Hideaway Computer Desk

Assembling a flatpack computer desk

Assembling flatpack furniture is a modern rite of passage - you're not really a proper man (or woman) until you've done it at least once! It doesn't have to be hard though, as long as you pay attention to the following tips:

Check that you have all the bits

I've never personally had a problem with missing bits of flatpack, but still it doesn't hurt to check. It's much easier to return something that's missing a crucial piece before you start assembling it than it is to have to dismantle and attempt to repack it later. Apart from the obvious big panels, make sure all the bolts and screws are present and accounted for too.

Read the instructions carefully

It seems so obvious, but common sense isn't always all that common, so it's worth emphasizing the point. Try and get a sense of the order in which the desk is to be assembled and which bits you're likely to need a hand with before you start work.

Identify the different pieces

Often one side panel doesn't look a whole lot different to the other, but there may be a crucial screw hole which dictates which way around things should go. Also make sure you know which fittings and fastenings are needed for which bits or you could find yourself having to undo a whole lot because you used the long screws early on and later find you need them for something right at the end.

Make sure you have the necessary tools

Generally you do not need specialist tools for flatpack assembly - a couple of screwdrivers, a hammer and possibly an Allen key (usually supplied). The instructions normally warn against using electric screwdrivers, but honestly, as long as you work carefully, I see no reason why you shouldn't - just don't overtighten.

Have someone on hand to hold panels in position

You may find some bits really tricky to do alone, especially when dealing with the large panels - getting someone to hold them in position while you connect them will make your life a lot easier. It's also often necessary to have help moving the unit, both in its flatpack and assembled state - all that wood can be pretty heavy.

Assemble in the room where it'll reside

There's a reason these type of desks are sold as flatpack - they can be bulky once assembled. Sometimes they can be tricky if not downright impossible to get up and down stairs or through doors when fully assembled, so it's a good idea to do the construction in the room in which you plan to locate the unit, if possible.

Allocate enough time to the job

Pretty much common sense, I'm sure you'll agree. Just remember: it always takes longer than you think, so don't try and rush it. Embrace the pain - there are no shortcuts to becoming a flatpack man (or woman)!