Whether you're looking to build that new IKEA cabinet or a kid's swingset, assembly pros in Tampa can save time and hassle by completing in hours a job that might have taken you days.
For parents who find themselves over their heads assembling a kid’s playset in time for Christmas or a birthday, calling someone like Robbie McGregor might just save a special occasion.
A dozen Tampa service providers advertise professional assembly of furniture, IKEA products or other equipment. Some include assembly work as part of a larger service, such as moving companies or handymen, while others, such as McGregor, specialize in assembly.
“The instructions might say something takes 27 hours to build a swingset, and in reality it ends up taking closer to 80 for many,” says the owner of Robbie’s Assembly Service in Clearwater. “We can get any swingset assembled in a day.”
Experienced assemblers offer hands-on background in assembly and familiarity with complicated instructions, meaning they finish the job quickly and avoid crises.
“The value really is in saving time,” he says. “You really need some mechanical ability to see how stuff is put together.”
Sometimes people call him up prior to tackling an assembly job on their own. Others call him out of frustration, and he arrives on the job to find pieces strewn across a yard or floor.
McGregor says his field barely existed when he started 20 years ago, but became more popular in the mid-2000s. Today, McGregor’s business keeps two two-man crews busy year-round — working primarily on residential jobs but also occasionally on assembling furniture for schools. He charges anywhere from $50 to assemble a small desk to $1,200 for a skyscraper-style swingset.
Clearwater member Kay Newsom hired McGregor to assemble a desk and file cabinet when she opened an interior design business, and was so happy with the outcome that she often refers him to her clients.
“I’ve had other people claim to be able to assemble things, and they’d turn out to be totally incompetent, but Robbie really knows what he’s doing, no matter what I ask of him,” she says.
Troy Johnson, owner of U Need Assembly in Gibsonton, worked for 17 years with a moving company, which involved taking apart and reassembling furniture. He later worked assembling furniture for Home Depot before opening his Tampa business in 2012, focusing on residential work.
“Even if I don’t have experience with a particular piece, I’ve done enough of these that I usually have a sense for what the manufacturer was thinking, so I can figure it out,” he says.
Most of Johnson’s assembly jobs take about an hour and cost between $25 and $75. For larger projects, the cost can go up to $400 or $500, such as for an extra-large swingset that takes two days to erect.
“If something’s already half assembled, we’ll prorate the work based on how long it takes,” he says, adding that most of his work involves putting together dressers, beds and IKEA wall units.
“What I do is a big time saver, and here in Florida, I meet a lot of people who aren’t physically able to do this anymore,” he says. “Not a lot of people know about this kind of service, but it’s something they value. Time is money to most people.”