Choosing furniture is a major buying decision, and there are many factors to consider when setting up a house or apartment. One option is to reupholster your existing furniture, or pieces that you bought at an auction. But, there are many things that factor into the furniture reupholstery cost vs. buying a new piece.

There is no single answer for how much it costs to reupholster a couch, or a favorite chair. A very general price for a normal-sized couch could start at $1,200. Many variables need to be factored into the estimate, including the quality of the existing furniture, type of upholstery work, fabric selections, and more. Here are a few tips about the factors of furniture reupholstery cost.

Quality and Type of Furniture

Quality craftsmanship is evident in older furniture that is not available in today’s mass-produced pieces. A solid wood frame and joints secured with dowels will last for generations. Coil springs provide firmness in the seat, and the type of cushion composition will also make a difference.

Type of Upholstery Fabric

The fabric selection itself can make or break your budget. Choose the right type of fabric for how the furniture will be used. Consider the blend of the fabric and how it will withstand your living conditions, such as pets, small children, sitting in a very sunny room, etc. There are many fabrics available today that are very durable while still looking elegant, and some are also treated for stain resistance.

Upholstery Enhancements

Fabric with a strong pattern may require additional yardage in order to properly fit on your furniture.  Matching patterns, or even carefully centering a dominant scene for the correct focal point across the item takes additional planning and measuring.

However, there are other enhancements to consider that can drive up the cost of the project. These include tufts, welt detailing, cording, nail heads, and other customization techniques that improve the overall look, but increase the labor costs.

Quality of Reupholstery Work

Ask the upholsterer about the methods used. The furniture should be stripped “down to the bones” to determine if any structural repairs are needed. Sometimes adjustments may be needed to the webbing or springs; even this part of the job can be a four to six-hour process to reset and tie correctly. If the item is very old, the new foam should also be replaced in the cushions.

Be cautious of cheap shops that may try to add a new layer of upholstery fabric on top of what is already there, without taking the time to inspect the entire piece of furniture.

Who will Reupholster

Selecting the right upholstery expert is also important. While a custom interior designer may be popular, they usually charge more than a highly qualified, independent craftsman. Ask to see other work that they’ve done, or referrals they can provide. A reputable expert will also take the time to fully understand your desires for the furniture and answer any questions you have before the project begins.

Quality furniture reupholstery requires a fine art and skill, and choosing the right service can make a difference in the overall cost. Upload your furniture photos and get a quote to talk about reupholstering your next piece of furniture.