the newest and best on the market today providing efficient and effective framing solutions. The roll forming equipment we use is fully integrated with production software to ensure precision and accuracy during the production and assembly process. Our system is fully automated, which means no manual cutting or punching required, resulting in very simple frame assembly.
Discover the Bretts advantage, we use the latest technology & knowhow to design & fabricate frame & trusses faster & cheaper.
Read more about our steel prefabrication Steel frames
Let's Talk History
Brisbane Sawmills established at Newmarket Road, Windsor.
BC Brett & Co is incorporated and a Pine sawmill established at Emu Vale near Warwick.
Brisbane Sawmills is purchased by BC Brett & Co and adjoining land is acquired to house the new Hoop Pine mill.
Brett & Company formed and a head office set up in Eagle Street in Brisbane city.
The first Hardware store opened at Grey Street and further land is purchased at Windsor bringing total area to 35 acres (incorporating what is now Downey Park).
Bretts Wharf is constructed and the first vessel, the 11,628 oil tanker MV Australia, docks.
Yarraman Pine Pty Ltd (a Hoop Pine sawmill) is purchased from the Queensland Government in a consortium that included Finlayson’s Timber.
60 perches of land is purchased on the corner of Ernest and Grey Street, South Brisbane to house the newly formed steel division.
Within days of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour; Bretts Wharf is requisitioned by the US Army and not returned to the company until 1946.
Inglewood Sawmills Pty Ltd, a Cypress sawmill still operating today, is purchased.
Bretts Timber Agencies Pty Ltd established a warehouse in Sydney to wholesale the growing range of Bretts manufactured timber products in the southern states.
More land and buildings are acquired in Merivale Street, South Brisbane, to house the expanding steel division.
The Glass department is established at Windsor.
Bretts installed the largest and most advanced Plywood manufacturing machinery in Australia at a cost of over $350,000.
A decision was made to take space in both the shopping centres at Indooroopilly and Brookside and hardware stores commenced trading.
Flooding inundated large parts of the Windsor property incurring over half a million dollars’ worth of damage, as well as massive damage to South Brisbane hardware store.
A hardware store is opened in Wharf Street, Ipswich.
Last four blocks on northern side of Newmarket Road at Windsor are sold.
A decision is made to dispose of small hardware stores and develop two major stores on either side of town to combat the likely arrival of warehouse retailers. The Grey Street Hardware store and head office are demolished and businesses relocated to make way for World Expo ‘88.
Timber processor, Mouldings Pty Ltd at Underwood, is acquired.
Bretts Wharf closed and construction commences for redevelopment into multi residential facility.
Bretts Steel division is sold to Metalcorp.
All hardware stores, excluding Windsor, are sold to Hudsons Building Supplies.
Windsor site redeveloped into present multi use facility and freehold sold to ING Property Trust.
The Nutting family purchase the remaining shares not owned by them in a friendly take-over.
Bretts Design is sold to Maxi Industries, to allow the company to concentrate on the core business of building materials. Bretts Glass and Aluminium established in rented premises at Hamilton.
Bretts Frame & Truss established. Bretts Architectural showroom established to provide Brisbane with it’s only complete Architectural product selection centre.
All manufacturing businesses are relocated to one significant site at Geebung. Bretts celebrates 100 years in operation..
Bretts open trade store at 711 Beaudesert rd. Rocklea.
Bretts open trade store at 30 Cessna Dr. Caboolture.
Dedicated plumbing supply business opened at Narangba.
Bretts purchase Mortons Hardware at Wynnum and convert it into a Bretts trade store.
Bretts purchase Hudsons Building Supplies at 69 Cavendish Road Coorparoo, making the total number of trade stores to 7 including the dedicated plumbing supply business at Narangba.
Steel roll forming plant is commissioned at Geebung, catering to the growing demand in Steel house frames.
Commenced production of Sky-Frame and Brettstar windows & doors.
Rocklea store moved to new location at 80 Johnson Road, Browns Plains.
The Bretts manufacturing facility at Geebung commissioned a steel roll forming line and starts manufacturing Steel Framing.
Former Chermside Mitre 10 acquired by Bretts and completely renovated and rebranded as a Bretts Trade store.
Bretts commence manufacturing Prefabricated Modular Homes, and showcase at the 2019 Brisbane Home show.
Bretts Windsor announces its closure after over 100 years trading from the site. The Trade Timber and Hardware store, and Administration relocate to Chermside, while the Commercial Architectural Hardware and Locksmith business relocate to new premises at Albion.
Let's talk community
As a business that's been operating in Brisbane since 1912, Bretts understands the value of building solid and lasting relationships with the people who operate in our local community. And we aim to have a positive impact on the broader community.
We like to contribute in different ways, including providing donations and in-kind support, and contributing to programs that deliver targeted social benefits. However, underpinning our community efforts programme is a sponsorship portfolio that focuses on providing regular support to local schools and other community groups in our own neighbourhood.
Let's talk environment
Thanks to climate change, green building is firmly on the agenda. While some say that greener building practices are being driven by regulations rather than consumers, other studies show that demand is building amongst consumers. And this demand for more sustainable solutions will increase as more "Generation Y's" enter the housing market.
So is there an economic benefit to designing and building greener homes? Recent research says there is, with one US study of home builders finding that, nationwide, over 80 percent of home-seekers prefer to buy homes that incorporate sustainable or energy-efficient features. And of those buyers, half are willing to pay between 11 - 25 percent more for environmentally friendly homes. (Source: "Green House Effect" Can Boost Sales Price for Home Sellers, Building Online, 7 March 2007).The various state energy efficiency and building rating systems have been under the microscope over the past two years. In March 2006 it became law in Queensland for new houses to be more sustainable by ensuring they use water and energy more efficiently. The desired result is that new houses will use 33 percent less electricity and up to 36 percent less water. And further changes in regulations and tougher restrictions are likely to follow.