How Much Does It Cost to Reupholster a Sofa?

Everyone has their favourite place in the living room. That spot on the sofa where they feel most comfortable and have spent many an evening curled up, relaxing from a busy day. Unfortunately, there comes a time when your sofa starts to lose its luster, it’s dirty from the multiple times that you’ve spilled things on it, the fabric might even be ripped. If you’re able to afford it, a new sofa is an easy fix to this but sentimentality might take over. Reupholstery could be the answer to revitalising your comfy spot into a sofa that looks as good as new; however, your attachment to your old sofa may come at a price.

The Cost of Reupholstering Sofas

Reupholstering an old sofa can cost just as much, if not more than buying a new one depending on the amount of work required and the fabric that is going to be used. For example, a straight forward task of repairing and re-stuffing a single cushion that has been ripped by your pet, could set you back around £150. If you’re looking at re-stuffing and reupholstering your sofa with repairs to the springs and the backboard you could be looking at anywhere between £500 – £1000 or potentially more with fabric driving the cost of this.

A typical sofa uses about 16 yards of fabric and a typical chair uses about half of that. The cost of reupholstery fabric starts at around £30 a yard if you were wanting designer fabric it would start at around £50 a yard with high quality velvet costing as much as £150 a yard!

Once you’ve chosen your fabric, it’s time to add in labour costs. The more fabric required the higher the labour costs will be. Other things that affect labour costs include:

  • Attaching, replacing or repairing welt cords to the seams of cushions or pillows.
  • Ensuring that shapes and patterns align on the fabric when stitched together.
  • Tufting – The formation of patterns by threading through fabric and tying the ends with buttons or knots.

With such high prices involved the question that you may need to ask yourself is how high a price are you willing to pay for your comfy spot?

Assessing the Quality of your Sofa

One thing to consider when assessing whether your sofa is fit for reupholstering or the tip is checking the frame and how sturdy it is. Frames typically tend to last around 10-15 years in chairs and sofas. This can vary depending on the age of the sofa and how well it has been looked after in your care. Many manufacturers have opted to using cheaper materials that previously would have been considered unsuitable for furniture frames. Staples and fast drying epoxy have replaced strong hardwood and screws meaning that older furniture may still have a bit of life in them.   

It won’t be hard to notice if the frame is damaged in your sofa. You’ll normally be able to tell by sitting on it but if in doubt taking it to any professional will soon answer the question.

Once you’ve ascertained that the frame is intact, reupholstery can bring your much loved sofa out of its sombre state into a much preferred one with you having much more control over the look and shape of the cushions. You have more freedom in the way it looks and feels and starts to become more of a custom piece that you will feel proud to have in your home.

Reupholstering for sentimental value

Pieces of furniture that have been inherited or passed down are much harder to throw out than those that are just comfy to sit down in because of the memories that they hold in them. Your sofa might be sentimental because it’s an antique or collectible item or it might just be the perfect size of shape for your home that finding a replacement might not be possible. Whatever the reason, keeping furniture because of its sentimental value impacts a lot on your decision to reupholster. Taking these items from home to home can cause them to deteriorate with torn corners, worn padding, stains, scratches or ripped fabric. Fixing these damages can be expensive but can mean so much to their owner as it can be seen as one of their prized possessions. There’s no price on sentimental value and sometimes paying £1000 is going to hurt less than parting with it.

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