Posts Tagged ‘flat pack’

Argos shoe rack

Monday, March 5th, 2012

I bought a 4 tier flat pack shoe rack from Argos. Here’s a link to it on their site, and below is a photo of what it looked like after I assembled it.

argos shoe rack 7

As with much of this cheap Argos / Ikea flat pack furniture assembling it was not as straightforward as it should have been.

The problem was that over half of the pilot holes on the end slats had been innacurately drilled. They were drilled too close to the edge. There are other reviews on the Argos website that point out the same problem.

argos shoe rack 1

If you try to drive the supplied screws into one of these holes which is too close to the edge the wood splinters.

argos shoe rack 3

The only solution is to redrill the pilot holes at the correct position. I worked out that for this item that the holes should be slightly off-centre. I used my Challenge Xtreme 18v cordless drill (also from Argos) to do this. Here are my re-drilled slats.

argos shoe rack 4

I could then start assembling. There are 56 screws so you’ll really want to use a cordless screwdriver / drill to drive them in rather than using a manual screwdriver.

argos shoe rack 2

I did the end pieces first, and then put the long slats in before turning it over to do the other end.

argos shoe rack 6

It is best not to tighten the screws too much at first until you have checked that all the slats are correctly aligned. Once they are correctly aligned then you can do the final screw tightening.

argos shoe rack 7

Ikea assembly service

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

My flat is full of Ikea furniture. And until now I’ve assembled it all myself. I’ve either had it delivered by Ikea themselves, or used one of the taxi vans outside the store to get it back.

For my new Ikea PAX wardrobe I decided to get it assembled for me. The main reason is because of its size and weight. The wardrobe is 236cm high and 200cm wide, made up of two 100cm wide parts.

Each wardrobe half is 56kg and needs to be assembled on the floor before being raised to vertical. It has two sliding doors which are each nearly 30kg each. These need to be assembled on the floor before being lifted onto the frame.

ikea pax wardrobe assembly service 3

Because of the size and weight, this wardrobe needs two people to assemble it. As I didn’t want to risk my life by assembling it myself I started researching Ikea assembly services. There are lots of flat pack assembly companies around the London area.

eXpress Wardrobe

I decided to try eXpress Wardrobe whose slogan is “No More DIY Torture”. I sent them my Ikea list giving them the names, article numbers and prices of everything I wanted.

  • PAX Wardrobe with sliding doors, oak effect, Malm mirror glass/oak £465 (£120 * 2 + £345) / 801.215.31 * 2 (oak frame) / 801.830.05 * 1 (oak sliding door with mirror) / http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/S29875492/
  • KOMPLEMENT clothes rail £8 / 601.411.63 * 2 / http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/60141163/
  • KOMPLEMENT shelf (2 pack) £42 / 601.215.27 * 3 / http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/60121527/
  • KOMPLEMENT drawer £88 / 901.214.46 * 4 / http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/90121446/

Two days later they sent me an Ikea shopping list via the Ikea website and also their quote. The Ikea parts cost £603, and then they quoted £85 for pickup and delivery, £20 extra because I’m on a higher floor (the large items won’t fit in the lift) and £97 for assembly.

I agreed to their quote and gave them three suggested days for that week. A day later they confirmed that they could make one of the days and so I paid my 35% deposit. The 35% is calculated on the cost of the Ikea items, not the pickup/delivery/install charge.

Before the delivery day I cleared the room so they would have as much space to assemble as practicle. Here is the big empty space waiting for my wardrobe.

ikea pax wardrobe assembly service 1

Delivery / assembly

They had agreed to arrive between 9:30am and 10:30am. At 9:48am they sent me a text to say they were running late and apologising for this. They said they’d be here between 11am and 12:00.

At 11:30am their van arrived and they started unloading the parts from their van. By 11:45am they’d started bringing the things through my door (it is a bit of a trek up the stairs to the flat).

ikea pax wardrobe assembly service 2

Before they started assembling I asked them to let me know when the frames were vertical so I could get them positioned in the correct place, and they later checked which positions I’d like the drawers to be placed at.

There were two of them and they very quickly had the PAX wardrobe frames in place and positioned according to where I wanted them. They then spent their time assembling the sliding doors which are clearly the more complicated part of the wardrobe.

They both worked hard to get it finished and were polite when they needed to speak to me. They must have done plenty of these PAX wardrobes before as they didn’t need to reference the manual.

By 1:20pm they had both doors on and were assembling the 4 drawers. And by 1:45 they had left leaving me with my giant new Ikea PAX wardrobe.

ikea pax wardrobe assembly service 3

Above is the outside and below is half of the inside. I didn’t know at exactly what height I wanted the clothes rail or final two shelves to be placed so I wanted to put them in later rather than having them fitted.

ikea pax wardrobe assembly service 4

Finishing off the wardrobe

To save a tiny bit of money I’d told them when requesting the quote that I’d do the wall mounting myself. I did the wall mounting and then made a few finishing touches to the wardrobe.

  • I stuck some extra buffer pads inside the sliding door so that the doors are quieter when opened.
  • I screwed in some corner braces under the bottom shelves so that they can take more weight. The 6 plastic shelf holders that Ikea supply for the shelves look a bit flimsy.
  • I oiled the sliding door, and sliding drawer mechanisms. Better to oil the drawer mechanisms before the drawers start filling up.

Paying and conclusions

I chose to pay via bank transfer rather than PayPal / Google checkout. There is a 3.5% surcharge for PayPal / Google checkout payments so it seems more sensible to pay direct.

The amounts I paid were:

  • Ikea shopping list: £603 (35% of this paid in advance as a deposit)
  • Pickup and delivery: £85
  • Higher floor surcharge: £20
  • Assembly: £97
  • Parking: £7:40

Total = £812.40

They had done a good job with assembling the wardrobe. It looked the way I wanted, was where I wanted, and had required very minimal effort on my part. I’d certainly use them again if I ever buy another piece of flat pack furniture which is too large for me to assemble myself.

The only work I was left with was squashing and putting all the cardboard boxes in the recycling (they don’t take away your packaging).

You can find out more about eXpress Wardrobe’s service on their website at http://www.expresswardrobe.co.uk. They also have some great speeded-up assembly videos on their YouTube channel if you want to see them at work.