June 18, 2024

The Cost to Assemble Furniture

Photo: depositphotos.com

Highlights

  • The typical cost range for a pro to assemble furniture is from $90 and $150, with a national average cost of $110.
  • Some of the main factors that affect the cost to assemble furniture include the professional’s hourly rate, the size and type of furniture, the number of items, the furniture assembly company, and the need for any cleanup services.
  • It’s more than possible for someone to assemble furniture themselves; however, hiring a pro means the job is done faster and there’s less stress for the owner of the furniture.

Complicated instructions and an impossible number of screws can make any customer think twice about assembling furniture on their own. Though some pieces of furniture arrive on a doorstep with minimal assembly required, other items such as dressers, entertainment centers, and bed frames require much more home assembly effort. If the task is too daunting for a busy homeowner or renter, it may be time to hire some help.

Handyman services and furniture assembly contractors can put together complicated items fairly quickly since they have plenty of practice. The cost to assemble furniture with the help of a pro is about $110, though a typical average is $90 to $150, according to Angi and HomeAdvisor. If the item is more complicated to assemble, some customers could pay up to $450 for furniture assembly services. Most contractors will charge by the hour for their services—around $35 to $90 per hour—though some charge by the item. For the most accurate estimate, customers can reach out to several furniture assemblers in their area.

A close up of a person putting a screw into a plank to build furniture.

Photo: depositphotos.com

Factors in Calculating the Cost to Assemble Furniture

Calculating the cost to assemble furniture is a process that includes certain factors, such as the hourly rate, furniture size and type, number of items, furniture assembly company, and cleanup services. These are the basic cost factors that will apply to nearly every situation, even when homeowners or renters are using a full-service moving package from one of the best moving companies, such as United Van Lines or American Van Lines.

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Hourly Rate

Labor makes up the entire amount of furniture assembly costs, which makes sense, since the items are already owned by the customer. The professional’s time and expertise are what determine the cost, so if the contractor or handyman has a higher rate than others, they may have specialized skills or many years of experience behind them. For instance, some handymen may have more experience assembling entertainment centers, mounting TVs on the wall with hidden cords, and setting up all the electronics. Others may prefer working on bed frames or office furniture installation.

The average hourly contractor rate is $35 to $90, but if the customer has only one small item that needs assembling, the contractor may charge a minimum fee to cover their time and fuel. On the other hand, if there are several items or oversize pieces of furniture that need assembling, then customers may need to pay for two or three laborers at their hourly rate. The average handyman costs $60 to $65 per hour, so it’s worth it for customers to shop around for the right price mixed with experience.

Other furniture assembly professionals charge per project. According to Adam Tate, master assembler and owner of Hillsdale, New Jersey-based All Assembled, LLC, “I have experimented with various pricing methodologies early on and the most practical and cost effective way is the flat rate per item [or] project cost with a project minimum. I think the absolute best way to [determine] a fee for a project is if the client provides a direct link to the product page on the online retailers website.”

Furniture Size and Type

The size of the furniture often correlates to the length of time it will take to put together and the number of people who need to be hired. Extra-large furniture such as china cabinets, bed frames, pool tables, and outdoor furniture can cost between $150 and $450 to assemble. However, smaller items such as stools, shoe organizers, and nightstands are easier for one person to assemble quickly, which lowers the average cost to $40 to $100. A Murphy bed that needs to be installed on the wall with additional shelving may require a custom quote for assembly.

Furniture Size Average Assembly Cost
Extra-large $150 to $450
Large $100 to $350
Medium $80 to $120
Small $40 to $100

Furniture assembly costs are also determined by the type of furniture. For example, it’s much more expensive to hire a furniture assembly service for a media center ($100 to $350) or armoire ($150 to $450) than for an end table ($40 to $100). Office furniture installation is also a higher-than-average cost, since an L-shape desk costs around $170 to assemble. Even beds have different assembly price points; for instance, a bunk bed (at least $160) is more expensive to assemble than a canopy bed ($90 to $160). It’s best for customers to compile a thorough list of the exact types of furniture they want to have assembled, so they can get the most accurate quote from a local furniture assembly company.

Sometimes custom furniture needs to be assembled. If the item didn’t qualify for furniture delivery and assembly from the manufacturer, the homeowner or renter can ask for a recommendation to find a specialized installer. Custom furniture assembly rates can average as much as $500 to $25,000.

Number of Items

Furniture assembling takes time, and the contractor also spends time and fuel driving to the customer’s home. To cover their time and costs, many contractors will charge a minimum fee if the customer has only one or two easy items to assemble. A customer who has several pieces of new furniture to assemble can schedule one appointment and will likely pay less per piece.

This can reduce trips by the contractor and potentially help customers save on overall costs if repeated trips are charged at a minimum rate. If the handyman or contractor charges by the piece, then they might offer a discounted price when several items are combined in the same appointment.

Furniture Assembly Company

The best furniture assembly services (such as those found on sites such as Handy and Thumbtack) take the headache and physical burden off the shoulders of homeowners and renters who don’t have the time or energy to put furniture together. These services are especially helpful for customers with limited mobility and renters who may not have many tools at their disposal. If customers prefer to work with a specialized contractor, they can search for “TV stand assembly service near me” or “office furniture assembly near me” for a local company.

Many furniture stores and other affordable places to get furniture offer delivery and assembly services for items purchased in store or online, or they may contract with local furniture assemblers. Some retailers have an annual fee that covers delivery and assembly for any purchase in one calendar year, while others include delivery for free but assembly for a small additional fee. Customers can speak with a representative to find out the terms and conditions for each store.

Even if delivery is included in the purchase of the furniture piece, customers may wonder if they should tip for furniture delivery. While it’s not required, it’s often appreciated, especially if the delivery person performs the job well.

Cleanup Services

No matter if the customer lives in a home or apartment, no one likes to be left with a mess of packing materials and oversize empty boxes. That’s why many furniture assembly companies offer cleanup services. Some include cleanup in their assembly fee, while others may charge $35 to $50 for the service. Customers may want to ask if the cleanup service includes disposal of packing materials only or if any vacuuming or sweeping is also included to collect the bits of debris that may get left behind.

A pair of gloved hands are seen putting a piece of furniture together.

Photo: depositphotos.com

Cost to Assemble Furniture by Type

Aside from the main factors that influence the cost to assemble furniture, customers will also want to evaluate the type of furniture they need to have assembled. Large, bulky, or complex items will naturally take longer and possibly require more than one person to get the items in working order.

Type of Furniture Average Assembly Cost Range
Armoire or wardrobe $150 to $450
Baker’s rack $120 to $275
Bed frame $70 to $160
Bed frame with storage $120 to $450
Bench $80 to $120
Bookcase (stand-alone or shelving) $80 to $120
Cabinet $100 to $400
Chair $40 to $100
Chaise longue $80 to $120
Coffee table $40 to $100
Corner desk $170
Crib $100 to $250
Desk with drawers $120
Desk without drawers $100
Desk chair $40 (or minimum fee)
Dining room table $150 to $450
Dresser $100 to $350
End table $40 to $100
Hammock $75 to $125
Kitchen island $100 to $350
Media center $100 to $350
Shelf $50 to $100
Sofa $80 to $160
Stool $40 to $100
Swing set $180 to $500
Workstation $100 to $1,000

Bed Frames

Not all bed frames are created equal, so there will be cost differences among all the different types of beds. A minimalist twin-size bed frame can take much less time than a heavy, double bunk bed or a custom king-size bed. On average, contractors charge around $70 to $160 to set up a bed, but this can increase for larger or more intricate designs.

Dressers, Wardrobes, and Other Storage Units

Among the more complex types of furniture to assemble are dressers, wardrobes, and other storage items. This is because they are often larger or heavier or have numerous pieces that could require a second person to help. A full wardrobe or armoire averages $150 to $450 for assembly, while a dresser costs around $100 to $350. Bookcases can cost a little less at $80 to $120, but this is for a stand-alone type of bookcase.

Though some of these items may come as easy-to-assemble furniture, others are trickier. That’s why many furniture assembly companies know all the tricks of the trade, including secrets to assembling IKEA furniture—a common pain point for their customers.

Office Furniture

Assembling office furniture can be a complicated task depending on the size and number of pieces. While a minimalist desk may cost only $100 or less to put together, some contemporary designs are intricate and will cost much more due to the extra time required for assembly. Corner desks also have about double the number of pieces to assemble, so they may cost $170. And though most homes don’t have cubicles, setting up multiple workstations for household members can cost between $100 and $1,000.

Outdoor Furniture

Some outdoor furniture comes ready to go, such as wicker chairs purchased locally. But other items will need some assembly before use. Outdoor furniture assembly has a wide range of costs, since the items can include dining tables, chairs, swing sets, hammocks, lawn chairs, benches, and more. Most customers will spend between $50 and $500 to have these items assembled.

Seating

Chairs and full seating arrangements come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, and so does the pricing to assemble them. Customers will pay more for a handyman to assemble a new sofa ($80 to $160) than for a couple of simple chairs ($40 to $100). A chaise longue has a mid-range cost of $80 to $120.

Tables and Islands

Just as chairs have no standard style, tables and islands are similarly available in many styles—each with its own assembly cost. Coffee tables and end tables cost the least at $40 to $100, while a kitchen island or dining room table (indoor or outdoor) costs around $150 to $450.

Two people put a piece of white furniture together.

Photo: depositphotos.com

Furniture Assembly: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

Many people are more than capable of doing many furniture assembly tasks on their own, especially with the rise of easy-to-assemble furniture. Some items arrive with instructions to simply screw in the four legs and start using them. Others come with upwards of 20 pieces, complicated designs, and poorly worded instructions that cause more confusion than not. And sometimes, the furniture is simply too large or heavy for one person to put together on their own.

That’s when it’s helpful to reach out to furniture assemblers for assistance. Though it comes at a cost, the expertise is worth it since the pro will be capable and experienced at putting together those more difficult furniture pieces. This is especially true when more than one person is required to help lift or stabilize the item during the assembling process. Contractors and handymen are also familiar with the tools needed to assemble or install the piece, so they’re less likely to make a mistake that damages or ruins the brand-new item.

Sometimes a customer prefers to hire a handyman simply to save themselves the time and effort. Others find it necessary to hire help due to physical limitations that make it unsafe to work on furniture assembling alone. No matter the reason, customers can quickly find someone available to help with these kinds of tasks through local companies or online freelance marketplaces. Customers may want to compare services like Taskrabbit vs. Handy to find the right freelance service or handyman to provide the needed home assembly services.

“The assembly business for the most part is still a niche and unknown industry,” explains Tate. “Furniture assembly is a specialty trade. I have had apprentices that I have trained and cultivated that specialize in this trade.”

How to Save Money on the Cost to Assemble Furniture

While the cost to assemble furniture isn’t as exorbitant as the cost of many other home improvement projects, it’s still a consideration since it’s an added cost on top of the furniture purchase itself. There are a few ways that customers may be able to save on furniture assembly costs.

  • DIY the easy pieces. Many items such as chairs and stools are shipped nearly assembled. Customers can save on assembly costs by doing it themselves when it’s a simple process on a lightweight item.
  • Combine assembly jobs. If multiple items will need to be assembled, customers can wait until they’ve all arrived and schedule an appointment with a contractor or handyman. This can save on costs, since it’s cheaper for the contractor to come out one time and get everything done.
  • Compare rates. It’s always a good idea for customers to speak with several companies when hiring a service provider of any kind. They can look for furniture assembly companies or find a local handyman through an online search.
  • Ask about special discounts. Many companies offer special rates or discounts for military, seniors, first responders, and more.
  • Ask the seller about assembly. If the customer is shopping locally, they can ask the seller about delivery and assembly options. There may be a special deal going on or an annual fee that covers the cost of any delivery or installation of furniture for a set period of time. Alternatively, the seller may have suggestions of reliable contractors they’ve worked with in the past.
A close up of a pair of hands using a tool to assemble a piece of furniture.

Photo: depositphotos.com

Questions to Ask About Furniture Assembly

Customers are encouraged to ask questions any time they speak with a professional about hiring them for a specific service. The same goes for furniture assembly, even if it seems like a much more straightforward process than hiring a contractor for a remodeling job.

  • What experience do you have with assembling this item?
  • Do you charge by the hour or by the item?
  • Do you charge an additional trip fee?
  • How long will it take to assemble my furniture?
  • How will you protect the surroundings from potential damage as you work?
  • Will you need to bring a second person?
  • Do you offer cleanup and disposal of packing materials in your estimate?

Tate suggests a few additional questions for potential customers to ask about furniture assembly:

  • Do you provide tools, blankets or boxes to work on, shoe covers, and trash bags?
  • Do you carry general liability insurance?
  • How do you deal with items that arrive broken or damaged?

In addition, Tate offers the following advice to help customers find a pro. “Customers should look for [a] service that is highly reviewed, has a strong online presence, and responds in a timely and professional manner,” he says. “Asking for references is not entirely out of [the] question. The best client is one that is referred by a prior client.”

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FAQs

Customers often appreciate the assistance of handyman furniture assembly services, since it saves them time and effort—and sometimes frustration. Here are a few additional insights about whether the cost is worth it, how long it takes, and what “furniture assembly” really means.

Q. Is furniture assembly worth it?

It depends. If the items are small and require minimal assembly—and the customer is physically able to put them together—then the cost may not be worth it. However, many customers find it a huge benefit to hire help for larger items that are heavy or for multiple items needing assembly.

Q. How long does it take to assemble furniture?

Those who have little experience with furniture assembly may find that the process can take the better part of an afternoon. On the other hand, a handyman or contractor can easily put items together in a couple hours. The average time is about 1 to 4 hours, depending on the number of items and the assembly complexity.

According to Tate, “Assembly times vary dramatically based on what the proposed items are and where the products are from. Simple items from IKEA or Wayfair like nightstands, standard beds, dressers under four drawers, [and] desks with four legs … can run an hour or less. Complicated modular products like IKEA Besta storage configurations, IKEA Pax Wardrobe configurations, or IKEA kitchen cabinets can take multiple hours or days.”

Q. What does “furniture set assembly” mean?

Some types of furniture come as a set, such as a dining room table and chairs. In this case, customers may be charged a price for assembling the entire set rather than for each piece. This price is usually a combination of the prices but discounted since it’s all done at one time.

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