Monday, 23 July 2007

Disassembly transportation and reassembly of Habitat sliding door wardrobe.

Many people think once a wardrobe system is installed in a room that it is there for life. Not so, we can flatpack furniture as well as Unflatpack it. We are frequently called out by clients that have invested in an expensive wardrobe system that they want to take with them when they move, a very cost effective solution.  
Initially it might seem straightforward to disassemble furniture.  That's probably true if you don't have to reassemble it some hours or weeks later, especially without the original assembly instructions.
In the photo above, our client instructed us to disassemble the 3m Habitat system which was located on the 5th floor of a Paddington town house. The narrow staircase meant that we had to strip it down to the smallest component level in order to get it out. Our Unflatpackers normally leave the logistics to a removal company, though in this case since our client was only moving a couple of miles to a location just off High St Kensington, so we undertook the transportation for her.
Strangely enough, another client, a prominent Labour Pier called us in to disassemble an identical wardrobe a few days later. He is having some major building works carried out at his property that are going to take a few months to complete. The careful notation we take during the disassembly process will allow us to reconstruct the furniture as if we took it apart only a few hours ago. Obviously a number of London's leading removals and relocations company's call us in on a regular basis to deal with this specialist requirement on their clients' behalf.
The photo shows the completed reassembly. We would like to say that it was as good as the original we took apart. In fact it was better. We found a couple of faults in the original assembly that we were able to rectify when reassembling. In effect, it was better than new! The disassembly took 1.5hrs and it took 2.5 hours to reassemble. In effect a £160 expenditure to save a £600 piece of furniture.  Money well spent.

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Sunday, 22 July 2007

Ikea Pax sliding wardrobe build

The Ikea Pax Stordal and other variations of their sliding door wardrobe system are a favourite with Unflatpack's customers. The finished units look fantastic for the five hundred or so pounds that they cost. However there is a price in time to pay as this is no novice assembly project.
You would imagine that the doors would come assembled in 2 large packages, but oh, no. Each door contains the following: 6 side pieces, 3 glass or wood panels, 26 adhesive cushioning strips, 45 plastic tuck-in tensioning wedges, 18 screws / bolts, 4 running mechanisms and 1 or 2 flushing strips.  
In all honesty this is not something that should be sold for self-assembly without a clear warning!  It is a complex project that requires a high level of competence in engineering or assembly. We wouldn't send out an Unflatpacker solo for their first Stordal build!  Obviously we have developed our own optimised assembly process and there are a few places where you can really come a cropper.
We are often called out by clients who have opened the boxes and looked at the pages of instructions and hundreds of components and decided to call in professionals. On a couple of occasions they have almost ruined the doors by charging in with a screw gun and jamming vital screws and taking off the heads, which takes us hours to repair. If you are taking on this mammoth job yourself, do up all of the fixings by hand, the screws are made of cheese!
Our client had just taken possession of a new build in Stamford Hill and had literally walked up the road to the Ikea Edmonton store and arranged for them to deliver the wardrobe and internal components.
The system comprised 2 x 100cm x 201cm Pax birch cabinets, 4 pull-out Komplement drawers, 2 shelves and a couple of hanging rails. The build time was a respectable 4 hours. Fortunately the floor was perfectly level which is always a good thing if you are planning siding doors. 

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Saturday, 21 July 2007

2 bed flat assembly in Barking

2 bed flat build in IG11
Our client had just taken possession of a 1 bedroom flat in Barking, London. Being a canny student, she opted to use the 22' lounge as a bed-sitting room and rent out the bedroom to a friend. She visited her local Ikea store in Edmonton to do all her shopping and used their in-house delivery service to get all her furniture delivered. The total value of the order was circa £1600.
Our client needed all the furniture assembled in 1 day, before she was able to move in.
Always up for a good sized job we sent a team of 2 Unflatpackers over to the new Olympic development area, to see if they could come up with a gold medal performance for her.
Image 1,
As we always like to see, a massive pile of boxes waiting to be assembled in an empty room. The image only shows the furniture for bedroom1/lounge.
The Lounge/bedroom was furnished from the Ikea Aspelund/Leksvik range all finished in antique stain. The inventory from the Aspelund range was comprised of a 3 door wardrobe, double bed and 2 x bedside cabinets. Always a popular choice with landlords, the range is mid priced in the Ikea range and has a traditional look. Typically, the range is solid and is finished with a plastic finish/laminate. The 5 drawer chest at the left of the image is from the Leksvik range which matches well with the cheaper Aspelund. Built from stained pine, the unit is solid and benefits from a decent amount of screw-in bolts to hold the whole thing together. A chest of drawers to last.
We always like to ensure that our clients are comfortable, so the first thing we assembled was the Ektorp chaise-longue. A new addition to the Ektorp range, the unit is really a single arm chair with a extension to rest your legs when tucked up. Looks ideal for a singletons pad when relaxing with a take away pizza and DVD.
In order to create a distinction between the sleeping and living areas, our client chose to furnish with a birch finish. A Mikael desk with add-on unit provides suitable working area for her academic activities which is matched with a storage unit from the Effective range. We are normally used to installing Effective storage in commercial environments and this unit was as well finished and robust as we would expect. The exterior of the unit is separated into a top pull-out drawer area for pens and a lower panel drawer secured with a combination lock. Opening the panel reveals 2 drawers, one large enough for suspension files and another smaller drawer. Whilst not cheap, it seemed a sensible choice for shared accommodation.
The Lounge also contained a Flarke bookcase and TV table.
Bed 2.
The rent-out bedroom was funished from the Ikea Aneboda range, again a popular choice with landlords. The emphasis is definitely on price rather than quality, but it provides an effective way to furnish a bedroom for less than £200. The build comprised a wardrobe, 3 drawer chest, bedside cabinet, TV bench, Vika Amon desk and a swivel chair.
We assembled a Sandnes shoe cabinet and fixed it to the wall. The unit only has 2 legs at the front, so wall fixing is a requirement. Finished with a real wood Oak veneer it is a quality unit and looks good in a hallway with a wooden floor. The drawers pull-out from the top and are pivoted at the base. They look as if they would comfortably hold 4 pairs of trainers or 5 pairs of pumps.
The kitchen had just enough room to accommodate a Bjorkudden bar table and a pair of bar stools. The table was surprisingly solid and was made from a solid wood. With a height of 102cm it requires high seating or is a good choice for extending workspaces.
Handyman jobs.
We installed 3 curtain rails
The build
The job was completed in 6 hours, which equated to 11 "person" hours allowing for a quick lunch break.

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Thursday, 12 July 2007

Ikea Hemnes day-bed record smashed.

Many thought that we would never walk on the moon, some doubted that man would fly, but nobody believed that a Hemnes day-bed could be built in less than 2 hours. Unflatpacker is proud to reveal that he has smashed his personal best of 2:05hrs with a new Unflatpack record of 1hr 55mins. Sadly this record may stand unchallenged as we are concerned that Ikea may be dropping this great piece of furniture from it's range. It doesn't appear on the revamped website, though we can confirm that it is still available in-stores. So if you are thinking of getting one, then get a move on.
We have installed loads of these and can report that it is an excellent piece of furniture. Typical of the Hemnes range, it is formed from MDF panels which are solidly fixed together with a generous amount of fixings. The unit contains 3 capacious pull-out draws that are approximately 55cm wide x 80cm deep. When extend, it makes a king size bed that is sturdy and looks quite comfortable. When contracted, it makes a normal single bed. Ikea recommend using it with 2 Fagres mattresses. They are not so thick that you couldn't sleep on both of them when used in single mode and of course they separate when used as a double.
The day-bed is ideal for a teenage girls bedroom. With the addition of a few cushions it makes an acceptable sofa, ideal for slouching on.
In terms of construction, it is a tough one. it is a complex item and there are several points where it is easy to misunderstand the instructions. We have been called out a few times for clients that have started one and either given up part way through or have made a mistake during assembly. One we would definitely recommend calling a professional to install.
This assembly did take place in ideal conditions and our client, a photographer, was desperate to use it in a shoot. we would normally estimate that assembly would take between 2 & 2.5hrs.

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Monday, 9 July 2007

Belfast Apartment

We recently completed a full fit-out/revamp of an apartment in Belfast.
The Client let us choose all the furniture and fixings.
The project cost including all shopping, delivery and assembly was under £5K.
Our client was so happy with the result he has given me the OK to furnish another one!

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Another Early Start

We are off to Dublin today with quite a few deliveries. Leo has calls in Gorey and Wexford! I'm delivering and assembling in Dublin City.

Ikea Besta Media Unit
An assembly job recently completed in Greenwich. The unit comprises a central media unit with 2 upright storage units and 2 horizontal units above. We mounted sliding doors on running rails that slide across both the bottom and top storage areas. The unit is finished in white melamine and the media unit has handy storage for all your gadgety gizmos. The unit combination costs £285 from Ikea in boxes. It took us 4 man hours to assemble and fine tune unit costing our customer £140. All in all a smart looking piece of furniture for £425.
The unit just cries out for a flat-screen TV, fortunately our customer had one waiting and couldn't wait for us to finish so he could get on with watching the cricket for the afternoon.

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