One of the main questions clients used to ask me when I had my interior design store was how much does it cost to reupholster a sofa? We all have sofas that have seen better days and could do with a facelift.
However, with so many superb sofas available, it may feel awkward to decide what to do with regards to upholstery.
How Much Does It Cost to Reupholster a Sofa?
Every time a client asked me how much does it cost to reupholster a sofa, you can guarantee the answer would surprise them. So many factors come into play that the answer may never seem as straightforward as it looks. Furthermore, the assumption is always that it is cheaper to reupholster a sofa than it is to buy a new one.
However, this is far from the truth. As a rule of thumb, I used to quote my clients $194 per seating area. So if it is a two-seater sofa, it would be approximately $388. If it is an average three-seater sofa, then it would be roughly $582. Then you have to add material costs on top.
This may add upwards of $300 to the cost. While costs obviously vary, this should give you an idea of how expensive it is.
Unfortunately, though reupholstering your sofa may seem like a good idea, there remain several factors you need to take into consideration.
How Much Does It Cost to Reupholster a Sofa in Reality?
Reupholstering a piece of furniture is an environmentally friendly approach to recycling. It helps the environment because the sofa doesn’t take up space in a landfill. However, the cost of reupholstering a sofa may surprise you. But there are many good reasons for that.
Fabrics used for upholstery must have a fireproof certificate and pass the necessary laws in your state. Furniture may prove extremely combustible, especially those with foam interiors. Therefore, they must pass the required regulations.
This is an essential factor to take into consideration because it could save lives.
What is fireproof fabric?
Most fabrics are not inherently fireproof. Therefore, they may need treatment with fire-retardant chemicals that inhibit the spread of flames. This can make a life or death difference when you have to escape from a burning building.
The fabric is dipped in the chemicals and then dried. Consequently, it undergoes a set of rigorous tests before it gains its fireproof certification.
When you consider the question, how much does it cost to reupholster a sofa, this is one of the most important factors to take into consideration. Fireproof fabric is considerably more expensive than standard material. The fabric alone may cost $300 for an average sofa.
Always use the correct fabric for reupholstery, and it must be fireproof. There exist many different types of material in a vast array of colors and textures. However, not all fabrics are suited to the purpose of reupholstery.
You must choose a fabric that is specifically suited to reupholstery. Your upholsterer or fabric retailer will be able to advise you on this. Additionally, consider the cost of the material. As a rule of thumb, a cheaper fabric may not last as long as a more expensive fabric. When you consider the question, how much does it cost to reupholster a sofa, the fabric cost forms a vital part of it.
As I used to explain to my clients, there is no point in using a cheap fabric for reupholstery as it will not last as long as a good quality fabric.
Is It Worth Reupholstering My Sofa?
To answer this question effectively, you need to consider a few things to make an informed decision.
How old is the sofa?
Old sofas tend to have good quality frames. When you consider how much does it cost to reupholster a sofa, there is no point trying to fix a dud. Many modern, inexpensive sofas have inferior frames. Therefore, even if you reupholster it, the chances are it will start to deteriorate quickly. However, good quality sofas have excellent frames and benefit from reupholstery.
Does the sofa have sentimental value?
It may be that you love your sofa. It may be an antique. Also, you may have paid a lot for the sofa, and you love the shape and the comfort it gives. When you balance this with the cost of the work, then reupholstery could give the sofa a new lease on life for many years to come.
With Great Upholstery Comes Great Skill
Another factor to take into consideration is the labor. It takes a highly skilled artisan to strip a sofa down and reupholster it. Always get several quotes. You may get very low quotes, which would make me nervous. You may get very high quotes, which would put me off. Therefore, settle on something midway that makes you feel comfortable.
Ask the upholsterer what the quote includes? Does it cover the cost of the fabric? Does it include the cost of refilling the cushion pads and re-springing the base?
You see, most sofas when reupholstered require additional work to the seat pads to bring them back to life. They may need extra filling to recover their shape and form. You may find that some elements of the frame need repairing and that some springs need replacing. Make sure you factor all of this into your costs when you speak to your upholsterer.
Expect to Pay
As we have discussed, you may expect to pay around $582 for an average, three-seater sofa. However, some sofas have oversized seating pads, which could see your costs rising to anywhere around $980. If it is a sectional sofa, then you may expect to pay around the $3,000 area. Then you need to add in your fabric costs.
How Much Does It Cost to Reupholster a Sofa, Answered
The cost of reupholstering a sofa may seem a surprise. However, when you consider the amount of fabric and skilled labor involved, the price is justified. Old, beloved pieces of furniture and high-quality sofas benefit greatly from reupholstery because it gives them a whole new lease of life. However, inexpensive pieces would not benefit from the expense because the frame may not be adequate to begin with.
Have you ever had your sofa reupholstered? Perhaps you are an upholsterer and have some advice for us that you would like to share? Please comment in the box below as we would love to hear from you.