Have you ever asked yourself if you should reupholster an old sofa or buy something new?
If you’ve ever furnished a house or an apartment, it’s highly likely you’ve asked yourself this question. While you are saving this furniture from potentially going to a landfill, know that if you decide to reupholster an old sofa it could end up costing more than you would pay for a new one. You will need to make sure that it has a sturdy frame and good lines to be considered worth reupholstering. You will also need to consider how much new fabric you’ll need and how much the fabric will cost before making the decision. Then there is also the cost of labor, which varies from shop to shop because there is no industry standard.
While there are certainly high-end exceptions, most experts agree that much of the furniture manufactured today isn’t well made and therefor is not worth the cost of reupholstering. However, reupholstering your sofa may be worth it ….keep reading to find out if yours is!
Reupholstering your sofa may be worth it if…….
Why does reupholstering typically not save you money?
Most people do not understand that there is a difference between re-covering and reupholstering. Re-covering involves just replacing the fabric, and it is more of a cosmetic procedure. The majority of the time you will need to do more than that to restore a sofa.
Reupholstering could involve replacing the padding and springs, mending the frame or re-staining any wood. As you can see a complete reupholstery job involves a lot of labor and replacement of material, and is more structural in nature. It’s going to be comparable to a new piece of furniture because you are essentially getting a new piece of furniture. It’s the same frame, but otherwise a new piece. Thus the saving are not as great as most think.
How can you tell if a sofa’s “bones” are strong?
Squeaking, wobbling, and dead spots where the springs don’t spring (or you can feel springs through the padding) are all signs that a piece of furniture needs structural attention. Such things are frequently repairable.
Here are a few tests you can use to judge for yourself:
1. If you grip the sofa and shove its back from behind, does the frame resist firmly, or is it loose and does it shake back and forth?
How can I tell if my furniture is good quality?
How much does it cost to have a sofa or chair reupholstered?
So many factors go into figuring out a price that it’s impossible for an upholsterer to provide an exact estimate without seeing a piece in person.
Some factors that determine price include: the size of the piece, its condition and the style. For example: How many seat cushions does it have? (More cushions cost more.) Is it a loose back or tight back? (A loose back will cost more.)
For a sofa, the starting price range for the upholsterly only runs between $700 to $1,200 (not including fabric); to have a dining chair seat re-covered, the starting range is $45 to $90, not including fabric.
How much fabric will I need?
The amount of fabric depends on the size and style of the furniture, whether the fabric chosen is a solid or a pattern (you’ll need more with a pattern), the number of cushions and pillows needed and any extras, such as adding a skirt.
Some upholsterers will let you e-mail a picture of your furniture and they will e-mail you back estimates for fabric yardage and the price of labor.
What are additional costs that might come up when having something reupholstered?
In addition to possible pickup and delivery charges: replacing cushions or pillows, repairing or rebuilding a frame, re-tying springs, and any extras, such as having a skirt made, replacing the legs, changing loose cushions to a tight back or adding tufting or nailheads.
If you are not working with a designer but are interested in doing so, click here to learn about our complimentary referral service.