A very popular question we hear is, 'Is it cheaper to buy new or reupholster?' or 'Is it worth it to reupholster?'
Our response is always, 'it depends on the quality and condition of the sofa/chair.'
Reupholstery is generally only worthwhile if the item of furniture is well made. We believe that if a sofa or chair is of good quality then it should stand the test of time and in which case it is worth investing in. However on the other hand, if you have a frame that is poor quality it may not be worth reupholstering as it may not be as durable as other well made frames. The condition of the frame also has to be factored into the equation as if there is additional labour needed this would naturally increase the cost.
A solid, sturdy frame and legs is key, ideally the frame would be made out of a hardwood enabling it to retain its shape over time. Some substandard frames may be constructed using staples whereas a good quality frame would be glued, dowelled and screwed for maximum stability. A frame can be tricky to analyse when upholstered so other things to look out for is any wobbles or movement to the frame, movement doesn't always mean it's not a quality made frame as many antique sofas and chairs will need attention over time however this would again be additional labour so another thing to consider when weighing up if an item is worth reupholstering.
With many antique sofas and chairs that come into us, we find that the coil sprung seats need work. The best way for you to check yourself is by turning the chair upside down so you can fully assess the inside of the seat, the webbing can unfortunately give you a limited view but if there is any hessian which has torn or separated away from the frame or coils this could well suggest that a new traditional seat is required. At Franklin and Hare we would reuse the original coil springs, re-webb and replace the stitch and stuffed seat.
Your preferred fabric choice could also impact on whether it is cheaper for you to reupholster or buy new, the price of fabric can vary massively as does the quality of fabrics. Reupholstering your chosen item gives you a fantastic opportunity to choose whatever fabric you like, ranging from a subtle but classic plain fabric or a bold, statement fabric, also giving you the choice to pick a fabric suitable to your budget. You may have been clinging onto a particular bit of fabric for years longing to use it on some sort of project or you may want to put aside a chunk of the budget on a show stopping luxury fabric. Either way the cost of the fabric has to be factored into the cost.
At Franklin and Hare we feel quite passionately about reusing and recycling. Reupholstery can play a huge part of that. According to the BBC 1.6 million tonnes of so-called bulky waste is thrown away each year in the UK and 42% of it is furniture. Now has never been a better time to get your sofa or chairs reupholstered and/or to invest in a good quality frame that you trust can be re-upholstered for years to come.
We are here to help and offer our expertise. We will happily check over any sofa or chair and give you a breakdown of the costs.
Want a price or to chat further? Please feel free to get in touch with any questions or reupholstery enquiries. We'd be happy to help!