Self-assembly cabinets are commonly known as knock-down or flat-pack cabinets among manufacturers because they come in multiple pieces rather than individual units.
An increase in labor costs will push more people to opt for self-assembly cabinets. Assembling certain cabinets will require skill when it comes to putting the parts together; if you don’t fix it right, it will fall apart. For fear that they may damage cabinets, many people still avoid assembling more complicated cabinets.
A similar pattern can be found among Ikea customers: people can assemble small cabinets but would request and pay for Ikea’s assembly services for more complicated products like kitchen cabinets.
Self-assembly cabinets come in various shapes, sizes, and prices. Most people associate these flat pack cabinets with cheaper prices, as they do come with some cost savings. Flat pack cabinets mean less waste, which translates to lower cost. The containers that carry these flat packs are filled to capacity, reducing logistics costs such as transoceanic shipping and parking services.
Assembled cabinets come in individual units and can be bulky, making them difficult to ship. Plus, you risk getting damaged, unlike their flat-pack counterparts, which are securely packaged. Consumers save on service and delivery charges when they purchase self-assembly cabinets.
Cost savings can also be derived from using lesser types of wood found in cheaper ranges of self-assembly cabinets found in hypermarkets or supermarkets. The cabinet is not made of hardwood, so it is of a lower quality. The cabinet is usually made of fiberboard with wood skin surfaces. As a result, they can be half the price of furniture made from solid wood.
Given the cheaper cost, self-assembly cabinets are generally not expected to last very long. For example, cabinets that use fiberboard (bought from supermarkets) can’t really support too much weight and are practical for a short period of time, maybe a year or so. Also, if the cabinets are exposed to water, the wood will swell and warp or the glued parts will fall apart.
While some self-assembled cabinets can last a reasonably long period, problems will arise if the cabinets are repeatedly assembled and disassembled, as the joints will loosen. Many of today’s cabinets use medium-density fiberboard, which is not meant to be repeatedly screwed and unscrewed. The key maintenance on such cabinets is to keep them stationary because moving them can cause the hinges to loosen.
When purchasing flat pack cabinets, one must look at the type of wood used. You must also accept that there may be issues with quality control. Stores like Ikea and some hypermarkets offer a return policy, which gives customers the security that they can exchange the purchased goods. If there is something wrong, they can go back and change it.
The target market for flat pack cabinets is young adults just starting their careers or honeymooners looking to furnish their first home with basic cabinets. It’s only when they’re more settled in life and looking to move to another home that their tastes shift to more intricate cabinetry, which usually comes in individual units.