by Staff Writer
Flat-pack furniture has become increasingly popular, especially among frugal buyers looking for a deal. By creating everything from beds to dressers that can be packed into smaller boxes and assembled by the customer, manufacturers save money on shipping and can then forward the savings. The thought of furniture assembly from a box of materials can be intimidating, but with good assembly instructions and some helpful tips, you should be able to easily cash in on the great deals that flat-pack furniture provides.
Always read your assembly instructions. It's a good idea to read through the instructions completely prior to flat-pack furniture assembly so you are aware of everything that needs to be done.
Make sure you have everything you need before starting. Most assembly instructions for flat-pack furniture have a list of the included parts. Before starting, make sure you have everything you'll need for assembly, including any tools. Most flat-pack furniture comes with everything needed for assembly, but sometimes you may need a hammer or screwdriver.
Keep track of the assembly tools. Often, flat-pack furniture comes with a tool to assist with assembly. Sometimes these tools are specialized and you can't get the tool you need for assembly from anyone but the manufacturer. Losing or breaking a specialized tool may delay your project.
Lay out the pieces for each step. As you preread the assembly instructions, lay out the pieces for each step. This is especially helpful when assembling furniture by yourself, as you may only have one hand free to search for the next piece.
Put all screws and bolts for each step in before tightening. By making sure that all screws are in place before you tighten any of them, you can avoid crooked furniture.
Don't overtighten. Most items that fall under the designation of flat-pack furniture are particle board or MDF. This is a rather soft "wood" that can easily be damaged if screws are overtightened. Make sure every screw is snug and there is no play in your furniture but do not overtighten.
Contact the manufacturer or purchase point if you have missing or defective pieces. Occasionally, you'll end up with a missing piece. If this happens, you can usually get a replacement piece just as easily as you can get a whole new set. By replacing the piece, you'll save yourself the trouble of having to repackage or even disassemble the entire piece of furniture.