Since it began in 1912 as the Metal Office Furniture Company, Steelcase has been making office furniture that is durable and practical. The company officially was named Steelcase in 1954 and began manufacturing cubicles in 1968. Because Steelcase products last so long, there is always a plethora of used product on the market. While dealers of Steelcase cubicle systems typically provide installation, you can save money by installing the work areas yourself. Used and new Steelcase office systems are relatively easy to install with a plan and the right tools.
Lay out the area where the cubicles will be placed before purchasing the pieces. Measure the space. You can use graph paper to draw out the number of seats you need, how you need them to be facing, and how many workers will be in each space.
Bring your plans to a Steelcase dealer who can then transfer your ideas into a computer-aided design (CAD) to find out exactly how many walls, surfaces and connectors you’ll need for the project. If purchasing used panels in bulk, make sure there is enough of each size included to complete the project.
Set up the walls of the cubicles first by attaching the walls with the hinges provided using the special Steelcase wrench to tighten each connection. Walls are meant to hook together with the interlocking hinges provided with each system and only require tightening with the specialty wrench.
Run the wires for electrical and telephone connections through the bottom of the walls in the wire management system. Do this before installing the shelves and work surfaces in case you need to make any adjustments for the cabling. It’s much easier to move wall units over a couple inches when they aren’t weighed down with shelving.
Insert the work surfaces onto the cubicle walls. Hangars and shelf stabilizers come with each surface. Merely set each work surface on top of its stabilizer, and tighten with a flat-head screwdriver. Gently pound the work surfaces into place with the rubber hammer.
Hang the shelves and lighting. Cubicle walls come with preset holes for the shelving units. Run the wires to connect the lights. Test their working order.
Install under-counter filing units, keyboard trays and pencil drawers after the cubicle installation is complete. Bring in chairs and computers. Hook up phones and Internet connections.
Order extra connectors and hinges when making the final purchase, as small pieces can get lost or misplaced and always come in handy. Ask the person who will work in the cubicle to test the area before leaving. Sometimes workers need adjustments in the shelving doors or with the height of the keyboard tray.
Make sure that an electrician has wired the space for the pre-wired cubicle walls to prevent shortages or other electrical mishaps.