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Even A-List Actor Ryan Reynolds Struggles With Flat-Pack Furniture

September 2015 In DIY & Home Improvements

If you are buying a new home there is a strong chance you could be faced with the challenge of putting together flat-pack furniture at some point in the near future.

Well breathe a sigh of relief because it looks like even Hollywood superstars aren’t exempt from being humiliated by this task!

This new video, featuring the normally cool as ice Ryan Reynolds trying and failing to build an IKEA crib, depicts an all too familiar scene that will stir up frustration in the heart of any new home buyer looking to furnish their property without breaking the bank.

Despite the simple designs and apparently ‘easy-to-follow’ instructions, this common weekend task can render the best of us helpless. But that doesn’t mean that you should give up before you’ve even got started, or in Ryan’s case, turn to alcohol and resort to using gaffer tape. No, there are other ways around this and with a little help from us – all you new home buyers will be able to master the flat-pack challenge in no time at all.

Prepare

Both your new home and your mind need to be fully prepared before you undertake any sort of furniture construction. Often the simple things are easy to forget so here’s how:

  • If it’s not already empty, clear a big space in the room where you’ll be building your new fixture (and remember this should be the same room it will remain in)
  • Cover any cracks or gaps that small attaches and joins can escape through
  • Use as much light as you can, open blinds or curtains and illuminate the room with extra lamps
  • If you’re really serious about this, place a mat down to create an even surface for your build
  • Finally, lay out all of the pieces included in the box according to their size and shape and count the screws, bolts and pieces of dowel and place them in a separate tub

Read the instructions and then read them again

You may find that the instructions for your flat-pack are simply a group of annotated diagrams with arrows and numbers but you should still study them meticulously.

Understanding and following the flow of work before you get started will ensure that you avoid mistakes like joining parts in the wrong order or even the wrong way around. Don’t jump ahead or cut corners – that will only annoy the future you.

Some brands have online tutorials and videos which are extremely handy and will prove a huge help if you get stuck at a certain point. If the brands don’t have videos, try searching YouTube for videos of people taking you through building the same product step by step.

Gather your tools

A lot of flat-packed furniture will come with specialist tools (such as an Allen or star key) that you will be required to use but it’s handy to keep your own tool box close by to act as a safety blanket. Some of the tools that might come in handy are:

  • Hammer
  • Stanley knife
  • Battery drill
  • Small adjustable spanner
  • Cross head screwdriver
  • Scissors

DO NOT substitute any of these with kitchen utensils or objects from the garden. A stone or brick is not a hammer and a bread knife will simply not work as a screwdriver.

The trick to tightening

There’s a very fine line when it comes to tightening your screws. Not tightening them enough will mean your furniture is unstable, while over tightening them can damage the wooden boards or tear them.

Your best bet is to gently hand-tighten all the screws first and only use a screwdriver or Allen key when you’re absolutely sure that everything is in the correct place. Many brands recommend that after a few days you revisit all the screws and fittings to make sure everything is working properly.

Assess how things have gone

At this stage you’ll be in one of two places: on the winner’s podium giving yourself a high five for creating something for your new home with your bare hands or back at your computer reading all of the above again trying to work out where you went wrong.

Should you be in the latter position, the good news is there are plenty of other resources you can turn to for help. The supportive people at Airtasker and Flatpack Wizard offer furniture assembly services to save you all the stress and strain.

If you have any other tips for new home buyers when it comes to cracking the flat-pack furniture, let us know!

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