Flat Packs

Reporter: Natalie Bonjolo

It's a bit like Lego. Join the bits to build your own bed, bathroom, or bookcase. A 'do it yourself' decorators dream or disaster?

It's called flat pack furniture and putting it together is supposed to be easy.

So how easy is it really? Today Tonight put three couples to the test. Team one, flatmates Adam and Kim. Team two, young couple Steph and Kai and team three, best friends Nat and Josh.

Chad Toquero, is what you might call a fix it man. He's built a business, rescuing families from flat pack fights.

"I've saved quiet a few marriages in the past. I don't charge for the marriage counselling, just the service to assemble. Marriage counselling comes free" says Chad.

So how will our couples cope? Could life long friends, fall out?

Each team is building a bookcase and according to Chad, it should take them less than an hour.

"A simple bookcase like this would take 15 minutes for the actual book case itself. For the drawers, another 10 to 15 minutes".

Well, fifteen minutes is up, but our teams are far from finishing the shelves and tempers are starting to flare.

"Number one is doing really well. Number two I think there's some communication break down and number three they've got a few issues".

While team three point the finger, team one have found a compromise. As for team two, well they're going round in circles.

They've now been at it for fifty minutes. Team one has finished the shelves and started on the drawers, but team three is in serious trouble. They've just put a hole in their brand new $330 bookcase.

While team two is frazzled, team one is almost finished. They've even beat the clock building their bookcase in exactly fifty nine minutes. Finished and still friends, although they did have to bite the bullet.

Team three on the other hand have one chief too many. They've finally finished the shelving, but there's a slight problem, it's upside down! It's still together, but only just. It's wobbly, dented, and damaged.

Meanwhile, team two are finally finished. It's taken an hour and forty five minutes, but Steph and Kai kept their cool.

Two hours later and team three is all alone and no closer to working out how to do those drawers.

Chad's seen it all before…a DYI disaster. So how do you avoid the flat pack pitfalls? Well Chad's top tips are:

Read the instructions fully.

Put all parts into a container, so you don't lose them.

Use the cardboard box to build on, so you don't damage the furniture.

Like many of Chad's customers, team three made all the classic mistakes.

It's supposed to be the simple way to save money. If done right, flat packs can furnish an entire house, but for some families, it's not worth the fights.