Building your futon is easy when you take the proper steps to prepare your work area. Here are some of the best tips that come directly from people who have built hundreds of futon frames.
Best Futon Building Practices
- Clear your work area — Give yourself extra room can really help in terms of safety. Since you need a lot of space to maneuver consider building your futon frame in an open area and then move it to the confines of its intended resting place.
- Identify and match-up your hardware in advance — Organizing all the parts can make futon building so much quicker. Especially if you are building a futon frame for the first time, this can really make the process easier.
- Watch out for oily parts — Futon nuts and bolts are often dipped in an oil based chemical to keep them from rusting. Be sure to put the parts down on paper or cardboard.
- Opt to use the allen wrench over a power drill — Of course the choice is entirely yours, but drills can easily skip out of the fitting in the bolts and mar your finish. Using an allen wrench not only gives you better control, but it prevents you from over-tightening or under-tightening your futon bolts
- Do not over-tighten your futon bolts — Possibly one of the most common mistakes is that people over-tighten their hardware. In general, when you really ratchet down on your hardware, you will put undue strain on the wood possibly causing it to split. In general in a wood versus metal scenario, wood will always lose.
- Get someone to help you — While assembly futons alone is possible and sometimes easy, when it comes to putting the back or seat sections in, it can be helpful to have someone help you hold and align those parts
- Read those directions — How often to you embark on reading directions, scan the pictures and then throw the paper down thinking you get it already? Reading the details of the directions and ensuring you understand them, will save you the hassle of having to take the entire futon frame apart to install one forgotten or upside down part.
- Test the Futon Frame’s Operation Before Adding Mattress — Learn how to operate the futon before you install the futon mattress. This will allow you to inspect the frame and ensure it operates properly before you add the weight of the cushion. Once you add the futon mattress, the entire futon sofa will be harder to operate until the futon mattress breaks in. Remember that metal futon frame hinges often need time to wear in as well.
- Install the futon cover with the mattress upright — Again, having a helping hand can make this process much easier. If alone, however, allow your futon mattress to stand upright on its longer edge and lean slightly against a wall. Place the futon cover over the top and pull down to the floor zipping where you can. Next let the futon mattress fall to the floor or have the person help you flip it over so you can enclose the zipper. While zipping, be sure not to force the zipper too much. If the mattress is tight, zip more slowly and work to adjust and better stuff the futon inside the cover.
- Rotate your futon mattress — Rotating your futon mattress more in the beginning can adds years of long life to your futon cushion. If you are using your futon frequently, rotating your futon every week for the first several weeks is a common strategy to longevity. Then go down to rotating it once a month. The less you use your futon, the less you will need to rotate it. Futon rotation means that you spin it 180 degrees the first time and then flip it the next. Repeat and remember the order to ensure maximum even wear.
- Take a nap — You did it!
Owning a futon can be a rewarding thing. Proper assembly will help you ensure you get the most out of your futon sofa. Following these tips will make your futon assembly both easier and help you preserve your investment over the long run.
One final tip is that you should remember to periodically check your futon frame for looseness. A loose futon frame is one that can easily collapse. If your futon arms wobble, remove any bolt covers and tighten with an allen wrench. The rule of thumb is that you should tighten a futon bolt until it is snug and then apply one quarter turn. Good luck and happy futon ownership!