If you own furniture, you are likely to face the tough decision of replacing your furniture once in a while. That comfortable, cozy couch you adore so much may have a torn fabric, or it’s stained and dirty. It can also be that most of your furniture has incurred the normal tear and wear with time. If you are having such a scenario in your home, and you most likely do not want to replace your treasured furniture with a new one, then reupholstering will be the best alternative.
Furniture reupholstery involves working on furniture to give it a new look. It’s work done to furniture to revive its look by either providing the seats with a new padding, springs or renewing its look with a different fabric. A reupholsterer will transform your existing furniture into something new without interfering with its design, comfort and the original size.
How to Decide If To Buy or Replace Furniture
It might come as a surprise to learn that the process of reupholstering furniture is not an inexpensive one. In fact, in some cases, it might cost more than replacing with new one. However, the decision of deciding when to replace or reupholster your furniture can be quite challenging. Unlike perishable products, furniture does not come with an expiry date embedded on it.
Therefore, you might be asking yourself, when is the right time to replace your furniture or reupholster?
Here are few pointers to help you make the decision;
The State of the Frame
Is the frame sturdy? Or is it squeaking, or seems to be breaking down? If the frame is still sturdy, then it’s firm enough to last a couple of more years and reupholstering will work. But if the frame is weak and breaking, you may consider replacement.
Quality of the Wood
The quality of the wood used in making furniture contributes to the lifespan of the item. If the piece is made from hardwood, the frames remain strong for a very long time as compared to other inexpensive wood.
Comfort and attachment
If the chair or the couch feels comfortable and you have some special attachment to it then reupholstering it makes more sense. It’s possible that you may not get the exact piece available for sale in the market.
If your furniture seems to be in a good state and just needs a few adjustments to restore it back to good shape, then reupholstering will be the right approach. Shopping for new furniture can be time consuming and exhausting.
Even with the above pointers, sentimental value and attachment to older furniture remain the key factors that make a majority of people want to retain their furniture. Sometimes new furniture may not last as long as the older furniture.
The quality of the wood may be hard to find in the market, and therefore, you may opt to retain your older furniture by reupholstering them to restore their appeal.
Furniture built more than 15 years ago is likely to have a stronger frame as compared to the current pieces in the market. Manufacturers seem to have lowered their standards regarding wood. Some quality of wood available in the market is questionable, and you are likely to find majority using staples to assemble frames instead of screws which last longer.
How to Hire the Right Upholster For You Furniture
If you have decided to recover your furniture’s look and performance by reupholstering it, you will need professional reupholstery services to do it. The process of reupholstering can be time-consuming, and it involves intense labor. It requires exceptional skills that go beyond the fabric replacement.
our reupholster may have to strip down the piece of furniture, reassemble the joints, replace the screws and coils, and work on the padding, fabric and many other aspects. For a well-done job, you will need to invest in a professional. A reputable professional will be able to lay down the estimated cost of labor and materials required. They should give details of the whole process of reupholstering and provide adequate answers to your concerns.
Here are some ways to ensure you hire the best reupholster for job;
1. Carry Out a Research
Before you settle for a particular firm, you can ask around for the best reupholsterer especially from people who have done it before. Ask for referrals from colleagues, friends or neighbors. Get to know about their quality of work and their experience with that particular reupholsterer. Was their work satisfactory? Would they work with them again? All these questions are fundamental.
You can also make use of online platforms to get a good firm that can offer re-upholstery services. Read reviews about them and look for ratings to see if they are considered to be good enough for the job.
When looking for someone to reupholster your furniture, you should get someone who specializes in it. Get a professional whose work is to specifically restore and reupholster furniture for it means that they have built extensive knowledge and experience in handling the job well.
To get satisfactory work in any field, you will need an experienced professional. Experience matters a lot, and you should seek to see their previous work before hiring so that you can see the quality of their work.
If they have handled similar pieces as yours in the past, then you will be confident enough to entrust them with your treasured furniture.
Upholstery & Reupholstery Furniture Costs
Different pieces of furniture may have different styles and built that will affect the cost of repair. However, it’s important to note that, reupholstering is an investment to your existing furniture and therefore, it does not come cheap. You will want to get something elegant and be proud of it in the years to come.
Here are average costs of reupholstering different pieces of furniture;
1. Couches and sofas
Sofas are some the most expensive piece of furniture in our homes. One sofa can accommodate two to three people. It takes in a lot of weight, and it’s the most used piece of furniture in the house. Although a good quality sofa can last more than 20 years, the fabric can get worn out and ripped with time.
On average, you can spend $25to $30 per yard for a good quality fabric. Some high-end fabric can cost more than $70 per yard while the low-end fabric can range from $10 to $15. However, you can save a little bit on fabric by buying from the suppliers at a wholesale price instead of letting the reupholsterer supply you.
With couches, the average cost can range from $ 600 to $ 3500 depending on the size, fabric, and labor. Some professionals charge by the yard, and the average labor cost is $40 to $55 per yard.
It’s important to note that the process of reupholstering a couch can involve the following key processes;
- Replacing the stuffing in the cushions
- Repair of frames and springs
- Removing the existing fabric
Therefore, when consulting your reupholsterer, ask if their labor costs include the above services so that you do not underestimate your budget.
2. Reupholstering Chairs
Dining chairs may not be in use every single day but with time they can wear down, and the fabric plus the padding can get ripped and look dull. Dining chairs repair costs can range from $100 to $250. However, an armchair can cost from $400 to $800 since it involves an almost similar amount of work as a sofa.
The cost of reupholstering chairs can differ due to the following factors;
- The state of the frame- does it need replacement or screwing?
- The type of fabric to time-consuming -prices for different fabrics differ
- The type and number of accessories required such as skirts, cushions, and quality of padding
Chairs typically have a smaller surface area to cover and repair, unlike couches. Depending on the quality of materials used the total cost can be less than $1000. Discuss your requirements with your contractor to get the price estimates.
3. Reupholstering Ottomans
Ottomans tend to have a lot of details going into them such as tufting and nail heads. Reupholstering ottomans can be quite involving. The amount of fabric to be used will depend on its size. Repairing and reupholstering ottomans can range from $500 to $1000.
Other Additional Costs
When reupholstering, most people take into account the price factor. As discussed above, the prices vary depending on the piece of furniture. The size of fabric needed for dining chairs is obviously not the same as that of a couch. However, the type of fabric to be used remains one of the most significant determining factors in the overall cost.
Some things can influence the cost of labor required to complete the project due to their further involvement. They include;
You might want to redo your pillows so that they coordinate well with your sofas. You do not wish to have your couches looking all new and stylish but be accessorized with old looking pillows.
The cost of reupholstering pillows can vary from $45 to$150 depending on the kind of fabric you are using. It’s a necessary process that ensures that your pillows match with your sofa to improve the overall look of your living room.
Repairing Weak or Damaged Frame
One the primary reasons for doing furniture reupholstering is because of weak frames that may need repair. After stripping the piece of furniture, the reupholsterer will assess the frame to see if they are still sturdy or weak. The frames may need a little bit of fixing either by redoing the screws at the joints or replacement at the sections where damage has occurred.
Repairing the frame can range from $45 to $150 depending on the amount work the frame needs.
Decorative Nails Heads and Fixing Tufting
When reupholstering furniture especially couches and ottomans, you may need to enhance the decorative details. It may cost you more for such work requires additional labor. The reupholster will be required to create patterns and which requires extra fabric and other accessories such as buttons. Tufting can cost you $100 to $300 on top of the standard charges.
Decorative details such having nail-heads trims on furniture can cost you $90 to$200 for an 8-foot long sofa. Nail-heads decorations are common with ottomans.
The Choice of Fabric
As indicated earlier, fabric contributes to the larger percentage of the overall costs of reupholstering furniture. The market has a wide variety of fabric depending on durability, pattern, colors. Some have unique features such as stain resistance.
Depending on your style and budget, the choice is majorly yours. However, you can cut the price down by making a price comparison from different suppliers and settle for the one with fair pricing.
Pick and Drop Costs
Find out from your reupholsterer if their service charge is inclusive of transport of furniture to their workshop. If they charge for transportation, you may need to budget for transport costs. Most of them charge $1.50 per mile or a flat rate of $150. Alternatively, you may choose to look for your means transport.
The Extent No Damage
The cost of reupholstering will also be determined by the amount damage to the piece furniture. Some may just need a change of fabric while others require extensive repair that may prompt purchase of more items and material leading to an extra cost. The reupholsterer will charge for the additional work that the furniture needs.
Remember furniture reupholstering is a major project that will involve stripping down the whole piece. Discussing the total work and cost estimates with your reupholsterer will enable you to draw a suitable budget that can work for you
Here is a table summarizing the average costs that entail various pieces of furniture reupholstery. The prices can change depending on the region, supplier and the amount of work involved in repairing a piece furniture.
|Type of furniture/ item||Cost
|Reupholstering dining room chairs||$ 100-250
|Reupholstering an armchair||$400-800
|Reupholstering ottomans ||$500-$100
|Cost of labor ( per yard)||$40-$55per yard
|Cost of fabric||$15-$70 per yard
|Decorative costs (nail head)||$90-$200 for an eight-foot-long sofa
|Transport charges ||$1.50 per mile
DIY VS Hiring a Professional Uphosterer
You could be toying with the idea of reupholstering your furniture by yourself. Some people may want to cut down on the cost of labor and transport, or you may just want to achieve that special feeling of fulfillment for doing it yourself.
But before you consider DIY, you may need to consider the following factors.
1. Your level of skills
What is your experience in reupholstering? Is it something you have done before? Would consider yourself as a pro? If the answer is yes, then you can proceed and carry out the reupholster process by yourself. However, if you are relatively new to the whole idea, you may require the services of furniture reupholsterer.
2. Extent Of Work And Repair Needed
Depending on the extent of repair, in some situations, you can carry out the process yourself and save a coin or two while at it.
Some of the tasks that you can do to reupholster you furniture include;
- Adding new fabric to your dining table chairs if the frames are still in excellent condition. You can strip down the old fabric and fix the new one.
- If there are small damages to your frames, you can fix the damaged sections. However, assess the damage first before you embark on the process to avoid damaging the chair or couch further if the framework seems complicated.
- Making decorations such as adding patterns and tufting.
If you can be able to carry out the above tasks by yourself, you may successfully cut down the cost labor and spend approximately $100 to $200 on fabric and other items needed reupholstery such as staple gun, rubber mallet, fabric scissors and others.
It’s important to note that the process might be involving and time-consuming especially if it’s your first time to handle a project of this nature.
Even though hiring a furniture reupholsterer needs you to set aside a budget, it might be worth the hassle. A contractor will ensure you get excellent services and revive your furniture to something elegant and new.
10 Questions to Ask Your Upholsterer Before Hiring
When you choose to reupholster your furniture, it probably means that your value that piece very much to invest in it. Therefore, you need to be careful when hiring someone to handle it. You do not want to live with a poorly done chair just because you did not ask enough questions before hiring them.
Here are significant questions you should ask before hiring;
1. Ask how long they have been in the business
Get to know how long they have worked in this particular field. If they have been in business for several years, then they have probably worked on a several pieces of furniture and their experience is likely to be diverse.
2. Ask for references
If even you have details about their work and experience, it’s good to ask for at least two to three references from them. Follow up with a call and get more details in regards to their work and capabilities. Find out the type of project they worked on and if they completed the work on time. Also, ask if their work was pleasing and satisfactory.
3. Ask If furniture is worthy upholstering or reupholstering
A professional reupholsterer should be able to assess your furniture and give you an informed decision. He should be able to tell if your piece of furniture is worth the work or if you should just buy a new one.
4. Ask how long they will take to complete the job
Get to know how long they will take to complete the job. It’s always good to have a clear time frame at the start to avoid delays.
5. Ask them what will need replacement
Your chair’s springs may need replacement. Some frames may need more tightening with screws. Your reupholsterer should be able to assess the state your furniture and give the exact details of what needs to be replaced and the reason why the replacement is essential.
6. Ask about the fabric to be used
It’s good to ask your reupholsterer about the fabric that needs replacement. They should be able to advise you if it’s still available on the market or if it will need to be shipped. If you opt for an alternative fabric, he should give you a variety of what to use and the measurements that will suit your piece of furniture.
7. Ask for costs and any other additional expenses
After they have assessed your furniture, the reupholsterer should give you the costs of materials needed and any other unexpected additional costs that may come up during the process. Also, they should tell you the cost of the labor after assessment.
8. Ask about the whole process and get details
You will need to discuss the process in details with your reupholsterer. For example, if you are reupholstering chairs, you will need a padding; do you want all new foam? What about thickness? Etc.
All the details should be discussed upfront before hiring so that you can gauge if the reupholsterer can carry out the task to your satisfaction.
9. Ask about pickup and delivery charges
To enable you plan and budget, you need to know about their pickup and delivery charges upfront. Remember the charges will depend on the number of pieces being reupholstered.
10. Ask about insurance
If they will be doing the work from your home, then it’s good to know about their insurance details. It helps avoid the risk of covering medical costs in case someone is injured while at work in your home.
How to Avoid Getting Scammed When Uppholstering
As a consumer, you need to exercise caution to avoid falling into the hands of conmen or inexperienced people claiming to be experts in furniture uphosltery & reupholstery. Disreputable companies can say anything and convince you to part with your hard-earned money only for them to deliver a poor quality job with substandard materials.
Remember once you give out your payments details and wire your money to crooked professionals, your account details and personal information such as social security number might be compromised and be used for fraudulent activities.
It’s important to be extra careful and look out for the red flags and telltale signs that will show you that you are dealing with a con artist. With almost all operations digitalized, cases of fraud and scams have increased, and a majority of people find themselves being conned while looking for service providers.
Here are tips to help you avoid being scammed and conned while looking for reupholstering services.
Be alert and vigilant
When dealing with a contractor for the first time regardless of who referred them to you, it’s important to be careful and pay attention to the information they give you about themselves. Remember that people change and just because their experience with people known to you was good, it does not mean that they are to be fully trusted.
Do a research
If you find a reupholsterer through social media platforms or online searches and you are not sure about the credibility of their business, take your time and research them. Use the search engines and try to get as much information about them as possible. If you come across people who have dealt with them, ask about their services and legitimacy of their business so that you are fully informed before hiring.
Always treat any information you are given with extra caution. Remember that con people know how to make their services look credible and legitimate. They can go to the extent of creating fake documents, logos, and pictures of alleged previous work and make it look real. Even the references they give you can be doctored to have people who will provide you with cooked up testimonials.
Therefore, before you commit to hiring someone and entrusting them with your valued furniture, do not take their word without proper investigations. Listen but be skeptical and take your time before you give feedback.
Investigate The Firm
Before committing yourself to a company that is offering to reupholster your furniture, you can check it out with various institutions that offer information on registered businesses. If you are dealing with a company that you are not sure of its operations, you can look it up to see if it’s a registered legit business.
Pay a Visit to The Workshop
Do not give someone your furniture to take to a workshop that you have not seen and not aware of its location. Take your time and a visit the premises and get to see their work. A fraudster can easily convince you of a non-existent workshop only for you to end up losing your furniture and money.
Exercise Caution When Purchasing Materials Such As Fabric
Some companies may offer free trials before you make a purchase then end up billing you every month once you sign up. Take your time and read through the terms of purchase before you give credit or debit card information. Before you accept that free sample to be shipped to you, get all the details and be wary of the restrictive terms.
If you are ordering your materials online, a credit card is the safest means of payment and can protect you against fraud. With a credit card, you can launch a dispute for overcharges that you did not authorize or incidences where the goods bought were not delivered. The credit card company will investigate for you and make sure you get your money back.
Have a Written Contract
Remember verbal contracts are not binding and it can be a hassle to follow up on a case if there was no written agreement. Once you agree to hire a professional to reupholster your furniture, let them give you a written contract stating the terms of payment and the nature of service they are providing. Read it through and understand the terms before you sign the contract. So many people have been scammed because they did not pay attention to the written contents of the contracts they signed.
Take your time
Lastly, when making a purchase or hiring someone for a service, do not be pressured or rushed. Do not be fooled by those slogans buy now before the offer ends. If you are buying fabric, take your time and make a price comparison. You are likely to get a bargain without being rushed.
If you are hiring a contractor, think through, ask around for more information and assess the details they gave about their services to gauge whether they are the right people for the job.
Your furniture is valuable to you, and the whole process of reupholstering does not come cheap. Be careful and vigilant before you hire someone to do the repairs. Exercise caution when buying materials to avoid being overcharged and getting scammed in the process.
Well upholstered & reupholstered furniture can transform your home into a new look and style. If you have had a change of decor in your home, you may need to work on your furniture to coordinate with the newly acquired transformation.
It is also a chance to gain a whole new style by embracing more modern designs and patterns. If you want to change your color theme to a different one, furniture reupholstery is the way to go.
If you desire to adapt to newer shapes that are up to date with the trending home designs, then reupholstering gives you the opportunity to do so. Alternatively, you can simply maintain a vintage look with a newer looking fabric. The benefits are way too many, and the beauty of it is that you will still have your treasured furniture with you despite the changes.
It is notably vital that you hire a professional reupholster to ensure that you get quality work. If your piece of furniture is professionally reupholstered, it could serve you well for at least 10 to 20 years without significant issues like breakages. Therefore, invest in a reputable firm to reupholster your furniture and get good returns on your big investment.