There are two common ideas about assembling flat-pack furniture — either it’ll be a piece of cake, or it’s like having to visit the dentist. While people who underestimate the job often end up banging their heads against the nearest wall, flat pack assembly is by no means impossible, as long as you follow some simple rules.
So, if you’re determined to have a go at assembling furniture for the bedroom, assembling furniture for the living room, assembling furniture for the office or assembling garden furniture for the outside, rather than taking the easy option of getting a handyman in, here are a few tips.
One of the worst thing you can do with a flat pack is to plunge straight into assembly without any planning. There are several vital things to do before you even unpack the furniture.
• Estimate how long the process will take — then double it.
• Make sure you have enough space for the item, remembering you may have to lay it on its side.
• Protect the floor against sawdust and slips of tools with an old sheet. Alternatively, you can use the cardboard packaging when you’ve opened it.
• Read the instructions thoroughly before going any further.
• Make sure you have all the tools you’ll need — if you don’t have a Phillips screwdriver or an Allen key to hand, don’t “make do” with something else.
• If the item’s large, get someone to help you. In fact, that’s advisable even if it’s small.
• When you’ve unpacked the flat pack, check against the instructions that nothing’s missing or damaged.
• Identify and separate the various components, especially different sizes of screws — you can keep these in saucers or tupperware boxes.
• Read the instructions thoroughly again — it makes a difference when you can see what they’re referring to.
It’s crucial when assembling a flat pack to take it slowly and methodically, review the instructions between each element, and follow them to the letter — and that includes using the correct tool for each operation.
• If you’re using an power screwdriver, keep it on a low torque setting, and always do the final tightening by hand.
• Don’t tighten screws, hinges etc. all the way until you’re sure everything’s lined up correctly.
• If you’re using wood glue, only use the amount necessary and dispose safely of the rest.
Assembling a flat pack yourself is certainly possible (you could even rope in help by making a party out of it) but if you don’t have the time or patience, it’s better to get a handyman in than to botch the job by rushing it. Give us a call if you think you need help.