Don’t Do it Yourself: 5 Furniture Assembly Fails

The greatest appeal of furniture in flat boxes is cost. It can be an inexpensive way to get the furniture you want. Yet, furniture assembly isn’t always easy.

Do yourself a favor and pay attention to these common fails before trying to assemble your own furniture:

Fail #1: Not Following Instructions

There are several theories about why people don’t follow instructions when putting together furniture. It might be the challenge of “free-wheeling” or resistance to perceived authority. No matter what makes you want to toss away that instruction sheet, resist!

Manufacturers provide step-by-step instruction because they know the best way to get a finished product that looks right — and is safe to use.

Fail #2: Not Checking the Parts

If your DIY furniture comes with a parts list, use it. Before connecting any two pieces, take stock of what’s in the box. Check every item against the manufacturer’s list.

Count everything from big pieces to the smallest screws, bolts, washers, and dowels. There’s nothing worse than needing to stop a furniture assembly project because you’re missing a part.

Fail #3: Improvising

If you do find you’re missing a part, resist the temptation to improvise. Replacement parts that aren’t designed for the furniture you’re assembling can cause frustration.  Worse, it can make the end product unstable and unsafe to use.

There are guarantees and warranties to also consider. Most manufacturers or retailers need proof of proper furniture assembly before honoring any claim of defect you might make.

Sometimes, DIY furniture components can help reduce the cost of custom features during home renovations. One example of this creative use of DIY furniture is “built-in” bookshelves. But you need to know what you’re doing for this kind of improvisation.

Fail #4: Furniture Assembly in a Hurry

Do you know the saying “haste makes waste”? It 100% applies to DIY furniture assembly. Some of the simplest, yet dramatic mistakes are made when people are in a hurry and rush through the process.

Avoid this fail by not starting a project under a tight deadline like the arrival of guests or a surprise makeover of your kid’s room. Everyone is more apt to make mistakes or gloss over details when under time pressure. And improperly assembled furniture doesn’t only lead to disappointment, it can pose a safety threat.

Fail #5: Not Getting the Boxes Home

Another common furniture assembly fail happens before you get home. Are you buying your DIY furniture in a bricks-and-mortar store? Save yourself much frustration and stress by making sure you have a reliable way to get the boxes home.

The size and weight of boxed furniture pieces can be underestimated. If you can, check box dimensions and weight before you buy them. Then make sure you can lift the boxes and get them in your vehicle.

If not, many retailers offer delivery or you can rent a car or van. In any case, planning how you’ll get your DIY furniture home before you buy it is a good idea.

Getting What You Want

For some people, the joy of DIY furniture comes from the assembly process. Most, however, are more interested in the final product.

Either way, take steps to avoid major fails. It will save you time and money.

And if you have any stories about your furniture fails, share them in the comments box below. You might help someone else avoid making the same mistake!

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