Just like any other item, you are likely to experience the normal wear and tear with furniture. If you own a home, with time some pieces of your furniture will break, get damaged pick marks and a few bumps. However, you do not have to throw away your treasured table or sofa, or any other piece of furniture that gets damaged in your home. You can restore your furniture back to a functional state through furniture repair.
Furniture repair mostly involves disassembling the pieces that make up the item and putting them together while fixing and replacing the worn out parts. It’s possible to have your dressers, coffee tables, antique furniture, dining set and other damaged pieces of furniture repaired and restored back to their original state.
The repair process will depend on the extent of damage and reasons for repair. If your furniture is extensively damaged, you might have to consider re-upholstery and refinish. A repair process will involve fixing and replacing the broken parts, reupholstering the furniture if it’s fabric is torn and refinishing the piece of furniture.
Factors That Will Affect Furniture Cost of Repair
Damage – the extent of damage will influence how much you will spend on repairs. A professional will need to assess the piece of furniture to ascertain how many parts needed to be replaced. If it’s a chair or a sofa, does the fabric need replacements? Coffee tables and dining tables are susceptible to scratches and dents, and after repair, they will need refinishing. All these processes add to the cost of repair. In fact, the more repairs a piece of furniture demands, the more the refinishing process becomes costly.
Details – most people think that larger furniture may be costly to repair, but that is not the case most of the time. When it comes to furniture, the details making up the piece of furniture and how much work is needed to fix each detail will determine the cost of repair. For example, a piece of furniture that has intricate details or delicate parts will require more time and work during repair. It will cost more to have all the parts fixed for such piece of furniture as well. Therefore, if furniture requires extra details and time, the costs of repair will also be more.
The material used – the kind of wood used to make the furniture item may significantly influence the cost of repair. If the piece of furniture to be repaired is made of hardwood or the rare species of wood. It will cost you more if a professional has to search for the wood to replace the broken part. Wood species come with different prices.
Depending on the kind of material used, the cost of repair will vary. In some cases, the cost of repair may even be more than the original price of purchasing the item. In such a case the decision to repair will depend on the the sentimental value attached to that particular piece of furniture.
Finish – after repairs, you will need to do a good finishing to your furniture to complete the process. In most cases, people want their repaired furniture to match the existing furniture or sometimes they want a new finish altogether. For example, you may want to change your finish from vanish to oak stain or cherry stain.
The age of the furniture -the older the piece of the furniture, the more it will cost you to repair. This is because older furniture requires extra care when handling the wood to preserve its integrity. If your furniture has been around for sometimes, it may be hard to find the same quality of wood in the market for replacement purposes. Therefore, you might have to pay more to a professional if they will have to take more to get the wood material used to make that particular item.
Antiques – if you have antique and rare pieces of furniture, you are likely to pay more when it comes to repairs. Such type of furniture needs to be handled with precaution to protect them and maintain their value. They are also made of rare wood which might be difficult to get especially if the part was broken or damaged needs a replacement.
Timeframe – if you request a rush repair job, a professional may charge you more to give you a priority over the other repair jobs they may have lined for repair. If it’s possible, you can plan before calling a professional to avoid having a last-minute rush repair.
Transport charges – most professional have workshops where they carry out the repairs. If they have to come and pick your furniture from your home, they will charge a pick a fee which will depend on the distance, size of the furniture, number of pieces and the delicacy of the items. Most professional charge an average of $50 to $100 for pickups and $40 if they travel to do repairs the repairs at client’s location.
What Type Of Repair Do You Need; Is It Structural Or Cosmetic?
Repairing structural damages will require more time, materials and expertise as compared to repairing a piece of furniture that looks bad or out of place. For instance, if your coffee table has stains and a few scratches, it will cost less to fix these two as it will cost it if it had a broken leg that needs replacement.
Therefore, when planning for repairs, it’s important to figure out if they are cosmetic or structural repairs.
Cosmetic repairs include:
- Spots in the wood and minor cracks
- Splits, tears, small frays, and splits in the upholstery
- Dents and scratches on the wood
Structural repair includes the following:
- Bent and damaged frames on recliners, sofas, chairs, and tables
- If the wood in the furniture is extensively cracked, split or broken
- If the furniture has broken springs
- If the furniture requires re-upholstery due to extensively torn fabric
Types of Furniture Repairs and Average Furniture Repair Cost
Due to frequent use, your furniture will require repair once in a while. A repair job can restore your furniture to its usability and save you the cost of buying a new one. The average cost of repairing the general damages for most pieces of furniture comes to around $106 to $225. This will cover the cost of materials and labor if you hire a professional. Some repairs will cost as little as $50, and other repairs can cost around $400.However, the cost can go higher if some of your pieces of furniture such couches require a re-upholstery job.
For some repairs, it might be cost-effective if a homeowner did the repairs themselves. In such a scenario, the only cost you will incur is that of purchasing materials and tools to be used. However, for a majority of repairs, it’s better to let a professional do the work, especially if the damage is extensive or the piece of furniture is antique.
Here are common pieces of furniture that require repairs from time to time.
Dining Tables Repairs
The dining table is normally one of the most frequently used pieces of furniture in most homes. It has higher chances of picking up dents and scratches as compared to less frequently furniture such as a wardrobe in the guest room. The dining table, besides being used during meal times by the entire family, it also comes as a convenient place to place your grocery boxes, bags, books and you find that the children use it as a surface for doing homework.
It is usually the first a resting spot for anything that comes to your home and therefore, it is susceptible to scratches, dents, broken legs, cracks, splits, and sometimes weak frames.
There are some minor issues with your dining table that you can fix if they happen. If your table has some scratches that are not too deep, you can purchase a repair kit that costs around $5.00 to $20.00 from your local home improvement shop. The kits contain easy to follow instructions which will solve the scratch problem.
Sometimes, the legs of your dining table may split or become wobbly, and it becomes unsafe to place any weight on the table. In such a case, you may have to replace or repair the table leg if the dining table has to continue being in use. You can assess the legs to see if they are wobbly and tighten the bracketing to see if the wobbling will stop.
If there are small splits or cracks on your table legs, you can try to repair them using wood putty or glue that costs around $5.00. The repair can fix the minor cracks and splits, and the table will be back to a good condition.
However, if you assess the table leg and note that the problem is structural due a large crack, you might need to have the table leg replaced professionally. A professional will need to remove the table leg and repair the bracketing that usually secures the leg to the table for it to be firm. However, the cost of replacing the leg will depend on various factors such as:
- Type of the wood used on the table
- The finish of the table and if it will be easy or difficult to match the table leg with the rest of the table’s finish
- Matching the style of the table length with the rest of the table
With some tables, it might be easy to find a premade table leg that matches your table style. For it to be fixed, you need a professional with carpentry skills to fix the table leg. Most professionals charge around $25 to $30 per hour to repair the broken leg.
Sofas are also in continual use, and they are some of the most expensive pieces of furniture in most homes. We sit and rest on our sofas for long hours and this reason; they take in a lot of weight. With time you will likely experience problems such as; damaged or torn upholstery, broken legs, broken springs and most common; broken frame.
For broken legs, the process of repair is similar to that of repairing a broken leg for a dining table, and it will cost more or less the same, i.e., $25 to $30 per hour.
However, a broken frame bad news for upholstered furniture, and it should be a cause for worry. Damage to the frame will need immediate action to avoid further damage to the upholstery fabric and the fillings. If left unfixed, the damage in your frame can spread further and spoil a rather good couch and also, it will render the couch unusable.
The only way to take care of broken frame on a sofa is to have it replaced. A professional will assess the damage to see how extensive it is. Most will charge around $70 to $150 to repair and re-upholster the sofa.
For small splits and tears in fabric upholstery, a homeowner can repair them using upholstery needles and a thread that matches the fabric. It is even easier if to repair tears and splits in your cushion covers if they are removable.
However, for larger tears and splits in cushion covers that are not removable, you might have to hire an upholsterer to repair them for you properly. A standard sofa uses about fifteen yards of material. It will cost you an average of $25 to $30 per yard for a good quality material. Some high-end material can go up to $70 per and low-end can go as low as $15 per yard. A professional upholstery will charge you an average of $40 to $50 per yard of material.
Twisted or bent springs in your sofas can be easy to fix. You will need pliers to bend twisted springs back to their right shape. However, if the springs are broken, you will need a professional to replace them for you. Since the professional will have to remove part of upholstery to be able to access the springs, the cost of replacing the springs will cost $40 to $50 which will also include the re-upholstery process.
Cabinets, especially and other freestanding units get scratches, and sometimes the paint peels off, or you may experience broken doors, handles, and other hardware issues due to regular use. Kitchen cabinets are essential for storage of non-perishable goods and utensils and also play a big part in the aesthetic appeal of a kitchen.
Some repairs like replacing the glides for broken drawers or fixing a broken hardware can be done by a homeowner using a repair kit that costs around $5 to $20. However, if the damages are extensive and more work needs to be done to the cabinets like refacing or replacing them, you will need to seek the services of a professional.
To replace a cabinet door, you will be charged an average of $268 to $390 which depends on the fixtures and the type of material to be used. To reface your kitchen cabinets which will also fix all the repairs and replace the drawer fronts and doors, you will spend an average of $4,500 to $9,100.
Recliners offer unmatched comfort and if the suites are matched; they create a visually appealing look. However, recliner chairs are complex and have various components that are either mechanical or electric. With time, the different parts will experience tear and wear which can deteriorate if left unfixed and lead to more extensive damages to other components.
Fortunately, some repairs can be done to restore your recliner back to its functionality and save you the cost of getting a new furniture suites.
Most common problems associated with recliners include:
- Recliners getting stuck in one position
- Uneven padding
- A recliner having a bent reclining mechanism
- The springs may be broken
- Most common is torn upholstery
If you are experiencing torn upholstery, a professional will charge you an average of $40 to$55 per yard to re-upholster your recliner, a process that is usually the most expensive in repair. For other problems such as bent reclining mechanism and others such as broken springs expect to pay around $200 to $350.
Other Essential Factors That Will Influence the Cost of Furniture Repair
Sometimes furniture repair may involve other essential processes that may make it more costly. Two processes may have to be incorporated in the repair process, and they include:
- Upholstery or re-upholstery
Your furniture may need re-upholstering if the upholstery fabric is damaged and torn. A structural repair will require the removal of the existing fabric upholstery to be able to reach the source of the problem and fix it. Re-upholstering furniture, it’s a process that will require a lot of time, and materials and you will need the services of a professional.
The cost of re-upholstering furniture will depend on the type of material to be used and the size of the furniture. You will spend an average of $660 to re-upholster furniture. For small chairs, expect to spend around $150 and the for larger pieces of furniture such as sofas and recliners, the cost can go up to $1500 or more depending on the type of fabric you opt to use.
After repairs, you will need to refinish the piece of furniture to give it a completely new look. Refinishing involves removal of the old paint or stain, sanding and restoring the wood to the original look. The process will then involve repairs of cracks, scratches, dents, and application of new paint or stain. Refinishing can be done to most pieces of furniture such as tables, chairs, sofas, cabinets, armoires, nightstand, bed frames, etc.
Refinishing can also be done on any wood from oak, to mahogany, to veneer, pine, cherry and any other kind of wood used to make furniture. Costs of refinishing will significantly depend on the size of furniture, whether it’s a light touch up of some few marks in the paint or it’s a whole process of removal of existing finish and application of a new one.
A professional will charge you an average of $1200 to $3200 to refinish a large dining table. For kitchen chairs that have wooden seats, you will pay an average of $225 to $375 each for a refinish job. End tables will cost a range of $250 to $350 to refinish while rocking chairs will cost around $350 to $500.
Summary Table for Average Costs
|Repairs ||Description ||Average costs
|Average cost of furniture repair||$106.00 - $225.00
|Pickup fee||By a professional repair person to the workshop||$50.00 - $100.00
|DIY repair kit||For minor cracks, splits and scratches||$5.00 - $20.00
|Dining table repairs||Broken leg||$25.00 - $30.00
|Sofa repairs||Broken leg||$25.00 - $30.00
|Broken frame||$70.00 - $150.00
|Re-upholstering fabric||$25.00 - $30.00 per yard
|Cost of re-upholstering ||$40.00 - $50.00 per yard
|Replacing broken springs||$40.00 - $50.00
|Cabinet repairs||DIY kit-fixing minor hardware, bolts, and screws||$5.00 - $20.00
|Replacing kitchen cabinet door||$268.00 - $390.00
|Refacing kitchen cabinets ||$4,000 - $9,100
|Recliner repairs||Torn upholstery||$40 - $55 per yard
|Repair bent mechanism||$200.00 - $350.00
|Re-upholstering small chairs||$150.00
|Re-upholstering large pieces of furniture ||Sofas ||$660.00
|Refinishing||Large dining table||$1200.00 - $3,200
|chairs||$225.00 - $375.00
|End tables||$250.00 - $350.00
|Rocking chair||$350.00 - $500.00
Should You Repair Or Replace Damaged Furniture?
Even if you have the best constructed and most durable furniture, the tear and wear process eventually catches up, and some break down happen due to continual use. However, the question for most homeowners when a piece of furniture breaks down is whether to repair or replace it altogether. In some cases, the problem might be simple and only requires fixing a loose screw or bolt, and the table or chair is back to a usable condition.
However, some damages can be complex and costly to repair. You will need to consider the sentimental value of the piece of furniture and also the monetary value. For example, you may have a chair that was so special to your grandfather, and it has been passed down the generation. Such a piece of furniture may hold special memories, and sentimental value is what should be considered during repairs.
When it comes to furniture, that wooden piece that looks worn out may turn out to be of higher and better quality than most wooden items you can find on the market today. Some older furniture may probably have been handcrafted as compared to the mass-produced furniture in the market today of which majority of it is of low quality. Before deciding to replace, you may need to consider the timeless value of such a piece.
On the other hand, if you have no sentimental attachment to the damaged piece of furniture, you will need to make a comparison between the cost of repair and that of getting a new piece. For example, re-upholstering a sofa can cost you around $650 to $2500, and getting anew sofa can cost you around $1000 or even less. In such a scenario, it will make sense to purchase a new one.
However, in most scenarios, the cost of repair is usually cost effective especially with most inbuilt furniture such as wardrobes and kitchen cabinets.
DIY Furniture Repair VS Professional Repair Services
There are some furniture repairs you can do for yourself and save some money instead of hiring a professional. You can do some refinishing and repaint jobs on smaller pieces of furniture such as coffee tables and smaller chairs. You can also replace hardware such as loose bolts, or tighten screws, or put wood putty on minor cracks on table’s legs and chairs.
All you will need to do is to purchase the repair kit and follow the instructions as given. For other processes such as refinishing you will need a thick stripper to remove paint, thin stripper for finish removal, a sanding paper or a power sander, and a cloth for wiping stains and finish.
For paint job, you will require a primer, painters tape, a paint roller, paint spray, a good quality paint, and top coat. Make sure you follow all the manufacturer’s directions and consult where necessary.
However, if your furniture’s damages are too complex and require re-upholstering, you need to hire a professional to assess all the damage and do the repairs. Some damages such as broken frames or large cracks need special skills and tools that only a pro can handle. You might cause more damages or reduce the value of your furniture if you attempt to repair items that require complex repairs such as broken frames.
Choosing the Professional for Furniture Repairs
Keeping in mind that furniture repair is not a cheap undertaking, you need to get someone who will take care of your furniture and repair it back to a better state than it was when they started working on it. Also, you need a professional who will know the value of the piece furniture you give them to repair and understand the value of saving the precious memories you have of it.
When you decide on having your furniture repaired, you will need to take time and look for the right professional to do the repairs. Before giving away your priceless piece of furniture for repairs follow these tips to ensure you get the right person.
Ask around – you can inquire from your friends and family for recommendations to a qualified repair person who can be entrusted to do a perfect job. It’s advisable to get someone within your location to cut down on the transportation costs.
You can also look for furniture repair professionals from the local directory and follow up with calls to schedule for meetings. Also, the internet can be a good place to search for repair services near you.
When shopping for a professional repair person, take clear photos of the pieces you want to be repaired and use them to get cost estimates. Always remember that the cheapest offer does not translate to the best service and also the most expensive offer does not mean quality service. You will need to ask more questions that will enable you to gauge if the person you are interviewing is the right one for the repair job regardless of the cost they quote.
Inquire from the furniture shop around you – approach a couple of furniture stores around you and ask them to recommend to you the name of the repair company that fixes their furniture issues. If given a referral, ask them why they prefer the services of that particular professional. Is it because their services are top notch? Are they professional? Do they have the right equipment? The answers will help know if you have found the right person for the job.
Check with the Better Business Bureau – If you are planning to spend considerable amount money to have the repairs done, you may need to check with BBB to see if there any complaints about the particular company you are about to enlist for repair services. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry later on.
10 Questions to Ask A Furniture Repair Professional
Before you settle for a particular company or person to do your repairs, you will need to ask a couple of questions to ascertain that they are perfect for the job. A little assessment will help you avoid disappointments when the repair job is already underway. Remember the person you are about to entrust with your furniture will have to strip and tear it down, repair and then reassemble it back. If this process is to be followed, you need to be sure that the person doing the job is skilled adequately in handling the task.
1. Ask how long they have been in the furniture repair business
Ask the repair professional how long they have done the repair business. How would they describe their experience? Is it sufficient enough? How many major repairs have they done so far? If they have been around for long, it’s that possible that they have handled different pieces of furniture and they are aware of the procedures and materials to use.
2. Ask for references
Do not just take someone’s word that they are proficient at what they claim to do. If their work is as they allege, then they must be having a trail of happy clients ready to put in a good word for them. Ask for contacts and call the references to ask about the quality of services offered by that particular repair professional. Ask them if they would recommend them to someone else for furniture repairs. Would they still use them if they needed their furniture repaired?
3. Ask the professional if it’s worthy to repair that particular piece of furniture
Your repair’s person should be able to assess your furniture’s damages and advise accordingly. They should give you an honest opinion about the repair work and if it will restore the furniture to a functional state or if you should just do a replacement instead.
4. How long will the repair job take?
It’s advisable to work with a clear timeline from start to avoid unnecessary delays. Most repair jobs will take a few hours while the larger ones that include re-upholstering may take a couple of days. Discuss the timelines with your repair person and let them be clear in writing.
5. Discuss the expenses
You need to know how much it will cost you to have the repairs done. Let them itemize everything and give an evaluated expense to repair your pieces of furniture. Ask questions where you feel the prices are not satisfactory.
6. Ask about the possibility of extra costs
Usually, when the repairs are underway, the professional may notice some extra damages or jobs that need to be done for the repair process to be complete. This may add to the initial expenses quoted, and the situation might be an inconvenience if you had not anticipated it. Before you start the repairs, the repair company should assess the furniture and give an estimate of any additional repairs that are likely to come up during the repair process so that you can include a section for the extras in your budget.
7. Ask about the replacements and materials to be used
If there are any parts to be bought like extra wood to replace the frame, or springs, or upholstery fabric, you should be informed. Inquire where they shop their supplies from to be sure about the quality.
8. Ask if they charge for pickups and delivery
Some repair companies charge to pick up your furniture and to drop it back to your home while others will give you a package that is inclusive of transport charges. Therefore, before you hire, clear this upfront to avoid unpleasant surprises.
9. Ask about insurance
If the professional will be doing repairs at your home, then you need to be aware of their insurance to ensure that your property is protected. If they have workers who will be doing the repairs in your home, find out if they are covered under the worker’s compensation. It’s better to be safe than to incur expensive medical expenses should there be an accident while they are working on your property.
10. Ask about their availability
After you have discussed the repair job, find out soon the repair professional will be available to start the job. Do they have other repair jobs lined up before yours? Do they have adequate staff to give your job attention as soon as possible?
Avoid Getting Scammed During Furniture Repair Services
As a homeowner, you will need to exercise caution when hiring someone to do repairs for your furniture. Unfortunately, there are dishonest people whose aim is to steal from unsuspecting homeowners. As mentioned above, it’s always good to check with Better Bussiness Bureau to know if there are any bad reports about the person you are about to hire. You can also ask at the BBB if there are any other furniture repair professionals you should avoid.
Be alert and pay attention – make sure you listen carefully to the information the repair person gives you and watch out for any contracting details. A reputable repair person who knows their work well will not have a hard time explaining the repair procedure to you.
If they seem unsure or stammer when explaining the repair process or the materials needed, then you should be skeptical, and it would be better to avoid such a person. You need to work with someone who is confident and knows their work well enough to present the solution to you.
Pay a visit to the workshop – if the repair company has a workshop where they carry out repairs from, make sure you visit the workshop and know its location. There are repair companies that claim to have offices and workshops that are non-existence and will disappear with your furniture the minute you hand it to them.
Everything discussed should be put down in writing – no matter how small the repair work seems to be, let everything you agree on to be put down in writing. From the agreed costs for the materials to be bought and to the process of repair.
When a piece of furniture finally breaks down, you do not have to despair. Wood is one of the most common materials used to make furniture, and from time to time you will experience stains, marks scratches and broken legs of tables and chairs. Even though some repairs are easy DIY projects, the extensive damages are better handled by a skilled professional.
When planning for a repair job, it’s essential to consider the possibility of refinishing and re-upholstery and include their costs in your budget. Make a tentative decision to determine if the cost of repair makes economic sense or if you are better off replacing those particular pieces. If you choose to repair, look for the right professional to do the repairs and make sure you interview them to ascertain their credibility and experience is sufficient.