5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hack That IKEA Product You’ve Been Thinking About

updated Aug 23, 2019
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It’s easy to understand why IKEA is one of the most popular home stores around — the choices are endless, the furniture is functional, and the price point can’t be beat. Plus, the minimalist pieces are prime for hacking, or transforming into just the right thing for your space. 

But the truth is, an IKEA hack isn’t always worth your time and effort. Here are five big reasons why you should potentially say no to hacking an IKEA product. 

1. The materials are often more expensive than the item itself.

Ninety dollars is a great deal for a dresser, but the price of said dresser can skyrocket once you decide to spruce it up. Paint, hardware, a glass top, any tools you may need to get the job done — all of these little expenses can really add up. So before you commit to hacking that “cheap” dresser, tally up the costs. You may be surprised to learn you could buy something similar for less money.

2. It can take a long time.

Don’t forget: Time is money. Even if you total your expenses and find that an IKEA hack will still cost less than buying a comparable piece of furniture, consider how much time the project will take you. If you’ll have to spend your whole weekend (or more!) on the project, is it really worth the incremental savings?

3. It may live in half-finished glory for months on end.

You’re a busy person, and while you may have carved out plenty of time for your project, life happens! Despite your best intentions, you may be too tired to paint a bookcase at the end of a long day of work, or you may want to go to brunch with friends instead of sanding down a table. More power to you — you deserve to relax — but that means that piece of furniture you planned to hack could sit in the corner of your room in an unusable state for months before you finally get around to completing it. 

4. You could bungle the job.

Even pro DIYers make mistakes, especially when trying out a new skill. But making an unfixable blunder on even a $100 desk can really set you back. You’d either have to spring for another $100 desk or abandon ship and sacrifice all of your upfront costs. After all of that time and money, neither of those options sounds very appealing. 

5. It might not go the distance.

Let’s say everything works out: Your IKEA hack really is the more affordable choice and you know you can finish the project without any hiccups! Still, chances are your prized possession won’t stand the test of time. These types of projects are often based on trends, so they may feel outdated faster than you can say “IKEA hack.” Plus, as much as we love IKEA products, they just aren’t meant to last forever. The furniture has a much shorter lifespan than other more expensive options, especially with heavy use. And if you’ve ever tried to move your IKEA furniture from place to place, you know that it rarely makes the journey unscathed. So if your tastes change frequently or you’re regularly swapping homes, you may want to reconsider that IKEA hack — no matter what a pro you are! 

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 5 Reasons Not to Hack That IKEA Product You’ve Been Thinking About