All posts by Flatpack Jersey

Say No to Self Assembly and Still Save

Seen something you really like in the sales but worried you won’t be able to assemble it?

If that’s all that’s stopping you, don’t fret. Remember, sale prices mean you can probably buy the furniture you want, and have it assembled for you, for less than the price you would normally pay just to get it home.

Let’s say that lovely bedroom suite is only £395, down from £595, but you don’t fancy putting it together. Well, that £200 saving would pay for a lot of my time – much more  time than it would take me to assemble a wardrobe, a bed and a couple of chests of drawers.

That means you still save money, you still get your new bedroom and you don’t get the backache, skinned knuckles or stress of building it yourself.

That’s a win-win if ever there was one!

Contact me here or use the form on the right of this page >>>

Availability Update

As always, the best way to find out about my availability is to ask – I’ll usually be able to fit you in within a few days, sometimes on the same day and occasionally in a week or so’s time.

But I am getting busier all the time so I can give you advanced information about my likely availability in November.

Next week you should be able to get me on Monday or Tuesday, 3-4 November, and I have some slots available during the following week 10-14th. I expect to be away in the week commencing 17th.

I do have some slots this week, too – please just ask.

This limited availability means the earlier you ask the sooner I’ll be able to fit you in. I usually prefer to work Monday to Friday only but I will come to you at the weekend if it’s really necessary.


I’m Back for a Week, So Be Quick

Having been away for a week’s training (nothing to do with flat packs but all to do with adding another few strings to my bow), I’m back in Jersey for the next week. Or, that’s the plan.

I may well be away the following week, though (that’s from 20 October), so anything you need from me will have to be fitted in this week (13-18 October) or it will probably have to wait until the end of the month.

When this training is complete I’ll probably be able to tell you what it’s all about. Suffice to say that professional skills and great customer service will continue to be the main features of my business. I’m investing in growing my skills so you can get an even better and bigger range of services from me.

Meanwhile, it’s business as usual, for the next week.


Henley Log Cabin

This week’s big project was a Henley Log Cabin, a 12ft by 10ft construction that took the best part of two days to build.

The finished result, though, was a very solid building that’s much more substantial (and heavy) than a conventional wooden shed of the same size – the walls are more than twice the thickness of shiplap panels, at around 30mm.

Henley log cabin

Day One

The first job was to get the floor into position on the concrete platform. It comes in three pieces, each just about manageable. The floor boards are quite thick, 18mm, I think, and the joists are fairly substatial and pressure treated against rot.

Once these were in place and square I could begin piecing the logs together after unpacking them and placing them in piles around the four sides of the cabin. They sit on the ends of the floor joists, clear of the ground and then slot into place, layer by layer. Two of the first layer are half logs, including one with a cut out for the door frame, so it would be difficult to go wrong. I can say this quite safely now!

Handling the individual logs wasn’t too demanding, although I am now feeling the effects of two days of it! The logs fitted together very well, even the longest, at 12ft plus, and only a few needed any persuasion to slot into place – a large piece of 4×2 packing made a useful and non-damaging ‘mallet’.

Doors were very heavy, as exterior quality doors should be, but lifting two of them, in their frames, over the bottom five or six layers of logs and into position was impossible for one person (and would have been very difficult for two), so I took the doors off and fitted the empty frame instead. Even this was quite heavy, but manageable.

The opening window, in its frame, was more manageable and I lifted that into place without mishap. I left the doors off while I built up the rest of the walls log by log so I could easily work from the inside.

The gable ends were pre-assembled, so they were heavier than they might have been but not beyond my ability to lift them into place. On of these didn’t want to ‘sit’ properly but was eventually persuaded. The three roof purlings were very substantial but again, fitted easily enough, thanks to the pre-cut notches in the gable end logs and the purlings themselves.

Then all I had to add for the main structure was the roof, comprised of six-inch tongue and groove boards, so it took a while to nail each of those into place. The last two needed cutting to size, and I left those for day two.

I re-hung the doors at this stage, adjusted them so they closed properly without fouling the frame (actually physically shifted the frame, which has a fair bit of slack to play with) and that was day one – about eight hours’ solid work.

Day Two

A shorter day, although finishing off a big job always takes longer than you might expect – think how long it takes to finish a house after the walls and roof have been built – and it was almost six hours in total.

I started by cutting those last two roof boards and nailing them in place. Then came two strips of wood to add to the underside of the roof edges. There were no suitable nails or screws in the pack but I had some with me to do the job. Finally, two lengths of skirting were nailed to these, giving a smooth surface for the felt to be nailed to. Now it was time for the roofing felt – always a tricky and time consuming job. There were two rolls, each to be cut into two lengths, so four strips in all. Getting the felt straight and taught without tearing it takes a bit of patience and there are, of course, hundreds of nails to knock in as you go.

Then the facia boards for the gable ends were nailed into place and finally the felt had to be nailed to the underside of the roof edges – cue an avalanche of grit in the face of the person doing the nailing…

Being a cabin and not a shed, there was skirting to fit to the inside. It was pre-cut more or less to length but not chamfered at the ends, so each end had to be cut 45 degrees and the two end pieces had to be shortened by a few millimetres as well. Finally, two pieces had to be cut to length and chamfered for the door side.

The owner wanted a hatch cut into the floor to access an inspection cover. This was done using a jig saw, after a lot of careful measuring! The floor needed a bit of reinforcing around the hole, but all went well.

Finally, there were four storm braces to fit. These hold the cabin together in the event of a violent storm (as the logs could theoretically be lifted apart). Two coach bolts per brace took a few minutes to drill and screw in.

The owners were painting the cabin as I left.



Day Two, and this Great Testimonial

After a long day assembling wardrobes, a desk and some nursery furniture, day two was shorter (thanks to the non-delivery of another wardrobe), so all I had to build was the second desk (easy) and a very big wardrobe, this time with massive sliding doors.

Despite its size and weight, the wardrobe was actually simpler than the two smaller ones I’d built on day one. It was also built in a very different way, with some potential for disaster. It was a German brand I haven’t seen before but was not unlike some Schreiber ones I’ve built, using a modular system.

Building a modular wardrobe ‘standing up’, as it were, rather than face down, means there’s a risk of one or more panels toppling over under their own weight. But with care and a bit of forethought, it can be done, even working solo.

In all, the wardrobe took about three hours or so of careful heavy lifting. Once the basic carcass was built and the door runners added, the plain door was heavy enough, although it was fairly easy to hang on its track. The second door, though, was mirrored and seemed to weigh about twice as much. But again, once it was in position, with the top safely under the wardrobe’s pelmet, it was fairly easy to hang.

I’ll have another one of those wardrobes to build when it’s finally delivered. Meanwhile, I was sent this wonderful message by my happy and grateful customer:

“Thanks again for a fantastic job!!! You really make a very tough job look so easy……but we all know it is far from it. You have saved us weeks/months of agony trying to assemble all the furniture. Amazing what you achieved in such a short space of time.”
~ Annaret

It’s reactions like that that make this business worthwhile.

Mamas and Papas and a Whole Lot More

Mamas and Papas cot bedIt was a big couple of days, but delighted and grateful customers make it all worthwhile. Building two three-door wardrobes (each with drawers and each different and new to me), plus a desk, took me almost to the end of the normal working day on day one, but there was more still to do.

With a baby due in two weeks, I guessed my customers would be keen to have their new cot bed and changing unit built, and I have to report they were a pleasure to put together, even at the end of a long day.

I don’t encounter Mamas and Papas furniture very often but the quality of these two items was first class. They were very well protected and beautifully finished. The cot was quite simple (it can be converted to a bed later) and, even taking great care, only took about 30 minutes.

The dresser and changer was much more complicated, came in two boxes (with boxes inside boxes) and took me a good hour to build. There was a multitude of shaped and sculpted pieces, every one of them unique, and that was just to make up the outer frames.

Mamas and Papas dresser and changerThe main carcass was more simple, the drawers used an unusual design, all screwed together, but with plastic inserts and accurate drilling that made every screw feel secure and precise. Drawer fronts are double thickness (and double weight).

Elsewhere, the cams and bolts went together perfectly, too, with a consistent degree of tightness that you don’t always get with budget-priced furniture. Each bolt is screwed into its own insert, which means you can actually screw them in by hand. These inserts give the bolts just enough ‘give’ for the cams to tighten ‘just so’ every time.

Fully-built, with a simple but clever frame to create the ‘changer’ on top of the cabinet, the unit was very heavy.

Mamas and Papas furniture isn’t cheap, but I can imagine the dresser/changer unit lasting for several babies, if not generations.


Latest on (Limited) Availability

The quiet few days are behind me (see previous post) and in the end I took a late booking for today, Wednesday.

The next days I’m available will be Tuesday and Wednesday, 23 and 24 September, although I may have an hour or two to spare on Monday 22nd.

Potentially exciting developments are in the pipeline – more on that if and when I can – so it could be into October before I’m available again.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask, of course. Just that hesitating could mean you miss out or have to wait longer than usual for my services. Use the enquiry form, phone or text, and I’ll do my best to fit you in.


Time for a Breather?

After two days spent helping at the Jersey Air Show, and today spend catching up with other things, I actually have a few days next week with no bookings at all.

There are a couple of outstanding jobs that might get scheduled for Monday to Wednesday, but at the moment it means I can be available at very short notice. That has to end next Wednesday, because after that I have some big projects booked that will see me busy most days until the end of the month.

Even then, I might still be able to fit in a few smaller jobs, given enough notice, so do still ask.

But for now, the main message is that my assembly services are available at short notice between 15th and 17th September.


All Set For a Busy September

Only a few days into the month, September already looks like being the busiest month so far for Flatpack Jersey. Since we returned to Jersey last July, word of our assembly services has gradually spread, along with a reputation for excellent service.

As time has gone on, the range of work I’ve been asked to do has also expanded. Although most enquiries are still for flatpack furniture assembly, especially IKEA bedroom furniture, I’ve also been asked to do some more general ‘handyman’ type work.

Garden buildings are also in the repertoire, and while a shed or cabin might seem like a much bigger project than, say, a bedside table, it’s all in a day’s work.  So, as long as the site is prepared in advance and apart from some heavier lifting (mind you, have you ever lifted a double wardrobe with sliding doors?), garden buildings aren’t a problem.

Although September looks like being a busy month, there’s still space in the diary for your assembly job, however big or small it may be. Use the contact form on the right and I’ll get back to you.


How Can You Reach Me?

Let me count the ways…

Actually, there are seven ways you can contact me at Flatpack Jersey. The easiest way, since you’re here already, is to use the contact form on the right.

You can also follow me on Twitter and then send me a direct message, or just tweet to @Flatpack_Jersey and I’ll get back to you.

When you follow me on Facebook you’ll also be able to send me a private message there, or you can just post to the timeline. Find me at (we also still cover the Suffolk UK area).

Finally, you can just pick up your phone and either call or text me, at 07797 827862.

In the last week alone I’ve had bookings from six of those seven methods. Only the Facebook timeline is yet to break its duck. You can be the first if you like but the enquiry form is right here >>>