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General Upholstery Questions and Comments => General Discussion => Topic started by: kodydog on June 12, 2014, 08:05:47 AM

Title: Is my sofa worth reupholstering
Post by: kodydog on June 12, 2014, 08:05:47 AM
People often ask, is my sofa worth reupholstering. And my standard reply is, if you paid less than $1000 for it probably not. The cheep furniture coming out of china starts falling apart after 5 or 6 years. After that you throw it away and buy a new one. But if you buy a high quality piece for say $1500 to $2000 or buy a mid century piece at a second hand store it will be worth recovering for generations.

Here is a good article that explains it better than I can.

http://interiordec.about.com/od/faqsonfurniture/a/Furniture-Upholstery-What-Does-It-Cost.htm

Title: Re: Is my sofa worth reupholstering
Post by: Darren Henry on June 12, 2014, 05:29:01 PM
I tell people to give it the grunt test. If you can load it in the truck yourself---take it to the dump. If you and the friend you had to call over to help both grunt lifting it---bring it on out to me.
Title: Re: Is my sofa worth reupholstering
Post by: MinUph on June 12, 2014, 05:51:52 PM
Ya know years ago I would say the same thing about some furniture no being worth reupholstery but in todays day it has changed. Some people love what they have and can't replace it or find a fabric for something new so now unless it is real bad I will do it. Besides if we all turn down all the upholstery work because we don't think the furniture is worth it we will all be out of work. Gotta keep helping people get what they want.
Title: Re: Is my sofa worth reupholstering
Post by: sofadoc on June 12, 2014, 08:25:26 PM
.........if we all turn down all the upholstery work because we don't think the furniture is worth it we will all be out of work.
Exactly.

Most of the furniture I do nowadays really isn't worth recovering. But as long as people want to pay me, I'll keep doing it.

As upholsterers, we can't restrict ourselves to only accepting quality furniture simply because there isn't enough of it in people's homes.

People call saying "I'm trying to decide if it would be cheaper to reupholster......or just buy new".

I tell them "If cost is your ONLY concern, you'll probably be happier buying new".

I try to stress the customization angle, and steer them away from the "bottom line".
Title: Re: Is my sofa worth reupholstering
Post by: kodydog on June 12, 2014, 10:04:01 PM
Yep. I'm not saying i never recover the cheep stuff. I've done plenty and will do more. When I give an estimate I keep in mind I'll probably be doing extra work like frame repair, spring work and replacing padding. Everything that leaves my shop gets an upgrade. On these estimates I simply give the price to recover and the customer can decide if its worth recovering.

And I don't mind telling one of those, "I can buy new cheaper" customers that everything that leaves my shop is better than new.

But when a customer looks me in the eye and asks if her sofa is worth recovering I have to be honest. If she bought it 10 years ago for $600 probably not. These days I can't recover it for much less than a grand. And if the foam on the cushions are shot then what do you tell them.
Title: Re: Is my sofa worth reupholstering
Post by: sofadoc on June 13, 2014, 08:28:57 AM
I don't mind being TOTALLY honest when it comes to recliners.

I don't consider any of them to be profitable. So I try to discourage customers from recovering them.

I don't mind doing the older La-Z-Boys, or some of the simple wing recliners. But the ones with all the double tiers and gathered seams take too long for what you can charge. And there are so many cheap mechanisms that are difficult to repair, or find replacements for. And what's the point of replacing a cheap mech with another one?

So when they ask that question about their recliner, I usually say "No.....it isn't worth it".
Title: Re: Is my sofa worth reupholstering
Post by: baileyuph on June 14, 2014, 08:28:18 AM
There is a problem in small upholstery shops being abe to duplicate what higher technology at the manufacturing level do, but more important to point out:  "and make a profit".

This evolvement has been going on a long time in the furniture business, for example, and will continue.

The way factories can pump out the products, the experiences troubled by small custom shops are changing the business, we (some) may enjoy today.

Therefore, the question of "worth" is a two way issue, (1) worth the upholster's time and (2) Worth the consumers cost?.

A thread on "time" for a small shop to try duplicating what factories do would be interesting and revealing.  Given we can duplicate, the realistic issue is at what rate per hour?  We can't compete with new technology and make a living.

Doyle