This summer I’ve been asked to build various pieces of furniture from an increasing range of suppliers, including several orders from Next and John Lewis, but the sofa bed I assembled for a customer at Portelet was the first one from Heals of London.
The customer had to persuade Heals to send it to Jersey, but it arrived safely and wasn’t particularly hard to build – although it was heavy!
An increasing number of customers also order from Amazon and other online-only stores and so far I’ve never been confronted with anything I couldn’t build.
Anyway, one way and another, with flatpack assembly, Hillarys shutters and blinds, and some big family events, it’s been a bit full-on this year.
That’s why we were happy to be invited to France for a week or so, in mid-October. So, if you have something that needs building and you haven’t made contact with me by 3rd October I probably won’t be able to help until the last week in October at the earliest.
Given a relatively small area to install a cupboard I turned to the IKEA catalogue. The floor area available was approximately 1 metre wide by 28 cm deep. It so happens that standard Billy bookcases are 28cm deep but they only come in widths of 80 or 40 cm, so I ordered an 80 cm one and added a 20cm Gnedby shelf unit. Both units are 202 cm high.
Although the shelf unit is much shallower than the Billy, this meant I didn’t have to worry about the inside (RHS) corner.
I also ordered two Bergsbo doors, each 50 cm wide.
Having built the Billy I turned it onto its side and attached the Gnedby as I built it, hiding the joining bolts and screws below the base and behind the fixed shelf and top. This didn’t add much to the total weight so it was still quite easy to handle the whole assembly.
I screwed a batten to the right hand wall to match the thickness of the skirting with some packing behind to compensate for the wavy plaster and used decorator’s caulk to seal the gaps. Pre-cut cut outs in the Billy meant it could be pushed tight to the back wall without a batten, with the shallower Gnedby unit also giving plenty of clearance behind.
The only issue was with the doors, which are routed to take three hinges – the middle one of which clashes with the fixed Billy shelf. The doors are not heavy and two hinges are adequate but other doors are available with the middle hinge offset to avoid this potential problem. I drilled the Billy bookcase to fit the hinges, and used one self-closing and one cushioned hinge on each door.
The floor has a distinct slope from right to left and I used a 1.5cm batten (painted white to match) under the left hand end to compensate and keep the whole assembly vertical and aligned with the right-hand wall. Being on a carpeted floor means the gap at the bottom isn’t obvious.
I had some small door knobs that suit the confined location, so I drilled 5mm holes and used those. The end result is very neat and the customer (my mother-in-law!) is delighted.
When I was a child, family staying over for Christmas would have to make do with a shared bed, a settee or the floor but if you’re planning a more comfortable welcome for your visitors you might be thinking of offering them a real bed of their own.
Or you could just be thinking of sprucing up your home with some new furniture or adding a bit more storage or hanging space.
Either way, time is running out. It might have felt like summer for the past few days but we are now into the last month of autumn.
You don’t have long, in other words.
But worry not. There’s still time to order flatpack furniture from IKEA or elsewhere and to book my time to build it for you. I will be busy, though, so please don’t leave it too much longer!
Beware the tradesman who has time to write a blog.
As it happens, I usually do find the odd few minutes every now and again to update you on what I’ve been doing and about some of the more interesting things I’ve been up to. But there are only so many ways to describe assembling a Pax wardrobe or building a garden shed, and I don’t like to repeat myself.
However, it’s probably a good idea to remind customers – old, new and prospective – that I’m still in business and still able to help with just about any assembly jobs that might come up. Recently, that’s means some stylish wardrobes from B & Q (yes), a few new IKEA items and a pretty big shed that was just about on my physical limit, as well as more humble (and lighter) bedside cabinets, tables, chairs and window boxes. Oh, and loo seats and bathroom mirrors.
All done with the minimum of fuss and bother. As it says somewhere else on this site, if it comes flatpacked or in a box and needs assembling, I’m your man.
I’ve been pretty busy with Hillarys shutters and blinds, too, but more of them another time.
When a potential customer contacted me a few weeks ago for an estimate to assemble their new IKEA furniture it looked like a big job. I’ve done big jobs before – big items and/or lots of them.
But this was the biggest yet. When we agreed I would do it the list looked like four or maybe five days’ worth, and I knew it would mean some heavy lifting too. IKEA are quite careful not to make any of their individual boxes too heavy – even though many of those boxes are best lifted and moved by two people and one piece of furniture might come in three such boxes… Continue reading Ninety-One IKEA Items Later→
You can forgive manufacturers picking daft names for their products if the products themselves are worth having, and so it is with Rauch’s Elegant4You range. There’s nothing particularly outstanding about the wardrobe and bedside drawers I built this week, but they are stylish enough and of a decent quality and went together well.
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.
Okay, it wasn’t quite that exciting, but I received a call on Monday afternoon asking if I could possibly help. A customer had bought an IKEA bed, via Book My Space, which was duly delivered, but was having difficulties with the assembly, depite them having built an identical one before. Continue reading Flatpack Jersey to the Rescue→