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Furniture- Reupholstery cost vs Buy New?

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Newbie
Oct 28, 2006
14 posts

Furniture- Reupholstery cost vs Buy New?

Does any one has any experience recovering a chair or sofa? Watching all those home design shows on a budget with beautiful make over of Chair or Sofa makes me wonder whether it'd be better to replace old furniture with new fabric or buy new?

I saw this really nice retro chair and it has great potential so I called up a locate upholster service and ask for a rough estimate for just a wingback chair without arm with fabric size comparable to computer/office chair. The answer was that even just for the labour, it would cost about $300 per chair? Doesn't sound very reasonable to me. Any of you out there has any experience recover an old piece either by doing it yourself or hiring a professional? Please share your experience...

PS. If anyone know a reputable reupholster in Calgary, pls advice. Thanks.
15 replies
Deal Fanatic
Feb 1, 2006
9099 posts
214 upvotes
A relative of mine used to work for a reupholstering company. The short of it is that unless you're working with a high quality piece of furniture, it will not make financial sense to do so.

$300 sounds about right, maybe even low. For a couch, you'd be looking at $2000+.
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 28, 2006
14 posts
Thanks Bullseye...I guess it's not worth it then. Unless you can DIY the covering by glue and staple gun with a decent fabric. Why then would all the HGTV shows make it sounds like it is a viable option :( Give me false hope

Anyway, I did get a reply back and they are quoting with labor and fabric for a wingback chair for over $500. WOW...
Deal Fanatic
Feb 1, 2006
9099 posts
214 upvotes
It is possible to do yourself, of course, difficulty will depend on the piece. My brother in law has re-covered an Ikea-ish (read: cheap) lounger twice now, after his dog ruined the fabric. My wife re-covers small things here and there.

No idea how to do it myself, but it certainly is doable for the average person, if determined.
Newbie
Jan 22, 2009
1 posts
Olathe, KS
I actually own an upholstery shop in Olathe, KS and the average price for a small chair that is just needing the seat and backs upholstered is generally anywhere from $175 - $300. Depending on if you have your own fabric or not. The higher price would be if you purchased fabric from us for instance.

If you were needing a sofa reupholstered then it would run around $599-$699 for labor and with fabric it generally cost around $1200 total for everything.

I also would not recommend doing Upholstery yourself unless you know what your doing. You can see an un-professional job a mile away. If you don't have the proper tools and you don't know what your doing you may also just end up wasting the fabric as well.

You also need to keep in mind that new furniture is not made to the same quality as furniture 10 years ago. Today's furniture is considered throw away furniture and the foam they put in new furniture is absolute junk! Our main business in fact comes from people needing to buy foam for that 1-3 years old furniture. Foam we sell will last 15-20 years easy, I personally believe your better off keeping your old furniture and reupholstering it to your exact specification rather than buying new and having to throw it away a few years later just to buy new again. That's what I call a waste of money!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 28, 2008
1177 posts
29 upvotes
Sarnia
Thing is there was junky made furniture 10-20 years ago and as now there was always high quality. You really should know what's under it before you go spending big bucks. No sense spending 600 reupholstering a cheaply made wingback chair, so rip it open and see what's inside if your planning on replacing it or reupholstering it anyways. At least after that you'll know what in there and whether it's worth it or not. If it's not quality furniture underneath whats there now,, no loss, toss it out and buy a new one.
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Proverbs 17;28
Jr. Member
Aug 2, 2008
179 posts
1 upvote
claringtonca
if the frame is solid and i mean solid reupholster it if you bought it a the brick don't bother sklar makes solid frames usually from maple last a life time
if your happy with your fame do it if not buy new
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 16, 2008
4929 posts
708 upvotes
Maple
Do we bring the sofa to them or they come pick it up? I have a sofa bed with very sturdy frame and good pull out mattress which I bought from Chesterfield shop. I don't want to throw it away, the fabric is fading away. I just want to change the fabric and change the cushion foam. Would they pick up and deliver?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 16, 2010
1943 posts
19 upvotes
I would only reupholster furniture if the construction of the item is sound or requires minimal reinforcement/replacement of parts and the piece is irresistable (a rare find) in terms of wood detail or design. In this case, I don't mind spending the money on the labour and good fabric. That said, I would also consider doing it myself if it was simple enough to do.
The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. - Anonymous
Banned
Feb 26, 2007
7 posts
1 upvote
teoconca wrote:
Jul 20th, 2010 11:40 am
Do we bring the sofa to them or they come pick it up? I have a sofa bed with very sturdy frame and good pull out mattress which I bought from Chesterfield shop. I don't want to throw it away, the fabric is fading away. I just want to change the fabric and change the cushion foam. Would they pick up and deliver?
yeah they picked mine at no cost and the guy told me as part of their promotion they are doing it and keeping the prices low.
Deal Addict
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Oct 16, 2008
4929 posts
708 upvotes
Maple
ozziejatt wrote:
Jul 20th, 2010 12:03 pm
yeah they picked mine at no cost and the guy told me as part of their promotion they are doing it and keeping the prices low.
Thanks. Mine sofa bed weighs a ton.
Banned
Feb 26, 2007
7 posts
1 upvote
teoconca wrote:
Jul 20th, 2010 1:20 pm
Thanks. Mine sofa bed weighs a ton.
well that's their problem to take your business they will be doingit. Moreover i dotn think so sofa beds are really that heavy. before you move you can take the mattrress out adn it takes much of weight out. Mine is a sofa bed and yes it is slightly heavy than regular sofa but not a Ton.
Deal Addict
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Oct 16, 2008
4929 posts
708 upvotes
Maple
ozziejatt wrote:
Jul 20th, 2010 3:33 pm
well that's their problem to take your business they will be doingit. Moreover i dotn think so sofa beds are really that heavy. before you move you can take the mattrress out adn it takes much of weight out. Mine is a sofa bed and yes it is slightly heavy than regular sofa but not a Ton.
oh yah, it is very heavy, it has strong support beam, springs and the mattress is a thicker one for sofa bed. When I bought my sectional, I tried to pay them extra to bring it upstair. They refused to do it once they lifted the sofa bed. To be more precise, the sofa bed is much bigger and sturdy than regular. Thanks.
Banned
Feb 26, 2007
7 posts
1 upvote
teoconca wrote:
Jul 20th, 2010 4:41 pm
oh yah, it is very heavy, it has strong support beam, springs and the mattress is a thicker one for sofa bed. When I bought my sectional, I tried to pay them extra to bring it upstair. They refused to do it once they lifted the sofa bed. To be more precise, the sofa bed is much bigger and sturdy than regular. Thanks.
Well nothing that i have to say here. you can call them to check what they can do for you. when it comes to deliver heavy things one or 2 levels up and they have to climb stairs no one wants to do it for free. but once again check with them they are gettign reupholstery business from you they might be happy to do it for you.
Newbie
Aug 2, 2010
9 posts
1 upvote
Just adding my views.reupholstery only makes sense on your old furniture that you haev inherited or is just old as the frames are solid and long lasting.
I got my furniture done recently from someone in brampton, They are very cheap and do good job http://reupholster.ca they work in around all gta.
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