Self-assembly cabinets are commonly known as knockdown or flat-packed cabinets among manufacturers because they come in several pieces instead of single units.
An increase in labor costs will push more people to opt for self-assembly cabinets. Assembling certain cabinets would require skill when it comes to the joining of parts – if you don’t fix it well, it will come apart. Fearing that they might damage the cabinets, many people still shy away from assembling more complicated cabinets.
A similar pattern can be found among Ikea’s customers – people are able to assemble small cabinets but they would request and pay for Ikea’s assembly services for more complicated products like kitchen cabinets.
Self-assembly cabinets come in various forms, sizes and prices. Most people associate such flat-packed cabinets with cheaper prices as there is some cost savings involved. Flat-packed cabinets involve less wastage, which translates to lower cost. The containers carrying these flat packs are filled to maximum capacity and this reduces logistic costs like trans-ocean shipment and parking services.
Assembled cabinets come in single units and can be bulky, making them difficult to ship. Also, it runs the risk of being damaged, in contrast with its flat-packed counterparts, which is securely packaged. Consumers save on service and delivery charges when they purchase self-assembly cabinets.
Cost savings can also be derived from the usage of more inferior types of wood found in cheaper ranges of self-assembly cabinets that is found in hypermarkets or supermarkets. The cabinet is not made from hard wood, thus it is of 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, generally, self-assembly cabinets are not expected to last very long. For instance, cabinets using fiberboard (purchased from supermarket) can’t really support too much weight and is practical for a short period of time – maybe one year or so. Moreover, if the cabinets are exposed to water, the wood will bloat and warp or glued parts will come undone.
While some self-assembly cabinets can last for a reasonably long period, problems will crop up if the cabinets are assembled and disassembled repeatedly as the joints will loosen. A lot of the cabinets today use medium-density fiberboard, which is not meant to be screwed and unscrewed repeatedly. The key maintenance of such cabinets is to keep them stationary because moving them around can cause the hinges to loosen.
When shopping for flat-packed cabinets, one should look at the type of wood used. You also need to accept that there might be problems with quality control. Stores like Ikea and some hypermarkets offer a return policy, which gives customers the assurance that they can exchange purchased goods. If there is anything wrong, they can go back and get it changed.
The target market for flat-packed cabinets is young adults just starting their careers or newlyweds looking to furnish their first home with basic cabinets. Only when they are more settled in life and are looking to move to another home do their tastes change to acquire more intricate cabinets, which usually come in single units.