What you need to know about saving money with ready-to-assemble furniture

November 6, 2014

If you are trying to furnish your home on a budget, ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture offers the perfect opportunity to save money without skimping on style. 

What you need to know about saving money with ready-to-assemble furniture

RTA, also referred to as flat pack furniture, is cost effective for both the retailer and the consumer. Here are some tips for shopping for and assembling RTA furniture.

Shop with a major retailer

Many major retailers offer a wide range of RTA furniture.

  • The main advantage of shopping with a major retailer is that their reputation has already been established.

Read reviews

Former customers leave reviews online related to ease of assembly, quality, functionality of the furniture and quality of customer service.

  • The most frequent complaints involve things like hard-to-follow directions and missing parts.
  • Customers sometimes complain of poor quality.

Reading reviews will help you choose products that are easy to assemble and a good value for the money you spend.

The cost

Finally, it is important to research furniture options from the cheapest to the most expensive.

  • Flat pack furniture usually costs about 60 to 70 per cent of the price of already-assembled furniture, but prices can vary tremendously.
  • Veneers and particle board are staples of the cheaper RTA furniture.
  • High-quality pieces will be made of wood. At the cheaper end of the market, furniture may well be functional, but it is usually not very attractive.

What tools you'll need

It is important to note the specifications of the furniture and take note of any tools you will need to have on hand in order to assemble the piece.

Many manufacturers will include some of the tools you will need in the package.

Before you start

  • Before you begin to put the furniture together, take everything out of the package.
  • Go through the inventory that should have been included in the package.

If there is no inventory or items are missing, call the manufacturer right away.

Assembling the furniture

Once you have everything you need, lay out the pieces and hardware, such as bolts and screws, and go through the instructions.

  • Often pieces and hardware will be labelled with numbers or letters that correspond to the diagram included in the package to allow you to see how things fit together.
  • Remember, the various pieces included for something like a bookshelf can be similar in appearance, so it is important to make certain you are using the right item for that part of the job.
  • Getting it wrong and having to take things apart again is frustrating and a waste of time.

Saving money

Taking the time to research RTA furniture options can save you both time and money.

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