10 Tips for Assembling Flatpack Furniture

tips to putting flatpack furniture together from UCAN. Cupboards, diy kitchens and more.
tips to putting flatpack furniture together from UCAN. Cupboards, diy kitchens and more.

Whilst the rest of the world has been using flatpack furniture in their spaces for many years, South Africans are only now starting to see the light in terms of the affordability and potential of this furniture solution. But this is not to say that flat pack furniture is necessarily an easy solution. In fact, it’s fair to say that many an argument has resulted during the assembly stage.

Here are some tips for assembling flatpack furniture that will hopefully prevent a boxing match!


Prepare your space

Before you even open the flatpack box, make sure your space is clear of any clutter. There are a lot of pieces that need to be assembled so paper and toys lying around (for example), are going to make it that much more difficult to do. Not to mention the fact that you may lose one piece that is integral to the assembly process once you start unpacking the box.

Get your tools

Tools will be required to assemble your flatpack furniture. In almost all cases, you will need screwdrivers, a hammer/mallet, allen keys, measuring tape, pliers, a cutting knife and a cordless drill (that is fully charged). Ensure that your tools are in good condition and you know how to use them properly because should you damage the furniture during assembly, this will not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Put a cover on the floor

Most flatpack furniture is covered with a veneer of sorts which can get scratched or marked. As a result, manufacturers will triple check the item prior to packaging for any marks and defects. Either use a large box on the floor or a blanket to keep the flatpack item in perfect condition prior to assembly. Smudges and marks you make during assembly will not be accepted by the manufacturer should you need to return the item.

Unpack the box

In your excitement, you may want to skip the previous steps but try to contain yourself. This is most important if you have ordered a large piece of furniture. There will be many pieces which should be neatly laid out. Put the same pieces together and keep any hardware (screws etc) in their packets until you need them. Then check everything against the list you have received. There will be nothing more frustrating than starting the process only to find that something is missing.

Read the manual

If you are guilty of not reading manuals it will backfire on you in this instance. Manuals are included to make the assembly of your flatpack furniture easier so resist the temptation to wing-in! Read these not once, but twice. Do not start assembly until you are 100% certain of what you are doing.

Have an assistant

Many flatpack instructions recommend that two people do the assembly. For smaller items this may not be necessary, but it will be should you have ordered a larger item, like a built-in cupboard or kitchen unit. Having another pair of hands will certainly speed things along and it won’t hurt to have two people figuring out the instructions.

Follow the instructions

Whilst you may have read the manual when you started the process, by now you may be getting frustrated and will want to take short cuts. This would be a mistake as you could miss one simple step that will either frustrate you even further, or will result in the furniture not being assembled properly.

Be patient

Assembling flatpack furniture against a time constraint is not advisable. This will only lead to mistakes. If you are getting frustrated, take a time out and come back when you’re feeling refreshed and ready to continue the assembly process.

Watch videos

If you are really struggling and much prefer to watch something being done, google videos on assembling flatpack furniture. There are so many online that will give you, not only visual help, but tips you may not have thought of.

Hire someone

Just like asking for directions when you’re lost, you many need to swallow your pride and hire a professional to assemble your flatpack furniture. Someone that knows what they are doing will get the job done quickly and save you a great deal of frustration. If you do decide to go this route however, ensure that the person you’re hiring has the necessary experience assembling flatpack furniture.