The Complete Guide to DIY Computer Desks with Adjustable Features
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The Complete Guide to DIY Computer Desks with Adjustable Features

AutonomousAutonomous | Mar 9, 2022
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If you have come across this article, chances are you have discovered the existence of ergonomic furniture, more specifically, the adjustable standing desk. It is the most frustrating thing to have your heart set on an adjustable desk that for some reason, you just cannot have. But what if you could make it yourself? What if there was a way to DIY your computer desk? The answer is yes, there is always a way, and this article will act as your pocket guide throughout your journey to making the perfect DIY computer desk with adjustable features. 

Regardless of your reason for taking the project on yourself, whether it be to reduce costs or for that touch of personalization some of us crave, building your own desk allows you to hold the power when deciding on not just the materials but the colors and the overall finish.  

The Preparation Process

We all know that when we follow any recipe when cooking, the first step is always a list of the ingredients and kitchen appliances needed; it is no different when it comes to building your DIY office desk. Luckily, the parts required to turn this project into a reality shouldn’t be hard to find, nor will they cost you an arm and a leg to get. Below is everything you will need. 

Surface

Surface of DIY computer desk

There are two very affordable options to choose from when picking out a surface or your DIY computer desk that will ideally become your desktop. You can opt for a countertop, or you can opt for an even cheaper option by picking out a door.  

The Ikea Karlby countertop’s relatively large size and affordability is the reason for its increasing popularity among buyers and now DIY standing desk makers. To put this in perspective, expect to pay between $100 and $200 for the size and color of your choice. 

Nonetheless, if you are leaning more towards the option of using a door as your desktop surface, then you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $100 if it’s brand new, even cheaper than that if it’s second-hand and ultimately free if it’s an already existing door that you had lying around somehow, somewhere in your house. It is important to note that you should be investing in a door with a solid core; you want to avoid the hollow ones. 

More so, if the door you are using once had an attached handle, then you would have to be okay with having a small hole where the handle used to be. This can always be used as a form of cable management toward the back end of the desk. 

Legs

Legs of DIY computer desk

Onto the other half of your custom computer desk, the legs. An important feature of this computer desk design lies in the fact that it is ergonomic, meaning in order to achieve this, you need your desk legs to be adjustable. While you could simply go ahead and purchase standard desk legs from Ikea, you would be defeating the whole point of this article and the whole idea of an adjustable desk. 

What you should be looking into instead is a standing desk frame. If you don’t already know, Autonomous is a supplier specializing in ergonomic furniture and offers a range of adjustable standing desks to anyone interested. It also caters to customers interested in building a DIY standing desk through the supply of a SmartDesk Frame. 

At a glance, the SmartDesk Frame allows you to choose from three models, namely the core frame, the corner frame, and the pro frame. Thus, your design isn’t just limited to the basic adjustable desk you are thinking of, and you can go one step further by building a DIY L-shaped desk

All the frame models mentioned above are adjustable in height and length, meaning they can cater to any sized desktop ranging from as small as 40 inches to as big as 73 inches. Assembly is also relatively easy, and with every purchased frame, all the tools needed to put the desk together are already included. 

By purchasing the SmartDesk frame from Autonomous, you are essentially letting them do the leg work for you. All that is required is for you to pair the frame with the custom desktop you picked out in the step above, and you are already one step closer to your homemade, adjustable office desk

Everything Else

While the bone of your DIY computer desk was already acquired by following the steps above, you should probably invest in a few other bits and pieces to pull your design together. 

For starters, you should be looking into basic accessories that make your workspace, a workspace. This can be anything from a desk pad to a desk lamp, or even a filing cabinet, and maybe even an ergonomic office chair to match the ergonomic ambiance of your new adjustable desk. 

Don’t feel obliged to stick to only practical objects. At the end of the day, the whole idea of a DIY standing desk is for you to add your own personal touch to your office, so why would it stop at just the custom computer desk? You can opt for decorative accessories such as pots and plants. A touch of greenery works especially well if you opted for an industrial-looking door as your desktop. You can even use framed pictures to fill up any empty spaces. 

If you are lacking the inspiration needed in this regard and are finding it difficult to discover pieces that best suit you and your aesthetic, then you should look into skimming over the many creative DIY desk ideas that people have thought of over the internet. Everyone at some point needs a little push in the right direction, so don’t overthink it. The whole goal of decorating is for you to be able to enjoy looking at your creation. 

The Assembly Process

Once you have collected all the necessary parts, you’re ready to assemble your DIY computer desk.

1. Surface Preparation

Surface Preparation of DIY computer desk

If you opted to use a second-hand or an existing door as your desktop, then it is most likely required that you stand, stain, and finish the door yourself. If you consider yourself a beginner at this process, don’t panic! It isn’t a difficult task to grasp and won’t take up too much of your time if it is done correctly. There are many videos across YouTube to provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a door surface for desktop use.

2. Planning the Ergonomics

Planning the Ergonomics

Measurements are required for any successful DIY project, also the DIY computer desk, so making sure you have all measurements at your disposal when crafting your adjustable desk is important. If you skip this step, you may very well end up with a desk that isn’t sturdy, stable, or horizontally even. 

While the standing desk frame purchased from Autonomous simplifies this process immaculately, it is still required that you measure the length and width of your chosen desktop; so, you know how wide apart the desk frame legs need to be. It is also necessary that you measure the perfect sitting position height. 

After all, you probably looked into an ergonomic adjustable desk because of all the health benefits it provides. It would be such a waste if you have spent all this time, effort, and money on something that supports a healthy lifestyle when you do not have the correct sitting position. 

Your feet should be flat on the ground when you are sitting in your office chair, with both your knees and elbows at approximately 90-degree angles. Once you have nailed this position, you can begin to measure the distance from the top of the armrest of your office chair to the floor. You would then need to subtract the thickness of your desktop which can also be measured. Once this step is completed, you’ll have your ideal sitting height that can become a go-to height on your adjustable frame when you change from standing to sitting throughout your workday. 

3. Start Assembling

Start Assembling

You would need to assemble the SmartDesk Frame first for your DIY computer desk. As already mentioned above, autonomous provides all the required tools necessary for the assembly of your standing desk frame on purchase. If you follow the simple and easy assembly instructions on the package or in the PDF form made available on the company’s website, it should take a total of 30 minutes for you to assemble your desk frame. 

It is important to note that you would construct your desk upside down, meaning that when you attach the base to the desktop, the desktop should be upside down on the ground. 

Part of the assembly of the desk frame includes instructions on how to attach your desktop, thus making it all that is required to assemble your very own custom computer desk. 

This assembly may very well be a two-man job, so take all the help you can get from neighbors, friends, and family. 

4. Check Functioning

Check Functioning

Once you have flipped your desk over, you should run checks on the stability, height, and functioning of your adjustable desk. This is a universal step that should be done even when purchasing ergonomic office furniture that wasn’t specifically homemade but required self-assembly.  

5. Desk Placement

When you are moving your newly built adjustable desk or DIY computer desk into its designated place in your home office do not lift the desk by the desktop alone; make sure you support both the desktop and the frame equally. By favoring the desktop over the frame, the frame can stress the fasteners holding the desk in place. Before moving the desk, you should lower it completely. 

As simple as it sounds, it is an important step that people forget, especially since you’re now overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment. When choosing where to place your desk in your office, you should have already planned a space beforehand that will not obstruct the overall up and down movement of your adjustable desk or be in very close distance to windows, radiators, and other furniture. 

It is also important to note that your DIY office desk needs to be plugged into an outlet in order to operate. Thus, your desk placement needs to ensure adequate cord clearance. 

6. Make it Your Own

Make it Your Own

Let’s build your own desk! The very last step to your DIY computer desk would be to make it your very own workspace. Start by setting up the necessities, such as your computer or laptop and monitors. Once the basics are up and running, you can start putting all your desk accessories into their designated spot. 

Remember, if something doesn’t end up looking the same way it did in your head, then move it around until it blends in effortlessly with the surrounding statement pieces or simply change things up. 

The beauty of this template is that you can really do just about anything you desire; you may even be willing to go as far as to build USB ports into the surface or add a fingerprint scanner. The blueprint is yours to carry out as you wish. 

Conclusion

If you have made it this far into the article, then it is strongly suggested that you commit to the whole idea of building your own DIY office desk. With the help of Autonomous, the reality of making your own adjustable desk switched from a stressful process to an enjoyable one. It will not only be a statement piece in your office, but the fact that you were able to do it all by yourself should hold some sort of sentimental value to you. 

The possibilities in today’s world are endless, and by building your own DIY computer desk, you may very well ignite within yourself a passion to continue to build and customize many other things in the future. If it turns out that this isn’t the case, at least you can say you tried.

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WRITTEN BYAutonomous

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