IKEA furniture is amazingly affordable, but putting together IKEA furniture can bring some people to tears. The reason IKEA can offer such a cost-effective way to furnish your home or office is that nearly all of their products must be assembled by you, the buyer. To say that task can be difficult for some people is an understatement. Of course not all IKEA furniture is impossible to assemble; many items only require a few simple steps before you have a new chair or a mirror hanging on the wall. But for some items such as bed frames, outdoor furniture, dressers, entertainment centers and more, IKEA furniture assembly can get difficult. Flat pack furniture — a term for when your future dresser, dining room table or TV stand comes delivered in a flat box — is notoriously tricky.
When you are surrounded by screws and fasteners and can't make sense of the assembly guide, it may seem tempting to toss everything out the window and just give up. Fortunately, professional IKEA furniture assemblers are here to help. Furniture assembly pros who offer home services can be lifesavers when you just don't have the time to assemble your new purchases. Furniture assembly is also a great option if you don't already own the right tools for the job or don't have the mobility or strength to manage by yourself. Pro help isn't solely for new furniture, either. You can hire a professional to disassemble your furniture before a move. Although some movers disassemble furniture as part of the moving process, they can also lose parts or even damage the furniture. Once your furniture gets to your new house, office or apartment, you can have the flat-pack furniture pros come back and reassemble it all — especially if you have a complicated system with a lot of elements.
IKEA furniture assembly professionals are experts at working with IKEA furniture and deciphering the assembly guides. Some assembly pros are full- or part-time handymen and others work solely in assembling furniture. You may be surprised that there are people whose sole profession is assembling IKEA furniture — until you try to put together an IKEA Pax wardrobe system on your own. Typically you can get a quote for IKEA furniture assembly services by giving the pro the brand name and model of the furniture, as well as the item, article or serial number, SKU# or UPC#. These details allow the furniture pro to reference the parts involved and estimate how long assembly will take. With pricing for furniture assembly ranging anywhere from under $60 to over $300 on average, the cost to purchase IKEA furniture and then turn the assembly over to a professional is often still less than purchasing ready-made furniture from other retailers. In general, the cost for IKEA furniture assembly services depends on the value and size of the furniture as well as the complexity of assembly, the time required, and other factors such as travel time or number of people required to assemble the items. If you are ready to simplify life and potentially save your marriage, here are the factors that affect the average cost of hiring a furniture assembly pro.
Value of the furniture
Larger furniture often has more components; some of the higher-ticket IKEA items are made up of a multitude of parts, which typically means a higher assembly cost. To simplify pricing, some assemblers charge based on the price you paid for the furniture. For example, Already Assembled of Perry Hall, Maryland, charges 20 percent of the entire purchase price; anything under $375 is a flat $85 (although there may be an additional charge for travel if you live out of the company's service range).
As with most professions, the longer a furniture assembly project takes, the more the job will likely cost. Experienced IKEA furniture assemblers can often predict the length of time it will take them to put together different types of furniture. When this is the case, some assemblers, such as Jerome Burke of Flushing, New York, charge based on how long they think it will take to assemble the furniture.
Unlike other furniture companies that sell specific products, IKEA has a large number of modifiable furniture systems that present a range of design and construction possibilities. One example is the Stuva storage and furniture system, designed for children's rooms. There are approximately 40 pieces in the Stuva line and a kaleidoscope of ways you can arrange the drawers, shelves, loft bed, or children's desk to suit the room. For this reason, when you communicate with your furniture assembly pro about the job, be sure to list all the pieces in the system for a more accurate price.
Complexity and size
Some contractors assess the furniture to be assembled and offer a flat rate. For example, Mike's Furniture Assembly in Saint Albans, New York, charges flat rates starting at $5 to over $125 per piece, depending on Mike's view of the size and difficulty of the job. Assessments can be subjective, however. For example, KGN Enterprises of Danbury, Connecticut, offers an estimate over the phone based on information provided by the customer. Once on-site, the assembler may adjust the final price up or down if the job is more or less complicated or time-consuming.
No matter how small or inexpensive the piece, you might have to pay a minimum fee for services. A minimum fee helps protect professionals from losing money on smaller jobs by ensuring that their time, business overhead (tools, insurance, company vehicle, etc.), and transportation costs are met regardless of job size. For example, Handy G Flat Package Furniture Assembler of Hillside, New Jersey, charges a $60 minimum for furniture assembly.
Some furniture assemblers charge a travel fee to come to your location. For example, if you are outside of their standard service range, Handy G Flat Package Furniture Assembler sometimes charges a flat $15 to cover travel expenses, and Already Assembled charges based on mileage. Travel fees ensure that the IKEA furniture assembly pros are properly compensated for their time so that a one-hour assembly job that requires 45 minutes of travel time each way doesn't result in a loss of income for the professional.
Cash or credit card
Talk with your furniture assembly pro beforehand about how you will pay for their services, as some do not offer credit card payment options. Many of these pros prefer cash or check, and if they do accept credit cards, they may have a surcharge to cover the expense of processing the transaction. Absolute Furniture Installations of Duluth, Georgia, charges a 3 percent fee for clients who are using a credit card. Other IKEA furniture assembly pros have online payment options such as PayPal.
Some assemblers do more than just assemble the furniture. For an additional fee, many assembly companies can attach the furniture, such as bookshelves, to walls and drill holes for wires around entertainment centers or desks. Securing bookshelves to walls and securing other top-heavy items like dressers is important if you have children or pets who could be injured if it were to topple, or even if you just want to protect yourself. Securing items is also very important if you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, tornadoes or other natural disasters that can cause furniture movement, which can result in property or personal damage.
If you are moving into a new house or setting up a new office, you likely have multiple pieces of furniture that need to be assembled. If you have a large number of IKEA pieces in your living room, kitchen, entryway or bedrooms, be sure to ask for multiple-item discounts on assembly. For example, Bob the Builder of Cumming, Georgia, will reduce the overall cost of assembling multiple items if the assembler can take care of them all in one trip. When the pro is already onsite, they have their tools on hand and are ready to work, which can mean savings for their customers.
Hiring an IKEA furniture assembler
If you're ready to turn the hard work and Allen wrench over to a pro, be sure to read their reviews before hiring. Look for someone who has a proven track record assembling IKEA furniture and has happy customers to show for it. When communicating with a potential hire, ask how many years of experience the assembler has working with IKEA furniture. Let the assembler know about anything unusual in the layout of your home or office, such as space constraints or odd wall and floor surfaces. Be sure to let your assembler know where the item was purchased (if not IKEA), the brand name and model, and the item, article or serial number, SKU# or UPC#. Be sure to confirm that they will bring all the necessary tools and equipment for assembling your furniture. For some larger projects, the company may suggest that you hire two furniture assembly pros for safe installation of large-scale products, such as the Pax closet system. Ensure that the IKEA furniture assembly pro has liability insurance in case of any accidents to protect both them and you from financial responsibility. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for the contractor to give you an accurate time and cost estimate. Then sit back, have a lingonberry soda, and watch as your furniture is magically assembled.
- Read reviews to make sure you're choosing the right pro for your project. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.