Category Archives: IKEA Jersey

Creating a Hall Cupboard With IKEA

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.



IKEA Tyssedal and Hemnes Assembly

IKEA Tyssedal chest by Flatpack JerseyYesterday’s IKEA assembly included a new one for me: a Tyssedal five-drawer chest for the customer’s bedroom. There was also a familiar Hemnes bedside cabinet (but for the office) and a Hemnes sideboard/cabinet for the kitchen, identical the ones I built a few weeks ago.

The small Hemnes unit was quickly done. Two drawers (plus a small internal drawer and a sturdy little cabinet makes it an ideal piece for the office. It’s the perfect size to stand a printer on, for instance.

The Tyssedal chest is both tall and surprisingly heavy, being made mainly of what seems like denser than normal MDF. The surface certainly looks durable and all the parts are very precisely moulded and machined so they fit together perfectly. Assembly (like most IKEA) is mainly by metal pegs and plastic cams, plus some allen (hexagon) bolts to make the base and legs very sturdy indeed. It took a little while to build but the end result was really quite classy.

IKEA Tyssedal chest by Flatpack Jersey

Finally, to the kitchen, where a Hemnes sideboard also went together very well. It’s a fairly complicated one to build, but I have done a few now, and the finished item looked very smart in its new setting. It squeezed into the allocated space with about a centimetre to spare, too. The drawers on these fit perfectly and only one of the doors needed a tiny amount of adjustment. Again, it’s pretty heavy but I managed on my own.

Ninety-One IKEA Items Later

IKEA Hall Furniture by Flatpack Jersey
Hall furniture by IKEA

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

Flatpack Jersey to the Rescue

Or How a Bit of Expertise Saved the Day

IKEA by Flatpack JerseyOkay, 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

Two Big Days – and all IKEA

I’ve just completed a job that took two full days – spread over 3 working days and the weekend – that involved building, joining and installing thirteen separate IKEA Pax wardrobes and fitting out with drawers, shelves, rails, etc, all in a home that’s still being finished.

Being on a building site meant no mains power so I was very grateful for my cordless drill on the final half day. A battery screwdriver speeds things up, too, as long as you’re careful, but there’s no substitute for muscle and effort Continue reading Two Big Days – and all IKEA

IKEA Hemnes Cabinets

A recent post on here was written to help you estimate how long a job will take and therefore how much it will cost. Naturally, we’ll always try to give you the most accurate quote we can, and if we say the price is guaranteed, then that’s exactly what we mean.

Some items take longer than you might expect, especially compared with equivalent pieces in more simple or basic ranges, and in IKEA’s vast catalogue, their Hemnes items are a good example of this.

The simple way to estimate our working time still stands – roughly 30 minutes or so per box delivered – but Hemnes furniture often comes in two or three boxes rather than one or two. That’s because there are usually lots of struts and stretchers (horizontal bars) to attach and sometimes end panels need assembling, too. Usually, this means that drawer runners will also need attaching, whereas a simpler cabinet might have these already screwed on.

Packing all the pieces safely for transport means you end up with more boxes than you might expect, but that’s a good guide to the time required to build it.

The eight-drawer Hemnes chest that I give as an example in the recent article is a very good example of this. I’ve done a few of these now, and they take me about ninety minutes. You might allow an hour per box if you build it yourself, or about three hours in total, but that will depend on your skill, patience and possibly physical strength.

The four-piece TV unit that I built last week came in seven boxes, and had to be fixed to the wall, so it took me about four hours. It would probably take an inexperienced person the best part of a day.

How Long Will it Take?

It is, as you’ll probably guess, an impossible question to answer, at least without a lot of experience (and trial and error), and I still get it wrong sometimes.

Different makes, with their various ranges, are all likely to take a different amount of time to assemble, and each piece within every range is unique. Working conditions can vary, too, and the best thing a customer can do to help is to have the boxes in the right place, with enough space to work in.

But there is one thing I’ve noticed, at least with IKEA and probably with most self-assembly furniture, and it will give you a rough idea. Continue reading How Long Will it Take?

Another Return Visit

Apart from words of thanks and appreciation, the best way a customer can tell you they’re delighted with your services is to ask for more.

So it was this week, when I returned to a home I visited about six months ago (see Sheds, Beds and Butchers’ Blocks). This time, it was tables and chairs from IKEA, and nothing too complicated, although they were all new to me.

A couple of hours was enough to assemble a garden table and four folding chairs, two high-back chairs and four coffee tables. Not knowing exactly what I would be facing, I estimated up to four hours’ work, but naturally the customer was delighted when I finished in half the time and for fifty pounds less than quoted.


Three Tall Pax Wardrobes and Malm Chests

A few wardrobes and chests might not sound like a big job, but the extra-tall version of IKEA’s Pax wardrobes do present some unique problems. In this case, the ceiling wasn’t high enough to build them face-down, as usual, and then lift them into position. Instead, they had to be built standing up. How do you do that, bearing in mind that an eight-foot (244cm) board isn’t going to just stand there while you screw the bits together?

Carefully, is the answer. And successfully. It took a little longer than my preferred face-down method, but everything went together and stayed together. After that, the shelves, rails and drawers were fairly straightforward, although it’s worth pointing out that the more interior fittings you have, the longer you need to allow (especially when you’re paying for my time…). The doors on these tall Pax wardrobes are a doddle, with the two halves of the four hinges simply clicking together – as long as you can lift and control the weight of each door, that is. Once the middle hinges are attached you need to do the bottom one, then you can relax a bit while you do the top hinge. Only one hinge needed any adjustment for all six doors to be perfectly aligned. That’s a wonderful improvement on the old system where you could spend an age getting everything straight.

Bear in mind that the hinges have to go where they have to go, so shelves, drawers, connecting bolts, etc, can’t use the same holes. Experience has taught me to hang one door as a guide before I added all the interior fittings.

The three chests were all from the Malm range but all different – a three drawer one I did last of all, a two-by-three drawer low level chest and a tall narrow one with a mirrored lid. They all went together very nicely although assembling all those drawers did get a mite tedious! There were glass tops for the non-mirrored chests, too, which add a glossy and hard-wearing finish that compliments the high-gloss doors of the wardrobes.

Just the wardrobe door handles to add, and we’re done.

EDIT: Handles were duly added the following evening, once we’d agreed where to fit them (there are no pre-drilled or even pre-marked holes in the doors. In any case, the handles were from B&Q, so the screws would probably be at different centres from IKEA ones.). I measured very carefully, and several times, before drilling a single hole – it’s very easy to make an unsightly and costly mistake.

All done, the final result was very smart and the room as a whole looks bright and stylish.

Beds, Sheds and Butchers Blocks

It was good to see the eight-by-ten foot shed I built a few weeks ago survived the storm completely unscathed. Although there are trees and hedges surrounding much of the garden, the shed is on an exposed and raised patio area, particularly open to the southwest. Still, survive it did.

Groland Kitchen Island (Butcher's Block) by IKEA
Groland Kitchen Island (Butcher’s Block) by IKEA

Other items built recently include a butchers block and a double bed for one customer and a bookcase with doors for another. The bookcase was actually my first repeat customer since I started in Jersey in July. Repeat custom is always nice – it tells me I did a good job and makes it very clear that customers feel I give good value.

Not many businesses will last very long if their customers don’t feel that, of course. I’m confident you’ll feel the same, too. It’s a nice feeling and you can share it when you use the enquiry form or text or call me on 07797 827 862.