If you’ve ever furnished a house or an apartment, it’s highly likely you’ve asked yourself this question: Should I reupholster or buy something new? Unfortunately, there is no quick answer. What kind of shape the furniture is in, how much new fabric you’ll need and how much the fabric will cost are a few things that should be considered before making the decision. There is also the cost of labor, which varies from shop to shop because there is no industry standard. Most important, keep in mind that reupholstering isn’t necessarily less expensive than buying something new.
Should I reupholster or buy something new?
While there are high-end exceptions, our experts agreed that much of the furniture manufactured today isn’t well made and not worth the cost of reupholstering.
We recommend reupholstering if a piece has sentimental value or if it’s an heirloom; if it’s the perfect size to fit a specific space or if it’s unique or something you love and you won’t be able to replace. If it doesn’t fall into any of those categories, we suggest buying a new piece.
How can I tell if my furniture is good quality?
The short answer: older is better. “Anything that is at least 15 to 20 years old,” “If it was going to fall apart, it would have by now.”
Coil springs and solid wood are also indications of something well-made. To check for coil springs, remove the seat cushions and press your hand down on the seat.
“If it feels like coil springs, it’s probably a decent piece and worth considering reupholstering,”
“And if you can pick up a sofa super easily, it’s probably not good quality wood.”
What are additional costs that might come up when having something reupholstered?
In addition to possible pickup and delivery charges: replacing cushions or pillows, repairing or rebuilding a frame, re-tying springs, and any extras, such as having a skirt made, replacing the legs, changing loose cushions to a tight back or adding tufting or nail heads.